I’ve been saving this for quite sometime now. Today, I will be sharing a common thing that is going on in churches and also via social media. Tweeting in church. Oh yeah, I’m going there. But before I do this, I want to let those who might be offended or extremely sensitive about this: It’s not. And no it’s not going to get you into hell nor dance with the devil. Allow me to explain.

As most of you know based on my past blogs, I am apart of the United Methodist Church. I’m actually a 4th Generation member of my church in Milwaukee. A couple of years back, I started to tweet messages from my church’s sermons in which I feel is a common thing among the 21st Century churches. Plus the United Methodist Church has a moniker of Rethinking Church  in terms of being thinking outside of the box. That’s like going to the Motown Museum and seeing the actual studio office that Berry Gordy had one question after 9:00am, What’s next? By the way it’s a good site to go to while visiting Detroit.

But back to the lecture at hand: Why do I tweet in Church? Now alot of you Ministers or you Lay Leaders, or an Old School Usher that always has the finger up. Or maybe being dressed up in a nurses outfit. I see them in the Baptist churches. Or if you’re Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or another person of faith that may not like this, but it’s a way to be on the cusp on communication. This is what the young kids are doing now. Mostly. Technically, I’ve been tweeting in the pews for the last few years. And I have to say that it has been a good thought of expressing Sermon quotes from the pulpit. Another reason is, that let’s say that you or someone you know may have missed that church service, and wondered about what the pastor said in that sermon. If you can’t remember that title of that sermon, usually I put up a Quote followed by the words: Sermon in Church now. And I do the hashtags for catching on either with or without the connection of twitter. Let me give you an example:

“Facing The Darkness” – Sermon in Church now.

As far as the hashtags: #rethinkchurch #unitedmethodistchurch (or #umc) #milwaukee #wisconsin; usually I add an occasion like these hashtags like  #lent2013 #advent #easter #mensday #womensday #ashwednesday and others I think it’s vital. It’s good thing in which ONE can do while doing and listening to a sermon in church. Again, I know that most or some may not feel that Twittering is a good thing. Believe me, I got the folks like “oh you’re facebooking in church. You better pay attention.” You can connect your tweets to your facebook wall. Now this was one of my friends since elementary school that blurt this out. What I’m doing in church with Twitter (sometimes with Texting more on that later)  is nothing more being relevant! That is what John Wesley wants UMC’s like me to do! John Wesley for those who are non-christian or non-United Methodist was the founder of Methodism, which many years later transcended to the now known United Methodist Church. Heck, even my Wisconsin Conference UMC thinks this is a good idea, Why? Because I told them based on their Rethink Church Communications Workshops that I attended in 2011. Technically it’s a “Legal Eagle”.

Now I’m going deep here. And I want to address this who like to follow me on Twitter every Sunday: whenever I type in a tweet message from my church pew or church special service, DONT EVER JUMP THE GUN! The reason why I’m saying this, because  I had a person back in September who didn’t know me on Twitter, commented to me on my twitter feeds. The topic I typed in was known as “What is the Church?” – a simple question right? However this came up in which I thought I would never happen. Usually I don’t put those on blast, but I want to call out this person  who put me on blast last fall:

This was the convesation that took place via Twitter mind you:

  1.  ‏@smcclintonjr “What is the church? It supposed to be love, faith, forgiveness.” Sermon quote. #umc #milwaukee #wisconsin #rethinkchurch
  2.  @halehawk  @smcclintonjr I thought it was supposed to be the Body of Christ. #big #difference
  3. @smcclintonjr @halehawk: That can be true. Which it is. But my pastor today talked about it in general terms. He was just saying in general.

    @halehawk @smcclintonjr Jesus is generally taboo in our culture. “Relevant” sermons tend to forget Him too.

