The Blessings and Benefits of Learning the Art of Microblogging!
A little over 90 days ago, I began using Twitter. Eight months ago I was sure it was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. But after a little examination and consideration, I decided to give it a try with my family and friends. It’s been a very interesting experience so I thought I would share a few thoughts.
At the beginning I posted a blog article about why I was going to give it a try. You can read that here. Below are some reasons that I will continue, at least for now.
Things That Have Made Twitter a Positive Experience
1. Staying Connected to Family and Friends—it’s been great to stay a little more connected with every one I’m related to—even my own kids. I really love reading what they post throughout their day. It’s a great glimpse into their hearts and it usually puts a smile on my face just when I needed one! In addition to this, I’ve enjoyed staying more in touch with young people in our student ministry.
2. Connecting with Like-Minded Men in Ministry—this was the greatest unexpected blessing. I’ve met some new friends in ministry from various places in the country. I’ve prayed for them, shared requests with them, and benefited from their spiritual insights and encouragement. Without twitter we probably would have never met, or at best, our fellowship would have been extremely limited.
3. Sharing Helpful News and Posts—I’ve come across some very helpful resources and articles because of what godly people have shared in their posts.
4. Sharing Christ—I have had one opportunity to share Christ and to encourage and pray with a very nice gentleman that contacted me through twitter. What a delight.
5. Being Aware of Good Things God is Doing—I’ve read of ministry happenings among other independent Baptist Churches around the country. It’s given me a greater spirit of appreciation and a higher awareness of others who are fighting the same battles I am. That’s been an encouragement.
6. Getting a Glimpse Into the Hearts of Good People—I’ve seen a lot of posts that just made me think more deeply, laugh more frequently, and appreciate the insight and wit of those I interact with. It’s been encouraging and edifying.
7. Giving Family and Friends a Glimpse of My Heart—I’m hoping for my family and friends that my posts are as encouraging as theirs are. I’m trying.
8. Finding Encouragement From A Lot of People—It’s just been good to read the posts and thoughts of other people who have good attitudes and godly perspectives on life and ministry.
9. Uplifting a Biblical Technology Example—I’ve had several of our students and college and career friends begin using twitter with me and I believe it’s been helpful to them to see a form of social networking used in a way that honors Christ. I have seen twitter used to encourage, edify, strengthen, support, and uphold Christian friends. That’s been a blessing!
10. Enjoying dissecting my day into 140 character increments—There’s just something fun about coming up with 140 characters quickly to try to encapsulate the wonderful blessings of each and every day.
I’m sure there are a lot of people in the world who waste time and words or who do inappropriate things with Twitter just like every other form of technology. It certainly can be used too much or pointlessly. Like many, I was skeptical of its usefulness, but over all, my experience has been positive and I can see twitter and technologies like it being used very effectively for ministry and for Christ. Without a doubt, the young people we are presently training for ministry will live with these technologies as fixtures in their lives—like we do with phones and computers. We should at least do our best to prepare them.
I’m still not a big “early adopter” of many new things, but I want to do my best to not rule something out just because I don’t “get it” or because it’s new. If you haven’t tried twitter, or like me, you just don’t understand it—it’s very difficult to explain it. You probably just need to try it for a few weeks and then decide. It doesn’t take any time (you can only post 140 characters at a time! How much time could that possibly take?!) It can flow with your normal routines and schedule with minimal to no interruption (My posts usually happen in my “in between moments”—like when I’m walking somewhere, etc.) It’s completely controllable. It’s helpful once you establish some folks that you interact with regularly. It’s a blessing to share and receive biblical encouragement with others. And in many ways, it’s just fun.
If you try it, just remember, it’s public and it falls under the same biblical guidelines as every other form of communication! Moderation and discretion are both very important principles to practice in this venue. Be sure not to post anything you wouldn’t stand and announce to the whole world. It’s probably not a good idea to put a lot of personal information, personal schedule, or personal details—like when you’re getting dressed or showering—pretty much everybody gets showered and dressed some time during the day!