Last week, Rick Warren tweeted something that got people all fired up.

I didn’t see the original tweet at first but based on the reaction, I thought he had said,

“I stole the idea for ‘Purpose Driven Life’ from an episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack realizes his band Zack Attack is not his purpose”

Turns out that wasn’t what he tweeted. It was a lot less inflammatory than that. In fact, I think if he had yelled the same thing he tweeted from a conference stage, we all would have seen it as a challenge and at worst done a “Oh no you didn’t!” reminiscent of Gina from the show, “Martin.”

A day after that, Carlos Whittaker, who currently writes 27% of all Christian tweets, announced he was quitting twitter. Fortunately, cause Carlos is one of my favorite people on twitter, he was just kidding but people still got a little stirred up. Then, I got some hate mail for challenging pastor Matt Chandler to a dance off.

It was a perfect storm of twitter and it made me realize we needed a “Christian twitter handbook.” Some document we could refer to and dissect and disagree with but in the process at least discuss this communication medium.

So today, that’s what I did. I’m not a Twitter expert, but these are the things I’ve learned on the mean streets of Twitter in the last year. (Each headline is the length of a tweet with a longer explanation under it if necessary.)

Christian Twitter Guidelines

1. Beware “the boy who cried retweet.” If you retweet everyone, you might as well retweet no one.

2. A photo online is forever. Don’t tweet a picture unless you’re ready for it to exist forever online.

3. If their Twitter profile lists “tickle fights” and “wearing bikinis” as their hobbies, they’re not real.

4. Complaining that someone you follow “tweets too much,” is the peak of Twitter selfishness.

What you’re saying is, “I know you have 200 followers, but I feel like you should have checked with me on the number of tweets I tolerate a day. It’s 7. And you just tweeted your eighth time of the day.”

5. If you’re a pastor, you are contractually obligated to tweet how hott your wife is or that you married up or out of your league.

6. When you write a rude tweet to tell someone they were rude, you create such a forcefield of irony it makes Alanis Morissette’s teeth hurt

7. Worrying about someone hating you is like chasing down a car that gave you the middle finger on the highway. Let it go.

8. Don’t make grand claims you won’t fulfill. I once promised to tweet through a section of the Bible. I didn’t. Epic fail on me.

9. Always, always double check that you’re sending a private direct message not a public tweet. Switching the two is not so awesome.

10. If a tweet gets retweeted a bunch, avoid the temptation to write 47 versions of that tweet. Quit tweeting a dead horse.

11. “Do what you love and you will find someone who loves the same thing; don’t look for love. Don’t beg for love, or suffer for love.”

You know who write that positive message? Snooki from the Jersey Shore show on MTV. Everyone and their grandmother tweets affirmations. Be careful that your amount of positive messages don’t make other people feel negative. I’m not above writing the odd positive tweet myself, but when you rainbow it all day, it can feel fake.

12. Don’t tweet holier than you normally talk. Don’t get seminary mouth all of the sudden when you get on Twitter.

13. Asking for a retweet is a bad way to first introduce yourself to someone. Make friends, not favors on twitter.

14. A smiley face is twitter’s version of “bless her heart.” You can’t tweet a jerk statement and then think ending it with a :) erases it.

15. If you’re married, you have 2 options for your photo: you kissing your spouse or a photo from your wedding.

16. Keep your name short. Your email address might be “GodismykingIpraisehiminthemorning777” but that’s too long to retweet.

17. Twitter has a 2 to 1 sarcasm ratio. For every 2 people who get your sarcasm, 1 person will take you seriously and think you’re a jerk.

18. Sending a link is like sending a piece of your reputation, send it carefully.

19. Don’t be 2 different people on twitter. Tweet the way you live. If you wouldn’t say something flirty in “real life,” don’t on Twitter.

20. Twitter is tone deaf. Be hyper careful about trying to speak subtly on Twitter. Words can be misinterpreted very, very easily.

21. Don’t become a “Christian Provocateur.” That’s great your church is doing a sermon on sex. Just don’t create fake sexy tweets for “buzz”

22. Focus on tweeting something vital, not something viral.

23. Don’t “twudge,” which is just twitter’s version of judging someone’s entire soul based on a 140-character tweet.

24. Don’t create silly words using the tw prefix. That goes for me too, “twudge?” Good grief! It’s so tempting though or twempting.

25. Don’t mistake number of followers on twitter for success on twitter. Measure quality of interactions not quantity of interactions.

26. Twitter is just a medium. Don’t fall so deeply in love that you think it won’t disappear or evolve like every other medium.

