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."