April 15th, 2011

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Using Twitter To Find A Church While Out Of Town

This is the story of how yarbiedoll and I came to find ourselves worshiping at River Church in Charleston, SC a few weeks ago. It's a story of worship leader conferences, "emerging" (whatever that's supposed to mean now) worship styles, and Twitter. Then, I talk a bit about our experience at River Church (spoiler: it was great). If none of that interests you, move along, there's nothing more to see here.

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We felt very welcome at River Church, and it will be where we worship when we're in Charleston in the future.

What I find particularly interesting about this story is how much social media technology played a part in making it happen. If I hadn't been following the #lift hashtag on Twitter when we were in Atlanta, I never would have met Stephen. If I hadn't have met Stephen, I never would have heard of River Church. It's very clear that Twitter played a crucial part in getting yarbiedoll and me through the door at River Church when we visited Charleston. Is my experience typical? No. But it did open my eyes a bit to how important it is for a church to have a good web and social media presence, especially if it wants to reach out to and attract younger people. It also showed me that having a Twitter presence alone isn't enough -- a church needs to actually use it in an interactive manner. When I tweeted questions to @RiverChurch, I got answers, information, and a personal invitation. It's not a "one size fits all" strategy.

And, really, that's one thing church should be about -- building relationships.