Churches connect via social media: Flocks In for a tweet

Jeff Kunerth | Sentinel Staff Writer

May 10, 2009

David Loveless’ wife pulled him aside before he left the house one morning and gave him a talking-to. It was one of those “uh-oh” conversations that happen between husbands and wives.

Moments later, the senior pastor of Discovery Church in Orlando was still thinking about what it means to have a partner who can straighten you out when things start to swerve off course. So, using his BlackBerry, he posted a “tweet” on social-networking site Twitter, recounting the lesson he just learned and asking his followers whether they had somebody like that in their lives.

The use of social media — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and podcasts — is changing the way churches communicate with their congregations. The church bulletin is not going away, but it’s being augmented by the instant, interactive communication of the laptop, iPhone and BlackBerry.

“It’s a better way to reach people where they are at these days,” said Adrian Traurig, who handles worship and creative arts for Journey Christian Church in Apopka. “It keeps people connected. We post all our events and all the happenings here at Journey.”

Churches all over the country are using the 140-character messages of Twitter to notify members of events taking place that day, or that very moment. An Episcopal church in Worcester, Mass., tweets its members about its “Between Jobs Workshop,” while another church updates its congregation on efforts to resettle an Iraqi family.

On YouTube, others are posting sermons and videos of church choirs from across the nation.

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