27. Resist the temptation to “turn on a speaker” during a conference. Public tweets are great for compliments, but bad for criticism.

I’ve seen this happen with hashtags, the way people can collectively see tweets about a certain subject. As a speaker, I love feedback from people in the crowd about what I’m talking about. But I think you should email or direct message your criticism and publically tweet your compliments. The ability to sway a crowd into a negative space is pretty massive. And let’s be honest, if during the middle of a conference speech you verbally screamed out, “That last point was whack!” your friends would sit somewhere else.

28. There needs to be some international sign that means, “I’m tweeting lines from the sermon during church.”

Right now, people think you’re playing Angry Birds if you use your iPhone during church. Until we have that sign, just do what I do and yell, “I’m tweeting the sermon!”

29. Look at a whole web page before you send a link to one thing you like on it.

A number of times I’ll be about to use twitpic and realize there’s a half naked photo for American Apparel on the page that is hosting the photo. I use the direct link option on image shack. You can’t be held accountable for the whole web, but be careful.

30. Twitter time is different from real time. Responding to a tweet from last week is like referencing the 1840s. Stay current or stay quiet

31. Unfortunately, 140 characters will not allow you to use a Christian email signature like, “In his grip,” in each tweet.

32. Be careful about sending someone an automatic direct message when they follow you. I’ve never had a good experience with one of those.

Do you use twitter?

If so, comment with your name so we can all follow you. (You can follow me @prodigaljon)

Or, help me finish this list. It’s woefully incomplete and I am sure you have some solid ideas.

What is a twitter guideline you would suggest?

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    • Gwen says

      I don't twitter either. I think I'm stuck in Pre-Indusrialized civilization because I staunchly refuse to use Facebook and all other "social" mediums. Personally, if I'm being social I prefer to talk to someone or see them face to face. A lot of my friends complain that Facebook is a major time suck for them. They waste time updating their status, etc. during the day instead of doing other things. I like e-mail to keep in touch with people, but I agree that you need to be careful with your words. Words can cause damage whether intended or not and it is hard to read the subtext of a message that's type-written. I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep it coming!

      • tom reusch says

        I just got twitter about 6 months ago. So I'm only recently exiting the 2009's and finally entering the 2010's.


  1. Brenda_Marie says

    I've never used Twitter (although I suppose these all apply to FB status updates as well), but this post is awesome because you referenced Saved by the Bell. I really wish I could high five you or side hug you or something for your reference to Zack Attack (I know exactly which episode you're referring to). Way to use a most excellent pop culture reference!

  2. says

    If you offend someone, don't be afraid to acknowledge that and apologize. If you are reading tweets, don't over-react to what they are saying and assume it means the worse possible thing. 140 characters is pretty limiting.

    In the mean time, I will be printing this up all pretty like and using it as my personal twitter pocket book…not really, but I could.


    • kwgreenaway says

      if you feel heated and angry because of somthing someone said, type out a retort, bask in the glory of your wit and superior morality, and then erase it and go on your merry way knowing you haven't sunk to the same level- whatever you do don't hit send, or you'll find yourself in a world of pain.

      (i don't tweet, but this is what i do on fb)

    • Dan Lilledahl says

      Good point. However, this is one of the reasons I don't care anymore for fb and don't like FB. It is easier to apologize to people online because you don't have to face them. Try it in real life. Much tougher. Unfortunately, many Christians don't think it is necessary to make amends to those they have offended/hurt.

  3. says

    Move detailed scheduling of lunch plans to direct messages – nobody wants to see the chain of 40 tweets that establishes 1:15 on Wednesday is a great time to get together with @everybody_should_know_how_busy_my_calendar_is

  4. says

    First comment yes!!!!!!
    Actually, I heard Doug Fields talk about writing Purpose Driven Youth Ministry and include the comment, and "You thought you were the only one who's boss made a million dollars off your idea". It was actually an awesome speech about saying no, and it was about as sarcastic as I've ever heard a Christian speaker.

  5. says

    I was thinking of all the popular Christian bloggers who have blogged about whether or not we Christians cuss. I kind of wondered if when they tweeted their post if they used four letter word hashtags. They sure could fit quite a few hash tags in there.

    My advise is two things.

