Is it possible to truly give thanks in 140 characters or less?
During Thanksgiving 2011, many pastors who love Twitter as yet another useful platform to evangelize and encourage are proving this week they can tweet God’s word about gratitude at a steady clip.
When asked about whether he had to learn how to give thanks in a single tweet (Twitter allows any combination of 140 characters and letters maximum), Cypress Community Church elder Paul Steinbrueck said, “I live on Twitter, so I've learned to do everything in 140 characters or less.”
Steinbrueck, whose church is in Clearwater, Fla., tweeted at midweek, “Good morning! Instead of 1 day of Thanksgiving, how about living a life of thanksgiving?”
He said his tweet prompted him to write a blog post, later posted at Pastors.com, about the need to be thankful every day.
“Seeing tweets periodically that remind me to be thankful can help me refocus on the big picture,” Steinbrueck told The Christian Post. “So, tweeting things that help to remind others to be thankful - thanking people directly, posting quotes about gratitude, or tweeting links to blog posts about thankfulness is one way I try to help others be more thankful and raise the value of thankfulness in general.”
Some pastors are encouraging others on Twitter, no matter what their career, to also tweet about Thanksgiving themes.
T. D. Jakes (@BishopJakes), founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, tweeted:
“What are the things u are most thankful for and why? #countyourblessings"
Many pastors, in the habit of regularly posting Bible verses, chose verses related to the spirit of the holiday.
“But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you... Salvation belongs to the Lord!” – Jonah 2:9” and “I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you. – Psalm 35:18,” tweeted Mark Driscoll, pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
Ron Edmondson (@RonEdmondson), pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tenn., tweeted, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. http://bible.us/Ps107.1.NLT.”
Some pastors challenged their tweeps (Twitter followers) to look within themselves.
“Tomorrow millions will express thanks for all sorts of things without giving a second's thought to what or who it is they're thankful *to*,” posted Jared C. Wilson (@jaredcwilson), pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vt.
Other micro-posts on Twitter by pastors this week include:
“THANKS: Be Grateful for what God has given you GIVING: Be Faithful with what God has given you.” – Kerry Shook (@KerryShook), senior pastor of Woodlands Church, Texas.
“Be thankful for what you have and your satisfaction in what you have will increase. #Thanksgiving.” – Derwin L. Gray (@DerwinLGray), pastor of Transformation Church in Fort Mill, S.C.
Other tweets this Thanksgiving simply included quotes from well-known evangelists.
A message coming out of the Samaritan’s Purse ministry Twitter feed read, “Why should we give God thanks? Because everything we have comes from God. ~ Billy Graham.”