The ultimate social network.
That was the tag line for our sermon series on The Theology of Twitter. My creative team at Trietsch Memorial UMC in Flower Mound TX did this series in May, 2009. We got national attention for our cutting edge creativity. I hope we did some good for the kingdom of God, too. Here’s what the Chicago Tribune said about us:
The series was a three week arc that ended on Pentecost.
The first week used 1 Corinthians 12 to focus on the true calling and ideal of the church. People increasingly look to online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for connection and community. While it often fails, Christ’s church is called to be the ultimate social network, the place for connection and community.
The second week answered the question, isn’t Twitter just narcissism, a platform for self-focused people to broadcast the minutiae of their lives? As 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us, without love, our actions are just noise. The church is nothing with love. It is one thing to be part of a social network, but quote another to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ.
The final week focused on the nature of being community the church. As the digital language of our culture rapidly evolves, and social networks emerge, ironically some people can feel even more lonely and isolated. Churches today can have an anonymous feel, but the early church took community seriously. Part of what makes Christianity unique from other religions is its emphasis on the communal nature of faith in Jesus.
As I told the news crew in an unused sound bite, “If people walk out of church and just think of Twitter, then we failed. But if they sit in front of their computers, log on, and start to think about what it means to be in community, then we did our job.”