As far as Gamble knows, few -- if any -- use Twitter to preach, though many use the outlet to discuss God. The medium allows the pastor to reach a broad, diverse audience, made up of different denominations and backgrounds.
“There are people in TwitterChurch who may never come to a real church, so to speak, because it may be intimidating to them,” Gamble says. “This is the first step for some people, and they may take another step at some point down the line and connect back to the church. This allows people to see, ‘What is this church thing about? What does it have for me?’”
Gamble plans to continue pastoring through TwitterChurch, he says. He’s even hoping to expand upon it with a website, but spreading more focus to sites like Facebook and YouTube would take the core -- the Twitter -- out of TwitterChurch. Gamble says he likes Twitter because he likes people, all people, and that’s what Twitter is.
In Gamble’s view, interacting with people on the social media site is something Jesus Christ would have done, or is at least reminiscent of the way in which Jesus interacted with his followers.
“In the New Testament, when you see Jesus interacting with people, he’s interacting with them quickly -- he’s asking them a few questions, then he’s healing them, raising them from the dead, casting out demons, and then moving on to the next one,” Gamble says. “And God can exist in Twitter. If we believe in God, then we believe in the power of God. If God is so powerful, then why can’t he operate in a 140-character tweet?”
Excerpts from TwitterChurch
On this particular night, Twitterchurch included 107 tweets, including those from Pastor Jay Gamble, and replies and re-tweets from his followers.
@jaygamble: Its time for #twitterchurch!!!!!
@jaygamble: as we always do ….lets start #twitterchurch with prayer ……. Come Holy Spirit …. In Jesus Name …..
@jaygamble: tonight our scripture is 1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
@jaygamble: and our #twitterchurch sermon topic is “Friends …. How many of us have them!!!!??”
@jaygamble: I want you to remember that scripture …. because your grandmother was right …. you lay down with the dogs you r gonna get fleas…..
@jaygamble: I want you to get this point tonight and REALLY evaluate the folk you walk closely with …. #twitterchurch
@jaygamble: if you are a student in school …. this scripture says you hang out with D and F students ….. LOOONG enough …. you will get D’s and F’s
@jaygamble: Jesus will meet you where you are … but help you get to where you need to be. #twitterchurch
@jaygamble: YOU ARE VALUABLE!!!! U choose who you will spend time with ... and all of us have limited time accounts... :) #twitterchurch