A couple of months ago we published an article that talked about my concerns about tweeting Scripture and wondering if it was a waste of time. Between that post and Churchleaders.com reposting of it, I’ve had some good feedback on the discussion. (In case you wonder, I don’t think it’s a waste of time)
That discussion and dialoguing with feedback brought out another concern I have with churches using Twitter. I used the social media platform to ask this question I was concerned with:
Our story and God’s story is so much more valuable than 140 characters. #chsocm
— Jeremy Smith (@gumbystation) February 6, 2015
Now, other platforms like Facebook, Google+, and YouTube have longer form mediums and you can always use video for any of these and side step this character limit problem. But even these have diffulty with telling the whole story of one’s life, faith, and ministry.
The Problem with Several Tweets
One’s story certainly can be communicated through a series of tweets. Just take a look at watchlistenfollow.org and how they communicate the whole story of Jesus through a set of accounts that dialogue back and forth about their own interactions with Jesus. You see who Jesus is in this conversation.
The difficulty is that a single tweet out of context if it were to be embedded on a website much like we did with my tweet above loses a lot of its power. It takes someone committed to the conversation or really bored to follow the whole stream of tweets and keep up with the conversation.
One Tweet, A Whole Story
So can you tell a whole story in one tweet?
You have exactly 140 characters to share everything about your story. But is that one little tweet enough to communicate everything you need to?
Why Does This Even Matter?
For those of you with a theological background, you know that context is important. Take a verse out of its context and you can manipulate God’s word. On the other side of the spectrum, a single verse can be powerful, but if you know the drive, motivation, and purpose of a verse, it can be truly life changing.
I’m not sure a single verse of the Book of Nehemiah is worth quoting by itself. It lacks that Proverbs type flare. But as a whole, you see a man that has been given favor with the king to restore a faith and tradition against all odds and he does not hesitate. The struggle is real, but he is not only drive, but wise and dependent on God. Short of the stories of Jesus, this book is truly my favorite.
But the story of Nehemiah must remain in its fullest context to have the power it holds otherwise. Yes, the Holy Spirit will do anything and be able to bring about change in just a couple of words, but even the Holy Spirit knows the whole context of a situation.
Make It A Good Tweet
I’m not going to argue against you that tweeting your story is important, but your story is more valuable than 140 characters. God’s story infinitely more so. So for churches that have decided to utilize Twitter as a platform for conveying the Gospel, are you giving each and every tweet the time it deserves or are you just throwing as much content as quickly as possible, even if it falls flat?
What if in that one tweet you send out tomorrow, someone who is suffering and lost without the hope of Christ comes to your tweet and decides to give it the time of day. Will it change anything? Maybe you should give it a little more time and make it a good tweet worth reading. Maybe you can wordsmith it so it tells your story a little better than before. And maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit can do something so powerful in something you have put your heart and soul into that will begin to change the world for the Kingdom of God.
There truly is more to tell than this. If you are going to tell a story, what is it you want to say? How can you create a whole strategy that ties in all of your digital platforms to make it great? And how can you make it more effective than where you are currently at now?