31 March, 2009

Twitter Church

LONG BEACH, CA - Rev. Daniel Vickers moved to California from Arkansas three years ago. His desire was to plant a church that would reach out to the vast lost population in Southern Cal. Despite his best attempts, Vickers struggled to get anyone to join his church. About six months ago, he realized that he needed to meet the population right where they are.

According to Vickers, "When I moved here, I tried to get people to come to a specific location for church. Nobody wanted to do it. I never even had a chance to do any expository preaching or singing Just As I Am. No one at all wanted to actually come to any sort of gathering. That's when I realized that I needed to contextualize to meet people where they are."

"I needed a new idea. That's when that Facebook guy inspired me."

Vickers dropped actually talking to people and began watching. He quickly found out that people in Long Beach basically don't talk face-to-face to one another anymore. A few use cell phones to talk, but the majority text all the time. In light of this, Vickers decided to plant what he believes to be the first Twitter Church.

Vickers told us (this time excited), "I now share with people all the time. I update my Twitter status at least 4 times per hour. Sundays are when things really get special. I now have a group of people that all watch and read as I update my status repeatedly on Sundays from 11 AM to noon. During that hour, I send hymns and sermon notes via Twitter. We also text on our cells during that time. Last week one person even got saved. Although I don't know who he is or where he lives exactly, I'm thrilled to add one more to the Kingdom.

"We have decided to name our church The Loving Twitter Community Fellowship. This is why we have a heart in our Logo above the Twitter name. Anyway, as we continue to grow we will gradually increase our technological capacity. Over the last three months, we have gone from 1 member (me) to over 700 members. According to the Pew Forum, we are currently the fastest growing church in California, and second fastest in the entire country. Only Lakewood Church is growing faster!"

When asked if he actually knows any of the members or if they ever get together, Vickers replied, "I know them by their statuses. They are constantly telling me how they are doing, what they are doing, who they are with, etc. We don't need to actually get together physically to be a church. The key is that we care about one another, even if we don't actually know what the others look like."

Vickers said that he foresees a time when all church buildings will become obsolete. "When people can stay in touch this easily, why would they want to take the time to get together? Just Twitter - it's that easy."


wkelly said...

This is funny now, but I predict that within three years someone will do this.

Jim Pemberton said...

I hear there's some dissent in the church. Some have come over from some of the Facebook Fellowships and are complaining about the ecclesiology. Apparently they like the way church used to be done last month on Facebook. For months they have met the old way tagging each other in random quizzes and poking each other to make sure they were still awake at 3 in the morning. But now they're having a hard time adapting to the Twitter way of doing things.

"I just don't get much out of it," texted "Mindy Williamson". She continued, "I don't think this new generation is very theologically astute. I mean, where is the ten-question quiz that tells you what Reformer you are most like. In Facebook I know that I am like Finney. He was a good Reformer wasn't he? But here in Twitter I haven't found it yet."

Darrel Davis said...

Actually, there is a hash tag for the twitter called #twurch no Joke. By the way, I tweeted this post. LOL. http://www.twitter.com/onlyfoundation

Kristi said...

Hmm... I just saw this article and laughed b/c I remembered reading your post -