     ‏@smcclintonjr @halehawk; Well let me just say this. No sermon should not forget about Jesus. What my pastor said today overall was not forget about(cont)@smcclintonjr @halehawk his teachings and love. As I listened to the sermon today (entire sermon not bits and pieces) his viewpoint to me was (cont’d)@smcclintonjr @halehawk just as equal as having that mindset. I think at times we need to clearly examine what they have to say and how it (cont’d) @smcclintonjr @halehawk (con’td) effects our daily christian lives. Just my two cents.
    Yes, this was the conversation. But I also provided with this comment via Twitter and Facebook:
    Tweetjack: It seems that my tweets from the pews every Sunday is good to many but recently raising eyebrows to some. I write these (cont’d) in order to help spread good news from my church’s sermons every Sunday. Why? its not because of technology, but also to enlighten (cont’d)someone or somewhere. So with that, I’m going to keep tweeting from the pews. However, in order to understand a sermon or speech (cont’d) You have to read or hear EVERY WORD! Not bits, or pieces. Know the 5w’s and articulate them in YOUR christian life, everyday! (cont’d) And also use that to be relevant in the church as well as outside of the church. I’m just saying as a church going, tweeting person.(cont’d) So either to agree or disagree, fine. Just my two cents. TweetJack: (con’td) But I’m glad that the lines of my church’s sermon is reaching out that may need to hear inspirations. #realtalk
    Real talk. We today in the world hear bits and pieces when it comes to sermons. But if I were a person who want hear EVERY WORD, I come into the church sanctuary and hear the entire sermon, say what the pastor has to say, and THEN I can make my own commentary statement. Unlike “@hallehawk” from last September, she didn’t do that. I know her real name which I will disclose, but her twitter name is not. If you know this person, in Florida. Tell her this: Come to Wisconsin.  Come to Milwaukee. Have a sit down talk with the Pastor about why he said what he said and get it over with. And tell her also, what I do with these tweets is not for fun. I don’t get paid for it, nor have an endorsement for it. I do it out of my leisure to those who WANT TO HEAR AND SEE good news from the pews via Twitter.  Whether you are United Methodist Church related or not. If that was so important to her, why not ask for a transcript or a recording? I’m just saying. And for those who feel I’m doing a bad thing by calling her out, let me say this, folks called me out on social media, which at times I fired back. I’m not a minister. No, I don’t hold no papal degrees, or Ministry of Divinity. If the United Methodist Church were to have a Twitter Social Media Ministry in which I could GET PAID Every Sunday per tweet, as a career choice, you darn right I would be paid up the ying/yang. And while were on the subject: I think the United Methodist Church members who do use Twitter, for communications or everyday work, should get compensated. Put that in your UMC Conferences, Annual Conferences, or any other conference that you feel should be beneficial. I’m just saying. And if you are a UMC Member, tweet it up! Or in this case, write letters to your District Superintendents, Bishops and etc. I’m just saying! And part of that can come from Apportionment. We know how we UMC’s do it. Just saying. Hey: Rethink Church! And plus since those in the church who are WAY OLDER THAN ME want to talk about how can the church get more YOUTH and YOUNG Folks into the church, maybe you have to include this.
    According to the standards in which I learned from the 2011 Rethink Church Workshop, which was hosted by The United Methodist Communications:
    • 1.7 Billions are online  – new mission of getting the church online.
    • 75% of Adults are online
    •64% use the internet for faith related reasons
    –Online has become a campfire around which people gather to tell their stories, meet people, and form relationships – all about connections – for resources.
    I had to put this out. Really. And hopefully lessons can be learned from this without judgment. Don’t judge my path if you have walked my journey! And goes for those who feel Tweeting, Texting, Facebooking, Googling, Binging, TweetDecking, and other forms of Social Media is a bad thing by sitting in the pews, and if you are a pastor, lay person or a person of faith that thinks it’s a bad thing or a distraction: Remember this from my pastor, not to call you out but just remember: “Jesus faced darkness. He was successful.” Sermon quote. And to add: Don’t hate the player, hate the game! That needs NO scriptural references! Many might be asking questions.  I know this. But hey, just real about it. And plus since those like to say, why can’t they all that stuff outside of the church? Well guess what. This Twitter thing I do, is a first step!
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