    1. Don't use cuss words as hash tags


    2. Don't blog about cussing. It's overdone and boring.

    My apologies if I offended anybody but keep in mind Tip #17 from this post. It also applies to blog comments. :)

  6. Jonathan says

    Funny, but also some good "new media" advice. I will say if you're going to post about something you ate it had better have been really good or terribly horrible, no in betweet on the food tweets! @jonvicksc

  7. says

    CAPSLOCK is a sometimes key… Don't yell at me :p

    Don't be an emo tweeter – I know it's raining, we are all going to get wet at some stage today, I don't want to read 20 updates on how much rain sucks…

    Don't spam – yes I realise you LOVE Lady Gaga… i don't need you to remind me 10 times today.

    Don't be boring – you ate a sandwich for lunch… good for you.

    don't obsessively retweet the same person – it seems desperate.

    I know you like going to church – but really it's 9am Sunday and you've updated me 5 times on the glory of the light and worship eagles landing and the Holy one smiling on you. Keep it real.

    Keep it real – no one's life is as good as you make out…

    Don't post 100000000 pics of your kids – yes they are cute…. still.

    don't accidentally swear (this happened to me :P)

    Never pray on Twitter

    @oneagleswingsIwillsoar is a great name – if you are an eagle.

    @HolyistheLamb – is a great name if you are a farm animal…

    you can follow me @christinah86 (i'll try not to break the rules)

  8. Mickey Sperry says

    Hi, my name is Mickey and I'm a twitterer. Okay that's a stretch, I've had an account since April of 2009 and have exactly 8 tweets and every single one of them is from the last 3 weeks. @AirNavy13

  9. says

    I've never grasped why Twitter is so popular. 140 characters just isn't enough, but as everyone else is doing it, I thought I should too…. @BibleTriviaDave

  10. says

    But my hobbies are tickle fights and wearing bikinis (admit it, you just threw up in your mouth a little)

    And tweeting a dead or is better than the typo Candy Steele had about a dead horse a few months ago. That was epic. (yeah I totally busted a few rules there but this isn't twitter so it doesn't count right?)

  11. says

    DUDE! A Saved by the Bell AND a Martin reference in the same post! That’s somehow equal to a Triple Word Score in Scrabble…
    Follow me @thatjonhill …I tweet about a lot of random stuff… God stuff, youth ministry stuff, sports, music, & whatever I find funny…
    Here’s one I find myself falling into:
    Your self-esteem on twitter, or self-estweem, should not be directly proportional to your number of followers, RTs, or mentions. Just because people don’t RT you, doesn’t mean people don’t read you.

  12. ShellieBgood says

    I love Twitter! Its difficult to find like minded Christians. I read all of your tweets and feel connected to the Christian community on Twitter. Thanks! @shellie_wow.

  13. says

    I have Twitter ( @pegasusphoto ) which is supposed to be for my business, but 95% of my Tweets are RT'ing contest entries. Not even joking. I don't recommend following me until I get a cell phone that isn't from 2002 and can actually Tweet real life. :)

    • says

      Everyone follow Jamie. It is refreshing to see someone in christians in missionary positions be human. (I think I either just broke #17 and #19, or following #12).

      Love reading her's and hubby's blog.


  14. says

    be careful about the complexity of the subject you tweet about… just like we shouldn't judge someone based on 140 characters, we also shouldn't pretend that a tweet can accurately reflect our opinion on complex or controversial subjects. Blog posts are better for that- tweet the link. Don't try to condense an opinion/statement into 140 characters that would be better represented by 250 words.

  15. says

    You could add my big sin: telling people how much i dislike Twitter, but tweeting anyway (at a low daily rate–max 4 or 5)

    My personal twitter is @jmillerkelley
    The ministry magazine I edit is @umcircuitrider

  16. Ashley says

    @AshleyBKeen here! I'm another casual tweeter. ;) I use twitter as a vehicle to update my facebook status when I'm not near enough to a computer to make it happen the classic way.

    Also to Stalk Stephen Fry, Nathan Fillion and Zachary Levi.


  17. says

    I try to ask myself "will anybody care, smile, laugh, or in any way be enriched by this tweet" before I post it. If not, I delete that tweet.

    Then I try to only break that rule once or twice per week.

    Then I try not to break that rule at all.

    Also, I try really hard to consider audience (mutual followers with @replies, for example) and not say stuff publicly that wastes space on people's timelines.

    Additionally, unlike Jon this morning, I never spread a point over three tweets. Not 420 characters, 140 characters.


    • says

      I agree about the spreading messages out over several tweets. Occasionally if it is really important extending it to two posted straight after one another is fine, but it annoys me when people try to post what is essentially short essays, 140 characters at a time.

