As parish and diocesan catechetical leaders we are committed to the ongoing learning and spiritual formation of ourselves, friends, colleagues and members of our diocesan and parish communities.
In addition to the traditional methods of reading, listening to presentations and attending workshops, classes, and conferences, Twitter can be a tool for ongoing learning, catechesis, and evangelization.
We can use Twitter to share information about the Catholic faith, belief and practice.
Desta Goehner, Director of Congregational Relations at Cal Lutheran University has been a long time user and consultant to churches in the many ways that social media can be integrated in church and ministry.
I asked Desta to share her insights on the value of Twitter for church life, religious education, and evangelization.
“Jesus says that where two or more are gathered, I am there. Lots of people are on Twitter. There are 313 million monthly users in 2016. Why would we as the Church not go there? It’s the easiest place of evangelism these days and is super-accessible to us.
“Twitter is a great way for us to tell the story of God, Jesus and the Church. It’s a place that we can show how we wrestle with God, listen to how others are wrestling with God, and be in a global community. We can hold and use Twitter as a sacred space.
“Twitter connects people to each other that may have never otherwise been connected. Online community can be real community. It doesn’t replace in-person community, but it can be real community.
“People used to come to church. That is changing. Why can’t we take Church to them? Why can’t we take what is happening in our churches out to the people? We can use digital and social media to do that. We can take the pulpit to the people using Twitter. We can tweet sermons, prayers, images and bring these sacred things to a digital place. Why not increase the audience of your message or worship? Sharing sacred content on Twitter expands your message and audience. Take the pulpit to the people. Use Twitter to do it!
“Listen to what people are saying about the Church and God: Check out hashtags like: #ChSocM, #Church, #God, #Jesus.”
Here are a few tweeters that catechetical leaders may want to follow”
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholic Relief Services
Fr. Jim Martin, SJ
Salt & Light
Our Sunday Visitor
Catholic News Service
Fr. Tom Reese, SJ
U.S. Catholic Magazine
Notre Dame Institute for Church Life
Acts of Faith: Washington Post
From these and others I find information and resources that I retweet on my Twitter accounts: DanPierson at eCatechistToday and DanPierson@faithAlivebooks. Both of these accounts are linked to my blogs: www.eCatechist.com and www.faithAlivebooks.com
Explore ways Twitter can benefit both you and your ministry. We are in the “business” of catechesis and evangelization. Twitter is a great tool to further our mission.
Check out Twitter Basics: Twitter for Business at business.twitter.com/en/basics.html