Twitter is a very different platform from Facebook. Its short, 140-character limit might seem like it’s not the best format for churches to be using. After all, how much godly wisdom or important updates can you share in such a short space? Actually, quite a lot. There are a lot of churches and pastors who have mastered this rapid, bite-sized social media platform. I’ve put together a list of fifteen tweets from churches and pastors that show how Twitter can be used effectively to reach people and grow a ministry. Let’s take a look:
1 @trezochildren – “Our #Haiti team is having soccer camp this week. 1 worn soccer ball before, the kids now have over 20! PLUS 100 uniforms! #soccer #missions”
This is a great example of a simple yet engaging update. This missions organization lets their followers know what’s going on, and also uses three key words with hashtags (#) so that this message can be found by others searching for those words.
2 @BaldwinBryce – “Any fellow Pastors out there want to listen to some of my sermons to give me feedback? I am looking to get better! #pastor #sermon”
This pastor is open and honest. He freely shares his sermons online, and he’s looking to learn from others. Honesty and transparency go a long way towards building trust and credibility on Twitter.
3 @dsocialchurch – “Where you are is not as important…
#TheSocialChurch #PLB #WordForToday #Thursday #Church”
Pictures are powerful on Twitter. This tweet sets up the first part of the quote and piques people’s curiosity so they’ll take the time to view the full image.
4 @Dawn_Morris1 – “Listening to sermons on your iPod=great. Listening to sermons on your iPod during church~not so great!” #church”
This Christian author posted a humorous tweet about church. Everyone likes a good funny Tweet.
5 @jamesriver – “On Saturdays, we get pumped for Sundays! Invite a friend to church tomorrow. We can’t wait to be with you! #jrclife”
This church is promoting their service – a perfect use for Twitter.
6 @touchinglivestv – “God’s love never wears out. God’s love never ends. God’s love never fails -Pastor Merritt #Jesus #Christian #Church #Faith”
This church is tweeting out quotes from their pastor. Followers of this church on Twitter can learn the views of the pastor and the church before they even visit or hear a sermon.
7 @jeremysonger – “You can be honest and still lack character! The measure of great integrity sometimes means not saying the truth, but holding your peace.”
Short quotes and words of wisdom are perfect for a platform like Twitter.
8 @RevivalMinistri – “#Intercession opens next week. See ya there #Awesome #Epic #Chatsworth #Durban #SouthAfrica #Jesus”
Because of the limited length of tweets, this church opted to create an image that included all of the details about their event, and then kept the text of the tweet to a short advertisement and key hashtags.
9 @CaptainNekoChan – “Teens in the area of Anderson county you should go to this #amazing #church and join fbcputh youth… http://instagram.com/p/yetL7aNMKL/”
This user’s tweet links to an image on Instagram. This is a valid technique for using Twitter: have your church’s Instagram or Facebook account push updates to Twitter, automatically putting you on two platforms at once.
10 @thesmartpastor – “As a #pastor, what are your top three frustrations?”
This is a simple yet engaging question directed at pastors. Questions are a great way to get interaction going on Twitter. Even people who do not follow you can reply, which could lead to a new follower or even a new friend.
11 @destnd4nations – “Hard at work today! Loving being able to help these kids and their pastor. So content. #missions #destinedfornations”
Pictures can say more than words. And social media users like engaging pictures of real people doing real things.
12 @TimothySiburg – “For insights, fun, and great thoughts & questions about #ministry & youth ministry, check out #Ext15 over the next few days. #ff”
This ministry leader is promoting a specific hashtag. You can use popular hashtags – like #ministry or #church – to get noticed, or you can start a trend within your church or ministry community by creating your own hashtag for a specific purpose or event. (Editor’s note: That #ff at the end of this tweet is the popular “Follow Friday” hashtag. Many tweeters use this to signify that they have just added a user to their following on Friday)
13 @simondiercks – “Wir sind bedrängt, aber nicht in die Enge getrieben, ratlos, aber nicht verzweifelt, verfolgt, aber nicht verlassen.“ – 2.Korinther 4,8-9”
Like every other social network, Twitter isn’t limited to just the English-speaking world. Every language and nation can find a place on Twitter and find others to connect with.
14 @jeanettetd – “Reading people’s salvation story on short term mission applications blesses my soul. #redemption #missions”
Another honest, personal, and transparent tweet. These can be some of the most powerful.
15 @Lofth0use – “Well it’s someone’s #Church”
This is a funny image that has been circulated around the internet for some time. There’s nothing wrong with reusing great content – whether it’s putting your own spin on it, like this tweet, or a traditional retweet of another user’s post.
I hope this sampling of different sorts of church-related tweets gives you an idea of how versatile a platform Twitter really can be. Funny, serious, news updates, personal thoughts, pictures, links – all of these work well on Twitter. Having a good mix of all of the above can really help a church or ministry to stand out from the crowd and gain a following of genuine supporters on Twitter.