  18. staxia says

    reread the tweet before sending, you never know what "help" your fancy schmancy auto spell check has given you!

    Sometimes I don't get to follow in close to real time, so going back over the day, there's nothing more frustrating than seeing someone who's tweeted something like, "Oh, forget that last tweet, I meant blah blah blah" and then a slew more of replies that are like, "Oh, yeah, @closebuddyjim I can't believe I did that!!! yeah, that was SO embarassing, forgive me ya'll" And then I can't figure it out b/c they've deleted the embarassing one.. I wanna know!

    Either check so it doesn't happen, leave it and be embarassed, or delete and pretend like it never happened!!

    I'm just sayin'.

    I mostly follow, but, i'm @staciatague

  19. Lady Tam says

    I use twitter, but I guess I don't take it as seriously as other folks apparently do. x_x;;;

    Love the line about the finger and the highway! lol

    I use smilies more to indicate that I'm not completely serious, or intend my comment in a lighthearted manner [though this is more a general internetting rule than just for Twitter.]

    I'm married, but I'll stick with my striped tights icon on my Twitter, tyvm. ^_^ I don't see the necessity in shoving my marriage in everyone's face; I didn't appreciate it when I was single, and I doubt other single folks appreciate it when I do it. Let's be a little reasonable and mature, and realize that no photo of our Beloved on every single site we're on =/= instant affairs. -_-;;; Surely we, as adults, have more self-control and maturity than that! [At least, I would hope so; I have often had to wonder about other Christians who are so super-paranoid about their marriages that they can't even have an icon that doesn't have their Beloved in it. It just seems to show immense insecurity and distrust in either your partner or yourself, IMO. I mean, c'mon; it's just a small, fuzzy photo on t3h Internetz; no one cares. I've never once had someone say to me "Oh, I didn't see a pic of your husband as your avy on that one website; you want to "get coffee" sometime? *wink wink nudge nudge* I just really don't think other people care that much.]

    Besides, mostly I just use twitter to follow celebs I'm interested in, and less as a social exchange. If I want to talk to someone, I'll email them or message them on facebook or *gasp!* call them. lol

  20. Jeff says

    Seems to me that Twitter is a method for all the generation-whatevers to grab for today's most sought after prize…..fame. "OMG, people SO want to know what I'm doing."

    If you're tweeting, you're not famous. Live your life, don't report on it.

  21. carikaufm says


    Twitter is a tough medium to understand/use well…

    "You know who write that positive message? Snooki from the Jersey Shore show on MTV. Everyone and their grandmother tweets affirmatins. Be careful that your amount of positive messages don’t make other people feel negative. I’m not above writing the odd positive tweet myself, but when you rainbow it all day, it can feel fake."

    I have to admit that I am guilty of the affirmation media blitz….but in my defense, I am "Pollyanna" in real life…it's the way I am….don't hate on me…:D

    That's why I follow you, Jon, to learn the art of sarcastic and satirical humor!!

  22. says

    I'm @BigMama247

    I appreciate it when people interact. It's community. If I ask a question, I'm genuinely looking for an answer and I appreciate feedback.

    #19 is my favorite rule for Twitter, but really, for all online interaction.

  23. wattgrrl says

    I don't twitter, I wish I did but….regardless #6, #9, #11, #14 and "seminary mouth"!!!! Cracked me right up. Also this blog mostly applies to FB status lines as well.

  24. Lynn says

    I’ve always felt like Twitter was just making things easier for stalkers. If you are the type to think the guy on the news is sending you coded messages with his tie every night then I can only imagine what you think of celebrity tweets.

  25. says

    @leiacellaa23 – but I only finally joined twitter to get Compassion's updates after the earthquake in Haiti, and stopped even logging in during the family vacation a month or so ago. I haven't really missed it since I've been off. I hope to never be famous enough to feel obligated to twitter frequently.

    But I have an amendment to #28 – just put the phone down! The sermon will be just as amazing AFTER IT'S FINISHED! Maybe even moreso, since you'll know the whole context of what the pastor was saying.

    I had friends at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention who I don't think ever looked up from their phones. They walked around the convention center tweeting with people about meeting up with them (or entering contests), they tweeted the speakers and the artists, they took and posted pics, they provided public-service tweets when someone had lost a bag or a meet-up time had changed….and in doing so, they missed almost the entire convention, despite actually being there.

    Just put the phones down, people.

      • says

        Take notes. Pen. Paper. You'll remember the quote even better the more senses you use in recording it (you hear it when the pastor says it, you feel it when you physically write it down, you see it when you write it, and then you see it/touch it again when you tweet it AFTER the service).

