How to make yourself very unpopular…
Ok, before I do this, a rationale and a caveat. The rationale is this: I’ve seen loads of ‘five/ten/17 best Christian tweeters’ posts on blogs, websites and even in Christian publications, and generally speaking, they’ve followed a familiar pattern. I’m not saying that the writers are necessarily wrong to pick the users or accounts that they’ve chosen, but they do usually end up drawing from the same small pool. Since I waste huge amounts of my time on twitter talking to a really diverse bunch of people, I thought I’d make my own list of ten people whose feeds I really like reading, and share it with you. It’s an eclectic list, but that of course reflects the wonderful diversity of the church – and the brilliance of twitter in creating a place where we can all get on (sort of) together.
I’ve tried to choose people who consistently use twitter well. They interact more than they broadcast; they find interesting stuff and share it with the world; they definitely DON’T just post quotes from CS Lewis / CH Spurgeon / Joel Osteen every couple of hours. My life would be poorer without these interactions. More efficient, but poorer. I hope you like them too.
The caveat: These aren’t the only ten twitter accounts I like. There were at least fifty on my mental shortlist. There are some people I have deliberately left off because they get mentioned enough in this sort of article, and there are lots who I haven’t listed in the interest of nepotism (ruling out my brilliant former interns, and my Youthwork, Childrenswork and Youthwork Summit teams).
In no particular order then…
1) Hannah M (@Boudledidge) – ‘Opinionated woman and blogger’; Hannah continually challenges me not only on the issue of women in the church, but more importantly, about the wider way in which society views and treats women. Sometimes I need her to point out the stuff that I can’t see for myself because, obviously, I’m not a woman.
2) Jarrod Cooper (@jarrod_cooper_) – Increasingly well-known worship leader, DJ, speaker and pastor. But I’ve included him not because he’s becoming elevated, but because he continues to focus on humility, hidden-ness and the importance of the small and local. One of the very few ‘well-known’ Christians on twitter who seems to genuinely get that it’s about the Cross, not the stage.
3) Yinka K (@Yinkster) – I love this guy. He’s just consistently encouraging, and very funny. I regularly seek out his timeline for a bit of uplift. Also a great retweeter of interesting stuff.
4) Martin Wroe (@MartinWroe) – One of a few people who started out as a twitter friend and has subsequently become a real-life buddy. Constantly challenging (to me personally, and to culture as a whole); great writer; Greenbelt trustee. Plus, considering who his mates are, puts some of twitter’s worst name-droppers to shame with his tight-lipped class.
5) Tony Flavin (@MiserPeccator) – Very funny, ecumenically-minded Catholic chaplain. Topical, interesting, and deserves about ten times the followers he has.
6) Peter Ould (@PeterOuld) – Again, Peter is someone I find myself often disagreeing with, but I’m so grateful to have his perspective. Always has something to say on church, politics and sexuality.
7) Maggi Dawn (@MaggiDawn) – Before she left for a desperately impressive new job at Yale, Maggi invited me to lunch at her house. It was really, really nice. So is she. I think she’s probably one of the most prophetic voices on Twitter.
8) Dave Roberts (@Partakers_Dave) – This guy is great, and also far too humble to listen to this. So I’ll say it again – THIS GUY IS GREAT. At the absolute forefront of finding new ways to help and reach people – particularly the ‘last and the least’ – through digital media. Top class.
9) Steve Bateman (@Steve_Bateman) – A bit like Benny Hinn, but without the silly hair and sharp suits. And also, I believe him when he says he’s seen someone miraculously healed. Whether you believe miracles happen today or you don’t, follow Steve, and read his frequent Healing-on-the-Streets accounts. He’s the real deal.
10) Caroline Lawrence (@CarolineLawrenc) – A selfish fave really – Caroline is the prolific author of The Roman Mysteries, and a real authority on writing. Her feed is packed with writing tips, and she’s unpretentious and giving enough to engage with anyone who tweets her.
There you go – MY top ten. In no way definitive, but a jolly good list all the same, IMHO.
Enjoy. Or get angry and throw stuff.
Fun to have some alternatives – some names that I recognised as being my top tweeters too, and some that I don’t know. Always good to get new suggestions!