The 2014 BCS national championship for college football will take place this coming Monday. The two teams chosen to compete for the championship are the Auburn Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles.
William Shiell, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, took to Twitter and asked the Twitter followers of his church and those of the First Baptist Church of Auburn who they thought would win.
Tripp Martin, senior Pastor FBC Auburn, replied on Twitter with a quote to eagles wings; referencing the Auburn battle cry of “War Eagle.”
This ignited a comical, fun exchange of Tweets involving references to each team's mascot.
Beyond Social to Missions Partnership
While the Twitter exchange between the two churches has been fun, the pastors took the opportunity to make it something bigger. They will plan a joint mission endeavor with the winning church hosting the mission project. The other church will travel to the host church. There they will work together on a local mission project.
3 Lessons From Churches' Twitter Duel
1. Use Twitter To Be Social
Don't be shy to throw fun, non-theological questions out on social media. Use it for more than just a marketing platform. If Pastor Shiell had not had the courage to start the conversation, there would not be the engagement and mission opportunity that resulted. Had Pastor Martin not responded in a fun manner, the conversation may not have progressed as it did.
2. Have Good, Clean Fun!
Be an example to your church members and those who observe that you can have good, clean fun. From rivals to big games, too often we only see the negative that comes from sports fans. These pastors and their churches have been able to root for their teams and still keep it honorable, clean, and fun.
Athletics can be serious business, but life goes on after Monday night is over. G.K. Chesteron said, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” So with a little help from our friends up north, let’s laugh a bit, and do some good together. Thank the Lord, it’s just a game. ~ Bill Shiell blog
3. Lead to the next level
Look for ways these types of unexpected interactions can be leveraged to further the Kingdom of God.
Bill and I agreed that a joint project would demonstrate solidarity and purpose between our congregations.
Who would have thought a bit of bantering over a college football championship game could lead to missions opportunities where gridiron foes could come together and work on the same missions team. ~ Tripp Martin
[reminder]What are some other examples of churches using social media in a fun way to engage members of their church and community?[/reminder]
- Auburn First Baptist Church – website | Twitter
- First Baptist Church Tallahassee – website | Twitter | William Shiell on Twitter
- ABP News Religious Herald
[image courtesy © lightstock.com / Alex Workman for base image – edited]