      • says

        Haha! No, not referring to @traceysoloman specifically, although she was one of the ones running the contests that had my friends wandering around the convention center staring intently at their phones!

        Sorry you missed it, Becky! It was a lot of fun! Hopefully we'll see you in Nashville next year!

      • says

        hee…. oh snap.. I may have…

        I tweeted CV for a few reasons…

        1) to build connections that last outside of the CV. ( we held a tweet up- so moms who
        ve been tweeting prior to CV were able to get a face to face. )
        2) Tweeting (and posting to FB via tweets) helps me remember/respond to things I learned- also opens up real time dialog about the same. I do take notes , but honestly? cannot always read them.
        3) Part of my job as a MOPS Field Leader is to help build excitement and connection before, during and after CV…;) So, I was working… kind of;)
        4) to share the experience to those who couldn't go…

        However- I admit– I worried about those who WANTED to go, but couldn't.. I've watched event tweets and got my jealous on… and felt left out.. didn't want to make anyone else feel the same..

        For the most part- I didn't tweet during sessions.. (helps that I didn't have signal) I tweeted in between, an tried to keep my tweet/disruption to those around me to a minimum. ;) Cover phone etc…

        As for missing the CV due to tweets.. well that didn't happen for me, but I could see how you could become distracted… kind of like the difference between being IN the moment and being behind a camera lens.. capturing the moment..

        good points;)

  26. Dani says

    I'm @DaniJoy94, and I totally agree with #30…Even referencing a tweet from yesterday can get awkward. It lets the "tweeter" know you've been stalking their profile instead of just seeing their tweet in your news feed. Creepy.

  27. dtdorrin says

    These are great rules. And I totally agree with one commenter who added "No emo tweets" Sometimes the frequency with which people over-share their woes makes me uncomfortable and I'm embarrassed for them.

    And though everyone is free to tweet as much as the want, I do think that at a certain point, enough tweets is enough. This is especially true when someone is live-tweeting a TV show (The Bachelor finale, for example) or a conference. Choose your tweets wisely, people! But you can feel free to follow me @tiffanydorrin

  28. says

    I must have been away from my 'twesk' when that tweet firestorm happened. What was the tweet? Was it more dramatic than the blinding toxic poison eye attack from a few weeks ago? (I did see that one as it went down) I think you have to give people over 50 at least a few passes on twitter. Maybe 7? Maybe 70 times 7?

  29. Geniphurb says

    Awesome post. But you didn't spell your name right. Your twitter is @prodigaljohn last time I checked. Lol. I'm @Geniphurb.

    Ugh… just saw on Twitter's homepage that there's a group that refers to themselves as Beliebers (as in Justin Bieber). Ridiculous.

  30. says

    Yeah I don't use twitter. I was actually at South by Southwest the year that Twitter first came on the sceen there and it was a great way to find people and to hear about different gigs going on… but in daily life? No, thanks. I'm also anti facebook so maybe I'm just weird.

    On the Rick Warren thing. I only heard about what he twitted, I didn't read all the reactions… In my mind this is the perfect example of why living your life in 140 characters on a world stage is just not a good idea.

  31. @drewflores says

    I feel like people think if they are following a celebrity on twitter they think they are BFF's. Really? Yeah I follow Rick Warren but guess what, he aint my daddy! @drewflores

  32. says


    Do NOT carry on personal conversations… PLEASE take it private. I don't care if it's about my favorite subject, if I only follow one of the people in the conversation, the whole thing gets "janked up" (I think that's the cool phrase my 7-year-old use this weekend… should she be saying that??)

  33. Matt Miles says


    I retweet a lot, but it's always based on whether I like the quote, not who said it. And whether it says "Please RT!" That's usually a good hint.

  34. fireboy48 says

    #17 Twitter has a 2 to 1 sarcasm ratio??? Any way I can something similar in the real world?
    #27 Unless you're talking about hitting something, the term "whack" is no longer acceptable for public usage. Ever.
    Yes, I use Twitter. My name is fireboy49. If I beg for followers, just how needy does that make me? Cause I can live with a certain amount.

  35. says

    I am starting a series with my High School Ministry about Social Networking, I want to use some of your stuff if possible. Let me know, and thanks for your insight John!


  36. Idhrendur says

    I do use twitter. @idhrendur

    Funny thing, much of your advice applies to other mediums as well. Social interaction is social interaction, I guess.

