Why Piper’s Going to Tweet

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?

So far I’ve been resisting Twitter. I have an account, and as of this afternoon, 11 followers. I signed up several weeks ago but until this afternoon had not posted a tweet.

When I invited pros and cons on a recent Facebook post, cons outweighed the pros by about 7:1. My schedule is pretty full and I’d rather build in some margin for my soul than follow hundreds of my friends’ latest meal selection. I’m an early adopter, but tech still has to earn its way into my calendar.

Enter Pastor John Piper, who I know feels far more strongly and deeply about media intrusion than I do. Yet, Piper says he’s going to Tweet:

I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.

The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can. [more]

Still thinking about it. Convince me.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

8 replies on “Why Piper’s Going to Tweet”

Not sure I can convince or want to put here's a few benefits…

1. Creates more readers for your blog and therefore increases number you influence with your thoughts of leadership. You post on your blog and you can then update your twitter with a teaser and a short link using

2. Combines these with facebook because you can set your twitter updates to update your facebook status.

3. Connects you to more people to network with. Can use a service like 'wefollow'. Most people who follow me on twitter, I don't even know. But a number are in missions, Christian leaders, people with same passion.

4. You can find some resources as a result through others using twitter like above. Saw where someone mention monthly free download on June happened to be a fav book of mine that I might not read again but would listen to.

5. Sort of a repeat but twitter posts of others I follow are often teasers of their blogs or web news they highlight that I can choose to click or not. Some interesting reads as a result.

6. I think you could create a network of people on your team (and around the world), you sent an update that's shorter than an email and maybe not as timely. Like "I saw an article you should look at" or a meaningful verse you read this am.

"Leadership is influence. You are influential. Twitter is influence on the go." Those were my 140 characters that were sent in response.

Andy hits the major points. #6 is what I find the most helpful.

Andy and Russ just put 7 more points in the pro column. Thanks, guys, for the motivating practical tips. I may be coming to you for some tutelage.

I’m still wrestling, too. Did you read this week's TIME cover story? (Here:,8599,1902604,00.html) I thought it was insightful. But it also reinforced my belief that while Twitter is a great way to find and ingest up-to-the-minute information, it’s not the best way for ME to network socially (at least yet). It still seems like I’d have to pick through a lot of junk to find the jewels.

I agree with the guys above: for those like you and Piper who have a built-in audience and really great things to say, it’s an excellent way to increase your “tribe”.

I do see it as a must for movement-building with young people. Have you by any chance seen this interview with Don Tapscott (here: or read his book “Grown Up Digital”? (I’ve done the first, but not the second.) I found his conclusions fascinating, and quite pertinent to this issue, as well as many others related to our work with younger people.

Thanks so much for the link to Worthington Wire's linkage of the story.

I'm just trying to fill the web with good stuff! 🙂


on twitter, it's where the young people are. One friend who is also about my age responded to my being on twitter that for her, FB and email are quite enough. I told her I connected more with my own daughters and husbands on twitter than any of the others although I prefer them to Twitter.
and I am surprised at what I pick up as well. The Twitter water festival was an eye opener is terms of using it for good in terms of impact and speed.

I lack the discipline of an engineer to put it mildly, so i have to be serious about my diversions, however seems that I would agree with an earlier comment that "its where the young people are." for now.


Here’s just a brief story that sold me on twitter. Talked with a Muslim who just became a Believer via We exchanged numerous emails until they found me on twitter! Saw some of his/her tweets which told me something was up and it was not good. We exchanged some PM’s and all is alright now. Wanted to be their friend on facebook, but he/she doesn’t have an account! Doesn’t want it because she has twitter. I’m in.

I think it’s a case-by-case basis kind of issue. Like John Piper mentioned, for some it’s a vital opportunity to help advance the kingdom of God and share His glory. To others, it might cost too much in terms of distraction or wasted energy. It’s not a guaranteed thing that using Twitter will actually be worth it. Then again, you might not know unless you try (or observe others trying).

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