“Every person I’ve ever trained on Twitter seems to think it’s the most difficult and confusing of all the social networks.”
That is a quote from Stephanie Schwab, a well-known social media trainer.
Depending on how much experience you have with Twitter and how long you’ve used it, Twitter can sometimes seem to be a beast of a social network.
Many times people wonder things like:
- How can I get more followers?
- How can I get more retweets?
- What’s the difference between a mention and an @reply?
While it might seem that there are so many things to learn about Twitter, there’s no doubt that it is a great tool for ministry.
You can think of Twitter just like you would think of one giant party.
When you go to the party, you’re able to meet new people, engage in conversation, and build new relationships.
That’s why Twitter is such a fantastic tool for ministry.
3 Consequence of Not Using Twitter For Ministry
1. Consequence #1 – You’re Missing Out on Fulfilling the Great Commission Tomorrow Using the Digital Tools of Today
In 2006 and 2007, Facebook and Twitter burst onto the scene. They began to gain popularity quickly.
Some people dismissed them as being the next MySpace.
This was a problem because MySpace left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
There were a lot of people who flocked to the social network and ended up leaving it when it didn’t keep up with the times.
But over the years, Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we communicate.
Social media has become the digital language of today.
It has changed our world, and it’s here to stay.
2. Consequence #2 – You Could be Wasting Your Time Today on Things That Will Produce Little Fruit Tomorrow
The Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80/20 rule, has radically changed the way that we view productivity and effectiveness.
Wilfredo Pareto coined the Pareto Principle in the late 1800s.
As Pareto was doing research, he realized that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people.
Pareto took this ratio and saw that it applied to many areas in life and in business.
The bottom line of the Pareto Principle is that 20% of your input is usually responsible for 80% of your results.
That means that of all the things that you are doing in ministry, just a small 20% of them are the reasons for 80% of your results.
Our accounting pastor recently had a meeting with me in his office.
He asked me if we should still advertise in the phone book.
I told him that I thought it was a waste of money. After all, who uses a phone book anymore?
Only a very small amount of people still use a phone book today. Most people will go to the computer or to their phone to do a Google search when they want to look up a business or ministry.
If you’re not using Twitter for ministry, you could be stuck in the past doing things that are yielding very little results.
3. Consequence #3 – You’re Missing Out on Being a Multiplier
One of the best reasons for using Twitter for ministry is that you can reach so many people.
When you write tweets that are sharable, then your followers are going to retweet them.
That way, it’s not just your followers that are seeing your tweets, but the followers of your followers.
I recently created an evangelistic tweet, by the grace of God, performed well on Twitter.
Below is a screenshot of the analytics from my tweet.
In the first 24 hours, here were the results:
- The tweet was seen by 5,175 people
- 76 people favorited the tweet
- 50 people retweeted the tweet
- 19 people from my followers clicked on the link
Those are some pretty great results, don’t you think?
Make sure you’re not missing out on Twitter’s multiplier effect.
3 Benefits of Using Twitter For Ministry
Just like there are consequences of not using Twitter for ministry, there are also benefits.
Here are the top three benefits for using Twitter for ministry.
1. Benefit #1 – You’ll Be a Fruitful Righteous Tree
The Word says that if you win souls for Christ then you are a wise person.
Twitter is a great way to tell others about the Savior of their souls.
I’ll be sharing with you later on in this blog post how you can win souls for Christ using Twitter.
2. Benefit #2 – The Bible Encourages You to Redeem the Time
Ephesians 5:16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Christians know that we are living in the last days.
There are so many earthquakes, murders, and horrible things that are happening in our country and around the world.
Unbelievers have questions about why these things are happening, and what happens to them after they die.
This is your chance to redeem the time and tell others about our great Savior.
3. Benefit #3 – You’ll Be Using the Digital Language of Today
Facebook and Twitter are widely responsible for social media becoming the digital language of today.
Facebook boasts more than 1.2 billion active users, and Twitter has more than 300 million.
So many of the social networks are growing, and people are using them every day.
