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Thumb Wars

Can text messaging and Twitter enhance worship or just interrupt it?

One would be hard-pressed to go an entire day without bumping into someone (sometimes literally) with their phone out and their thumbs punching buttons. It used to be limited to teenagers at the mall, but now text messaging is commonplace, as is its sister technology, Twitter. And for many churches, this is great news because these technologies provide opportunities to foster community—even during worship.

Text appeal

One of the first churches to incorporate text messaging into a worship service was Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

"When our church plant was small, our young and unchurched crowd would routinely interrupt my sermons to ask questions," says Mark Driscoll, preaching pastor at Mars Hill. "But as the church continued to expand, it became impossible to continue serving people by answering their questions."

So Mars Hill began encouraging people to submit questions via text messaging during the service. The questions were screened, and at the end of the sermon, Driscoll answered ...

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