Twitter… the epitome of our short, direct ways of communication. When we are running between work, family, and other commitments, 140 characters seems to be all we can take in. It makes sense, then, that people are trying to share the Gospel one tweet at a time. The question is… does this really work?
Let’s say you love a particular Bible verse and you tweet it. For you, that might be a powerful message being sent out into the “Twitterverse” but will it have the same impact on others? One article from Churchm.ag titled Is Tweeting Scripture a Waste of Time? asks us to think:
- But what about a Scripture without context to the rest of the chapter, the sermon you are preaching on, or the impact it has had on your life?
- Does it move you to jump into the Word? Do you feel convicted to pray or serve others?
- Are you moved to sing songs of praise to God after 140 characters?
Mind you, the type of tweets talked about in this article are just the verse with no imagery or explanation included. These tweets, while important to the writer, might not be the best way to spread the Gospel. As the aforementioned article states, many individuals want to feel connected to and not preached at. The way to reach others is through relationship and connection, not being talked at and told what to do. I am not saying that all tweets that exclusively share Bible verses are meant to be so directive but try to imagine reading it from the perspective of someone who knows little to nothing about the Bible or Christianity. What message are they getting from your tweet?
So if sharing straight Biblical verses isn’t the direction to go in, how do we use Twitter to share the Gospel? It’s all about contextualization. We all contextualize the Bible, whether it be in preaching, daily conversations, or (for church nerds such as me) theological debate. We take what we read and apply it to our lives. As another article from Churchm.ag titled Communicating #thegospel in 140 Characters states “The best communicators have learned to say meaningful things in short and memorable ways. They can deliver big truths in little packages.” We want to apply Bible verses to our lives without looking the essence of the verse itself. We want to share the Good News in our actions and not as a single quote that can be glanced at and passed over. “…we want to make sure our messages aren’t watered down or “junk food”, but actually possess the Bread of Life as He is portrayed in the Bible.”
Let’s look at some examples of contextualization:
These are three examples of ways people have used words, images, and links to contextualize the Gospel and make is relevant on a platform like Twitter. So go forth…. find the Gospel in your life… and spread it like wildfire!