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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 9, 2009

Does Twitter work during worship?

You hear it often before meetings, cultural events and worship: Please turn off your cell phones. But some churches are urging worshipers to keep their phones on to “integrate text-messaging into their relationship with God.”

Bonnie Rochman writes in Time that people can text questions about the sermon that pastors will answer later. Or they can tweet in real time and hope another congregant will offer insight. Some use Twitter to take notes. At one church a pastor preaches while another taps out, “In what way do you feel the spirit of God moving within you?”

Parishioner Robbie McLaughlin—who is “caught up by the way it transformed how he worshiped”—likes to see what God is doing in other people’s lives during the service.

The Time article notes: “If worship is about creating community, Twitter is an undeniably useful tool. The trick is to not let the chatter overshadow the need for quiet reflection that spirituality requires.”

So, is Twitter a useful, way cool worship tool? Does it build community? And a relationship with God? Or should Twitter be turned off during worship?

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