When you use Twitter for ministry, you’ll be communicating to large numbers of people who are already using social media.
Top Five Ways to Use Twitter for Ministry in Order of Good to Great
Below you’ll find the top five ways to use Twitter for ministry.
I’ve ordered them in order of good to great.
That means that I’ll be doing a countdown from number five to number one.
The number five way is going to be a very good way to use Twitter for ministry.
The number four way is going to be an even better way to use Twitter for ministry.
We’ll go all the way to number one, which is the best and most amazing way to use Twitter for ministry.
5. Top Way #5 – Tweet Scripture
Tweeting Bible verses may seem like a great way to use Twitter for ministry. However, this practice is somewhat controversial.
Not everyone agrees that tweeting Scripture is a good idea.
Some Christians think that tweeting Scripture without providing the full context of the chapter causes God’s Word to fall on deaf ears.
They believe that tweeting Bible verses doesn’t really do much, and it can be sometimes annoying if someone tweets too many Bible verses.
I disagree with this point of view.
I think that tweeting Bible verses is a wonderful idea.
Here are three reasons why I believe every Christian should be tweeting Bible verses.
1. God’s Word Has a Purpose
Every time that God’s Word goes forth, it accomplishes the purpose that God intended for it to carry out.
It’s never a waste to share God’s Word on Twitter.
2. God’s Word is Powerful
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
God’s Word has the power to lift you up, build you up, and change the way you think.
It makes sense to share it often with others.
3. God’s Word Brings Peace
So many times when I share a Scripture on Twitter, one of my followers will reply back to me and say, “Thank you, that’s just what I needed to hear.”
That’s because there are many times when believers are going through a rough time in their lives.
God’s Word is an anchor for their soul, and brings them the peace they so desperately need.
4. Top Way #4 – Search for People Who Are Open to the Gospel
Certain people are more open to the gospel than others.
If you’re able to find these types of people and minister to them, then you’ll be making excellent progress in your Twitter ministry.
I’d like to introduce you to the receptivity – resistance axis.
It looks like this.
The receptivity – resistance axis is a way to visually show where an unbeliever or a backslider falls on how receptive or how resistant they are to the gospel message.
I’d like to thank this article by Charles Arn for making this very important information public.
Unbelievers and backsliders can fall anywhere on this axis, and they’re constantly moving towards either being more receptive or more resistant.
There are certain disruptive life events that can cause a person to move from being resistant to being receptive to the gospel message.
“The more disruptive a life event is to a person’s psychological equilibrium, the more it will cause him/her to be spiritually receptive,” says Charles Arn.
People most often make decisions for Christ when they are going through transitions. Most do not make decisions about new commitments and directions in their life when everything is going well.
We make those decisions when we are in the midst of stress and difficulty. When the church is there to help and share the gospel at the point of their greatest need, people respond, because those are the times people are the most open. Robert Pierson, from the book, Needs Based Evangelism
Additionally, I’d like to introduce you to the Social Readjustment Scale.
The Social Readjustment Scale is a helpful chart that gives a numerical score to some of the most disruptive transitional events that can cause unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel.
Below is a partial image of the social readjustment scale which shows a few examples of these disruptive transitional events.
You’ll find that at the very top of the chart is divorce. If someone has gone recently through a divorce, then they are more likely to be open to you ministering to them.
For the full list of the Social Readjustment Scale, please see this article.
Not too long ago, I had one of my followers send me a direct message. I’ll call her name Lilly.
Lilly sent me a direct message asking me what I thought about abortion.
I told her that I was against abortion because I believed what God’s Word says about the sanctity of life.
I then asked Lilly why she was asking.
She told me that she was asking because she was pregnant, and her boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion.
I then proposed to Lilly that I could send her a link to a video about the subject, and that maybe she could watch it to get a better understanding of abortion.
She agreed, so I sent to her a link to 180 The Movie.
However, Lilly messaged me back and said that she wasn’t able to watch the movie because of her Internet connection.
So I proposed that I could mail her a DVD copy of the movie if she had access to a DVD player.
