Are you on
Twitter? Is it a purpose-driven social media tool? Rick Warren, pastor at
Saddleback Church, thinks it is—and, in fact, he is one of top 20 most
influential people on Twitter.
In a Klout study compiled for Forbes magazine this month, Warren—whose Twitter handle is @RickWarren—and the Dalai Lama are the only two religious leaders on the list. The rest of the list was made up of entertainment, political and news “celebrities.”
Though he has
been a Twitter member for only a little over a year, Warren has more than
200,000 followers. More than 50,000 have retweeted one or more of his messages.
According to the study, Warren’s message reach per tweet is approximately 1
million people, including retweets.
first appeared in July of 2007, my staff told me that I should sign up, but I
said no way,” says Warren, author of the blockbuster best-selling book The
Purpose-Driven Life. “The idea of telling people the minutia of my life seemed
so narcissistic. But while conducting a funeral with pastor John Piper, he told
me he used Twitter to teach. So I decided to add it as one of the mentoring
tools I use with my network of young church leaders. I guess other people
wanted to listen in, too.”
Warren also uses
Facebook, LinkedIn, podcasts, and three free e-newsletters to communicate, in
addition to several websites. Warren mixes up his tweets with personal advice
and challenges, Scripture verses, leadership mentoring, encouragement and offbeat
“Twitter is one
of many new channels of communication now available to both listen and speak to
a broader, more diverse audience, who’d never attend a church service,” Warren
says. “I enjoy interaction with atheists all the time on Twitter. However,
technology is never an end in itself and the message still trumps the medium.
Hopefully, these new channels help begin conversations that will lead to
deeper, face-to-face community, through our small groups and one-on-one
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