Pastor Provides a Lesson on How Not to Use Twitter

A highly respected pastor in Florida was cajoled into opening a Twitter account by some young staffers at his church. Now those same staffers are begging him to shut it down:

“We loved the idea of Pastor Royal tweeting nuggets of wisdom throughout the day,” says Carissa Black, one of several young staff members who urged Royal to embrace the new medium. “But he’s run away with it. It’s having the opposite effect we hoped for.”

Royal’s first tweets were conservative — scripture verses, previews of upcoming sermons and reminders about church events. Then, over time, his pace picked up considerably and his subject matter broadened…

Royal lately has tweeted at what some consider inappropriate moments. Last week during the 9 o’clock Sunday morning service, people’s phones buzzed with tweet notifications. They realized Royal had just tweeted while preaching a sermon: “Just blew my second point. Oh well.”…

Staff members are begging him to shut down his account and put the tweeting experiment behind him before he does permanent damage to his reputation. Royal could not be reached by phone for comment, but his secretary said he could “almost certainly be reached by tweeting him a direct message any time of day.” 

Twitter, or social media in general, is no different than any other communication tool – it’s great when used appropriately, but can literally be a detriment to you our your business if used inappropriately. For instance, would the pastor have even considered making a phone call or sending an email while giving his sermon? So why would sending a Tweet be okay?

Your lesson for today? With Twitter, or any other social media tools, proceed just as deliberately as you would when meeting someone in person, or sending them an email, or mailing them a letter.