Do we need a Christian Twitter?

gospelr.pngI spotted an interesting article on TechCrunch a few days ago.

In the post Gospelr: Twitter For Christians, Don Reisinger wrote about a brand new service specifically for Christians. Gospelr is microblogging for Christians and can even be set up to send posts to Twitter.

It’s got some interesting features that make life easier for users such as the colour coding. A normal post to Gospelr is shaded brown. Replies made to you are shaded green, while imported messages from services like Twitter are colored in blue.

I’ll admit that I headed on over to the site and signed up to check things out. It was a very busy site a few days ago as many people started signing on but it seems to have slowed down now. I guess it’ll need to reach a certain critical mass for it to be worthwhile.

I suppose the question remains, why do we need a service like this specifically for Christians? If extra functionality is added to allow it to display my tweets from Twitter I reckon I’ll get a bit more use out of it but I’m always cautious of anything that creates a Christian subculture.

While I fully understand the desire and even the need for like minded people to gather together, I wonder if there is good cause to duplicate services that could already achieve that purpose.

Ryan left the following comment at the TechCrunch article:

Couldn’t this have been done by setting your Twitter account to private, and only following people who align with your beliefs? Just sayin’…

He wasn’t alone in questioning the need for Gospelr. Buddy commented:

keeping the christian subculture alive! thankfully, because Jesus really would prefer us not to associate with sinners.

i’m headed over to my favorite christian restaraunt to eat some christian pancakes and read my christian paper, then i’m going to go to my christian job and open my christian computer and communicate with my christian friends and cohorts.

please stop making this stuff. just use twitter or the ten million other tools like this if you want to communicate “share thoughts, ideas, words of encouragement, prayer requests, daily scripture readings, and oh so much more.”

christian t-shirts are a bad idea. christian bumper stickers are a bad idea. christian twitters are a bad idea.

Dave said:

brings an interesting new meaning to the expression, “preaching to the converted”

Joe commented:

My question for gospelr is what prevents us from sharing thoughts, lifting others in prayer, announce causes that need help, encouragement on twitter in the first place.

You know when I think Jesus will return? When the entire Christian subculture dies a horrific death.

Jesus did not call us to huddle amongst ourselves and exclude all others. Light much? Salt much? Get into the world. Love them. Serve them. If necessary, you die for them.

While I admit that some of the posts I’ve seen on Gospelr would suggest they were made by people hopelessly out of touch with the wider world, I think there are still plenty of people using the service who have every intention of staying connected to the society around them.

So if we’re going to jump in and use a service like Gospelr, how should we use it? As a way of ‘shutting out the world’? I hope not. How about a way of connecting with others who share our faith and combining to reach out to the world? That would be my hope. I appreciate any opportunity to have my faith sharpened by others and being able to connect with other Christians through Gospelr might be a very good thing.

If you haven’t tried Gospelr, give it a go. Let me know what you think.

Do you think we need to duplicate services like Twitter and others or should we simply use the original and be salt and light? What do you see as the benefits or the disadvantages of such services.



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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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5 Comments

  • Two things …

    1) I agree with you. I think that we’re better off if we don’t live like we don’t want to associate with the rest of the world. Make no mistake, I don’t mind preferring to do business with Christians or something along those lines. If we ever replace my car, I intend to go to a certain Christian used car salesman (it turns out that those two things aren’t mutually exclusive — who knew?).

    But the whole idea of setting up the subculture, and living in another world, is harmful to the idea of a witness. Our job is to be a witness … if we’re shut up in our e-caves, then we’re not doing that.

    Great post, and some great things about which to think.

    2) I wanted to let you know that I’ve got your submission for the Christian Carnival.

  • Good post. Outside of the local church (and right now the seminary), I prefer not to be in groups that are exclusively Christian. I have a strong desire for my online presence to be a light to the lost, not another opportunity to look inwardly at other believers. For that reason, I’m “friends” with believers and nonbelievers online.

  • I also see the danger of a Christian ‘sub culture’ in gospelr. However, since gospelr has integration with Twitter it seems more like a tool to help Christians connect with each other for encouragement from other believers. You can certainly share your faith via Twitter, but I see gospelr’s role being more as a catalyst for others to use social networking tools to share the gospel, and discover other fellow believers at the same time. I honestly wouldn’t have the foggiest idea about how to find other Christians on Twitter, where as with gospelr, it is fairly easy. 🙂

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