Religious leaders are powerhouses on Twitter with more engaged followers than most celebrities, the New York Times has reported.
It’s been eight years since Twitter entered our lives, and to honor of that day, Twitter allowed users to find their first tweet. You can find your first tweet here. We took a look at how some religious leaders said hello to Twitter for the first time.
California megachurch pastor Rick Warren tweeted what we were all wondering as we joined the new social network.
2 tweet or not 2 tweet? I fear the narcissistic possibility, but can’t pass up any tool to encourage you!
Jumping in! .
— Rick Warren (@RickWarren) July 13, 2009
Just over a year ago after his papal appointment, Pope Francis asked for prayers.
Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 17, 2013
But! It wasn’t the first tweet from the @Pontifex account. Pope Benedict XVI first tweeted, “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
Perhaps one of the most retweeted first tweets was from Tim Keller, who joined just over a year ago.
My son is making me do this.
— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) March 25, 2013
Similarly, popular Bible teacher and author Beth Moore is likely blaming her daughter Amanda Jones for getting her on twitter.
OK.I said I wasn't going to do this. I lied. It's AJ's fault. Warning:I may do things just to tweet them. Cannot be trusted.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) June 15, 2010
The Dalai Lama’s scheduler apparently started his twitter feed.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Los Angeles – 21 February 2010 http://bit.ly/cRGXyr
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) February 22, 2010
An upbeat Texas megachurch pastor Joel Osteen previewed what was to come.
Joel Osteen Ministries is on Twitter – Stay tuned for updates on our ministry and encouragements and thoughts to help you through the day!
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) March 12, 2009
Bill Nye, an agnostic who debated creationist Ken Ham earlier this year, started with a bang.
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) May 6, 2009
Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, gave a preview of what to expect in his sermon.
Working on sermon (2 Sam 16). Shimei calls David names, throws rocks & dirt. Sounds like yesterday's YouTube of baseball coach gone wild.
— Leith Anderson (@leithanderson) September 1, 2010
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori called an assembly.
Joint Assembly – Together for the Love of the World http://t.co/CI6tP7Xo70
— K Jefferts Schori (@KJeffertsSchori) July 9, 2013
Sojourners founder Jim Wallis pointed to former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Here’s the blog post, in case you want a flash to the past.
Just posted a blog on Scapegoating Sarah Palin check it out: http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/
— Jim Wallis (@jimwallis) November 11, 2008
Here’s a very matter-of-fact post from Texas megachurch pastor TD Jakes.
Hello, this is Bishop Jakes. I am pleased that you have choosen to follow me on Twitter. This is my first tweet on my BishopJakes account.
— T.D. Jakes (@BishopJakes) September 9, 2009
President of Interfaith Youth Core Eboo Patel echoed what many said by joining the 21st century.
Finally joined the 21st Century! Looking forward to advancing interfaith cooperation with you all one tweet at a time!
— Eboo Patel (@EbooPatel) July 8, 2010
Los Angeles Rabbi David Wolpe offered some words of wisdom.
If wisdom can pack itself into few words think how powerful is a single kind gesture.
— David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe) May 21, 2013