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Open Access Megachurch Pastor Twitter Activity: An Analysis of Rick Warren and Andy Stanley, Two of America’s Social Pastors

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Megachurch Pastor Twitter Activity: An Analysis of Rick Warren and Andy Stanley, Two of America’s Social Pastors

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Mainstream church leaders have taken to Twitter as a platform for spreading their message and promoting their churches. This study examines two American mega-church pastors, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, and Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The main objectives of this study are to analyse the Twitter activity of both pastors in an attempt to categorize their tweets according to research-based guidelines and to suggest new categories for ministry leaders who use social media. The study also tracks the Twitter activity over the life of the @rickwarren and @andystanley accounts. The study shows intriguing applications of Twitter by these two pastors and makes recommendations for those in ministry leadership who wish to use Twitter as a broadcast platform for their personal and ministry messages. Because research in ministerial use of social media is young, future studies are needed to determine if these recommendations can apply to the social media activity of other ministry leaders and to explore how ministry leaders across the religious spectrum are using social media.

Affiliations: 1: Mercer University Macon, GA

10.1163/21659214-90000050
/content/journals/10.1163/21659214-90000050
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Mainstream church leaders have taken to Twitter as a platform for spreading their message and promoting their churches. This study examines two American mega-church pastors, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, and Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The main objectives of this study are to analyse the Twitter activity of both pastors in an attempt to categorize their tweets according to research-based guidelines and to suggest new categories for ministry leaders who use social media. The study also tracks the Twitter activity over the life of the @rickwarren and @andystanley accounts. The study shows intriguing applications of Twitter by these two pastors and makes recommendations for those in ministry leadership who wish to use Twitter as a broadcast platform for their personal and ministry messages. Because research in ministerial use of social media is young, future studies are needed to determine if these recommendations can apply to the social media activity of other ministry leaders and to explore how ministry leaders across the religious spectrum are using social media.

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/content/journals/10.1163/21659214-90000050
2014-12-06
2018-09-24

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