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What would Jesus tweet?

Twitter JesusRecently @dizzley tweeted me that I was listed at churchleaders.com as one of the Top 100 Christian Leaders to Follow on Twitter.

The editorial team of the site used “a combination of metrics including Tweetgrader.com, our own personal algorithm and a little editorial energy. In general, the rating system we used took into account the number of followers, the power of followers and the number of updates—with a little common sense added in for good measure.”

@Liturgy is ranked as number 21. I am the second non-American on the list. I am sure I don’t need to do the reflecting for you about the type of people who appear on the list and whether or not the approach of this site fits into any of the types you discern.

Certainly this post is, once again, a challenge for Christian leaders to make use of social media. We may discuss whether or not twitter is an effective, efficacious platform for Christian mission and ministry, but my bottom line would be that it is incredibly quick and easy to use. 140 characters do not take a long time to write! [The effectiveness of twitter divided by the energy expended, Liturgy's copyright social media efficacy quotient, is going to be high]. So whatever your and/or your community’s approach is to the internet/social media – I would suggest that twitter be part of your approach.

The typical parson’s day in the past would have begun with Morning Prayer; the morning in the study; the afternoon out visiting concluding with Evening Prayer; the evening at meetings. Those days, for most clergy, have gone. Especially visiting. The visiting was an important part of making connections. When I was a parish priest I promised two things: quality services that connected, and I visited. The parish thrived.

The question whether we are leading quality worship services that connect, I will leave to one side in this post. What I will stress is that in this new and changing context, if you are not visiting, how are you making those connections now? [Most of us realise the if-we-build-a-church-building-they-will-come approach is mostly over]. Social media has to be part of the answer in most places in the third millennium.

If Jesus were in today’s context he would be tweeting. He would have a great following and a creative, surprising approach to tweets. He would use twitter not just to proclaim but to engage and relate*.

Whether those who followed him would follow him – that’s another question. But you and I who follow him can tweet as he would… We can use facebook, blogposts, pinterest,… as he would…

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ps. *It was nice/revealing/other synonyms – in the discussion following the Christian leaders on twitter post, that I am seen as one of the people on the list who relates/engages.

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18 Responses to What would Jesus tweet?

  1. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of their tweets is forgotten in God’s hearing.” (This tweet was adapted to become Luke 12:5).

    “Therefore whatever you have tweeted in private will be re-tweeted for all to read, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be tweeted from the housetwops.” (Adapted to become Luke 12: 3)

  2. kudos! always a good place to visit and wonderful resources to aid in the spiritual journey. thanks for what you do and how you do it!
    just peace, always, all ways, for ever…
    Gary

  3. Hmm…congratulations?

    You’re right, Bosco. I believe Jesus would be tweeting, but I’m not Jesus, and the few hours I was part of Twitter, I nearly went mad. I was in and out quickly to save what’s left of my sanity.

    June

  4. Might he have tweeted from one of his siblings in Greek – or Hebrew such as
    ἵνα βλέποντες βλέπωσιν
    καὶ μὴ ἴδωσιν
    καὶ ἀκούοντες ἀκούωσιν
    καὶ μὴ συνιῶσιν
    μήποτε ἐπιστρέψωσιν
    καὶ ἀφεθῇ αὐτοῖς τὰ ἁμαρτήματα

  5. ‘Bosco the vicarbot’…sounds like a Fox cartoon series?! Patent yourself, quickly!

    The ever-popular quote WWJD is from a book written in 1897, long before computer-communication was conceived http://ingoodfaith.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/in-his-steps-what-would-jesus-do/

    The book ends thus with the salvation and peace of the main character, an arrogant vicar who was spirituallky moved to make real changes in his world:

    He rose at last with the awe of one who has looked at heavenly things. He felt the human forces and the human sins of the world as never before. And with a hope that walks hand in hand with faith and love, Henry Maxwell, disciple of Jesus, laid him down to sleep, and dreamed of the regeneration of Christendom and saw in his dream a church of Jesus “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing”, following Him all the way, walking obediently in His Steps.

    THE END.

    *

    I’m not sure ‘twitter’ or any kind of simple cleverness can adequately convey all that.

    *

    If the Bible does ‘tweet’ it would have to be from the sermon on the mount, especially to me at least

    ‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get?’

    that probably doesn’t even fit in a twitter post…

    does it??

    • Option 1: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father (cont) http://tl.gd/l0j0ou

      Option 2: split it into 2 tweets:
      1) But I tell U, luv yr enemies & pray 4 those who persecute U,that U may B children of yr Father in heaven.
      2) HeCauses hisSun 2rise onThe evil & the gd &sends rain on th righteous &th unrighteous alike. If Uluv only thoseWhoLuv Uwht reward will Uget?

      Best I can do quickly

      Blessings.

  6. I don’t know what Jesus would tweet, but at least two of his surrogates, @MercifulJesus and @MercifulSavior, aren’t exactly tweeting up a storm. It seems that @jesus and @jesusbarjoseph are a bit more active, but I’m not sure how engaging they are, nor how closely their messages follow those of the master, so to speak.

  7. Congratulations, Bosco. I haven’t been able to “get” Twitter yet, but everything you do is of such high quality that I’m sure you are doing great things with your tweeting ministry.

    Pope Benedict XVI, though he failed to make the Top 100 list, has been tweeting regularly for the past couple of months and reportedly has quite a large following. According to CNN, when the news of his resignation broke today, one wag commented (I think as a tweet):

    “Pope joins Twitter, loses all interest in his real job.”

    • I love the “wag tweet”, Mary. Yes, it took a bit for me to “get” Twitter. There was a penny-dropping (read “Epiphany”) moment. Thanks for the encouragement. Blessings.

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Rev. Bosco Peters Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.