Lilly said that she had one, and so she sent me her mailing address.
When I saw where Lilly lived, my mouth dropped to the floor!
She lived in Namibia!
I’m halfway around the world in Los Angeles, and here’s this precious soul contemplating having an abortion on the other side of the world.
I didn’t even know where Namibia was except that it was somewhere in Africa.
Was the DVD going to get to her village? Would it have an impact on her? Would it cause her to change her mind?
It seems like the odds weren’t favorable.
So I went to my church family and I told them the story. We began to pray for Lilly and for the DVD to arrive to her safely.
The next day, I got the DVD, packed it, and sent it to Lilly.
After two months, I heard back from Lilly.
“I got the DVD that you sent me,” she messaged me on Twitter. “Thank you very much for sending it.”
“I’m glad to hear that you got it, Lilly. So what did you think?” I asked her eagerly.
“Well Peter, I decided that I’m going to keep the baby! Thank you for helping me through this time. I’m now going to start going back to church and start living for God. I was a backslidden Christian because of my boyfriend.”
Wow, thank You Lord! All the glory and all the honor be to You!
Using Twitter Search to Minister to Those Who Are Receptive to the Gospel
So if you want to use Twitter for ministry, you can look for people who are going through disruptive transitional events.
While abortions are considered to be disruptive events, you won’t find many people on Twitter sharing about their personal experience with abortion.
However, you can search for other terms that will lead you to find people who are receptive to the gospel.
For example, you can use Twitter’s search function to look for certain keywords like “divorce.”
When I did a search for it, below were the results.
Just make sure that you click on the All link instead of the Top Tweets default view.
That way you’ll see the search results from all the Twitter accounts instead of from only the most popular ones.
3. Top Way #3 – Share Links to Evangelistic Websites
There are a number of wonderful evangelistic websites that are created by amazing evangelistic teams.
These evangelistic websites have articles and videos that answer frequently asked questions that unbelievers have.
When you share a link to these evangelistic articles and videos, the unbeliever will be sent to a webpage where they can watch or read a piece of content.
However, what’s special about these sites, is that they have an evangelistic team on standby to answer questions.
So the unbeliever can either see a gospel presentation and make a profession of faith, or they can ask questions.
They can enter into a chat room or send a contact email, and somebody from the evangelistic web team will get back to them.
I share these types of links every day on my Twitter account.
Actually, I’ve created a free resource for you that includes 93 social media updates that you can share on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social network.
All you have to do is pray, copy, and share them on Twitter or your favorite social network.
I call it the “Share Your Faith in 30 Seconds” download. You can get access to it on my homepage.
2. Top Way #2 – Create Articles, Podcasts, and Videos to Share
I believe that every church or ministry should be creating articles, podcasts, and videos to share online.
God has given you a unique experience, talent, and voice.
There are certain people who only you can reach because of who you are.
That puts you in a unique position to be able to minister, disciple, and reach people for Christ.
I’ll link below to a few resources online that can help you get started with blogging, podcasting, and creating videos.
Some of the resources that I’ll be sharing below will be from secular websites.
However, all you really need to know is the technical how to. It’s actually not that difficult and you can get up and running in a day.
1. Top Way #1 – Sign Up to Get Notified
This blog post was first taught at a workshop at the Christian Ministries Training Association in Pasadena, California.
As I was teaching the workshop and I got to the top way to use Twitter for ministry, I realized how important this top way was.
In fact, out of all the ways to use Twitter for ministry, this one is the most important and the most impactful.
Doing this one thing has the power to unleash God’s miraculous power in your life.
If you do this one thing and use your social networks in this one specific way, then God will bless your life.
I was afraid of doing this one thing that I’m talking about, but by the grace of God, I did it.
God has blessed me for doing it beyond my wildest dreams!
It deserves its own blog post so that I can tell you more about how to do it.
So if you want to get access to this blog post once it goes live, then go ahead and sign up below.
Update June 9, 2015The blog post has been published and you can get access to it by clicking here.