The Pope, Twitter, and Driving Culture


My 300 words for why you need to engage on twitter + even the pope is doing it.

An interesting shift took place in the western church this past century. It is the same shift that pushed churches to the sidelines of culture and conversation in the west. We, as the leaders of the church, began to see our role more as protecting the flock than engaging the broader community (which is what I saw Jesus do in the scriptures).

With a few decades our institutions began to reflect this belief. Churches became elaborate campuses to serve ourselves from cradle to grave. This removed and disconnected us from the pulse of culture, and from the life of our neighborhoods and cities. Increasingly the church is seen as a relic of a bygone era – I believe because of this very shift.

I get it, the secularization of our communities is terrifying because of the spiritual implications for those around us. But our withdrawal says that we passively accept that God has nothing to offer modern society and culture. Jesus has a lot to offer, and longs to see the whole world transformed and reborn.

Jump into the Stream

Now the Pope has joined twitter (Pontifex though at writing has not yet tweeted). This is important because it is a visible and symbolic step back into the stream that defines and makes our culture. Social media is the new town square – both global and local. You might not be participating, but they are choosing the YouTube videos you watch, the next big musician, and are even defining how the news you hear is told.

You may have your reasons for abstaining from social media, but it is the conversation of our day. Think twice before you write it off.

Oh, and incase the pope is reading this – “Hi there Benny 16!! Pray you’re doing well today”


The most influential conversations happen socially online. To abstain is to forgo any opportunity to inspire the transformation of creation.

Photo Credit: Charly Morlock