“Follow.” That’s the word you click with the trackpad to connect with someone.
“Follow” is a loaded word for Christians, but yeah—I am probably reading too much into it. Not many people are following me anyway, so I don’t have to feel that presumptuous. But then I have the problem of not knowing what in the world I am going to offer any of those who assume clicking “Follow” for “@Byers_Andy” is a worthy move. Honestly, this is a problem for me. I signed up for Twitter to try to sort out what it does and how it would affect the way I interact and communicate. So far, I have found it helpful in directing me to a number of interesting articles. That’s great. But if signing up for Twitter means you are going to Tweet, I am afraid I am a poor citizen in the domain of that silhouetted blue bird.
I should not be that surprised at my poor performance on Twitter. I signed up for Facebook when I entered my second stint as a college pastor, assuming I should succumb to the way of things and get in touch on the terms of the 20somethings under my pastoral care. That was over three years ago, and I have yet to really catch on to that social medium either. I have gotten better about doing status updates. I should admit, however, that it seems as though half of my updates are links to my most recent blog posts. My guess is that many of my (eventual) Tweets will serve a similar purpose.
So my limited social media experience is limited to promoting my other media products: blog posts, and sometimes my book.
Or is it?
But maybe not. (But probably).
Surely there are biblical grounds for finding an outlet when you believe you have something helpful and edifying to voice…? Follow me. Where? To something else I have written that extends beyond 140 characters.
I wonder about the prophets. I’ve written about their embrace of a vocal vocation. Crying out in the city streets (or in the outlying wild) may well have seemed a presumptuous move. But that fire needed release from the quivering bones. And then there is Paul’s emphasis on spiritual gifts. They are to flourish in the church and for the church. In John 7, Jesus’ brothers are in the know when it comes to celebrity marketing—you gotta be in the right place at the right time to gain a following, meaning Jerusalem during Feast-time. Jesus shrugs off their counsel, yet shows up a few days later in Jerusalem at Feast-time. A curious portrayal, perhaps, of fine lines along slippery slopes.
The church, the city street, the desert, the Temple—locations of edifying speech. The space in which helpful words are publicly aired. Church, street, desert, Temple…
A strange “place.” But when someone clicks on “Follow,” the underlying assumption is that you are going somewhere… some place.
Twitter: still trying to figure you (and me) out.
Reader: your comments are invited.