  37. says

    "when you rainbow it all day, it can feel fake." The first time in history that "rainbow" has been used as a verb. Awesome.

    Here are a few to add:
    – People love to make fun of twitter with "I don't care when people poop". Don't tweet while you poop.
    – I never lost more followers than when I tweeted about my fresh kittens [pop culture reference for Community fans]. Don't tweet about new kittens.
    – Fact: 3 our of 4 people on twitter are social media experts. Please, no more books on how to use twitter to maximize your personal brand. It make baby Jesus cry.


  38. says

    I've always said that all the annoying things about Facebook are on Twitter, but they're limited to 140 characters. I thought that was a good thing. But it can be very limiting if a conflict breaks out. 140 characters isn't enough to explain yourself or reconcile with someone you've offended. A good rule of thumb: Think before you tweet.

    Sadly I've probably guilty of at least half of the things on this list.

  39. lettner says


    I use both Twitter & Facebook, but enjoy Twitter more since it doesn't have the Join Farmville, George is now friends with Sue, and Cory likes Justin Bieber and 13 other profiles. I definitely agree with your list. I would just add don't use CAPSLOCK and don't send a tweet every 5 minutes about waiting in line or music playing on Pandora playlist.

    One of my friends made it look like he was using on his iPhone, but was checking Facebook. Shame, shame.

  40. mlt says

    Unless you're quite sure that every follower you want to keep shares your obsession with sport x, please resist the temptation to tweet continual cheers and play-by-play color commentary during every game of sport x. Ditto with TV show y.

  41. Steph at the Red Clay Diaries says

    Don't tweet link after link after link after link. Especially if they're all prefaced with "New post on my site!"

    My Twitter handle is @redclaydiaries. I think I've followed most of your rules. But I have to admit that I totally use Twitter as a chatroom.

  42. says

    Oh, yes! I love the twitter. My username is

    And I busted up laughing on this one. "If you’re a pastor, you are contractually obligated to tweet how hott your wife is or that you married up or out of your league."

    Honestly, every pastor I know talks about their wives in this way. And most pastors feel it is their duty to exclaim about how hott their sex life is with the same woman for 25 years. We get the point. Pastors are just like everyone else, just with more time on their hands and a God-given pass on encouraging people to have healthy marriages.

    But sometimes… it's overdone.

    There, I ranted. I feel better. Now, back to 140 characters!

  43. says

    I’m @annieology

    Also remember, you may be having a conversation with one person using the @ reply but others can see it. Just because the person you are conversing with “gets” it does not mean the people seeing your timeline will.

  44. maddenfm says

    I had my twitter account for over a year before I really learned how to use it. Everyday I am learning new twicks. Most recently I learned how to use it for customer service. I was put off when I walked into Wal-Mart with my kids and was greeted by a large display for the movie Kick Ass. Venting my frustration on twitter I recieved an almost instant response from their PR guys. The display was moved the next day.


  45. mddeibert says

    Great post. Some people find hard to believe that my silly tweets are real, until they meet me. I’m SO incredibly silly, is rare I post seriousness or insightfulness.

    I’m on twitter to be my silly, corny, dorky and God loving self.


  46. says

    Great set of rules. One that I would add – “Don’t overuse the Follow Friday recommendations”. Sending a few is fine, but when your entire timeline on a Friday is full of #FF recommendations, it can get monotonous.


  47. says


    Avoid speaking too much Christianese and talking about your sneaky strategy on how you're planning to advance God's Kingdom. I'm pretty sure that it freaks people out when someone broadcasts stuff like, "I am going to my friend's stag party today, can't wait to minister to everyone there!"

  48. Will says

    Great post!

    #12 happens all the time, drives me crazy! Also, general twipocrasy is bad… come to church one day, tweet terrible things all week long. Oops, just broke rule #24.

    Great to meet you last friday @ramseyshow w/ @nancyray


  49. says

    For me the main point is to engage with those you follow, or who are following you. Otherwise, what's the point? Isn't this an interactive communication tool? Don't use Twitter as an IM client? Where is the line? If someone you follow is tweeting too much (in your opinion) but you don't want to unfollow them, then unfollow the other person.


  50. says

    Don't link your Twitter to auto update your facebook status. The audience is too different and the sarcasm ratio is the opposite on facebook, for every one person that gets it, 2 will take it seriously. Or maybe that is just a reflection on my facebook friends.


    • Dan Gross says

      That's why I use "selective tweets." If I have something that suits both I put a #FB hashtag at the end and it pops over on facebook. Too many Twilliterate on FB that don't get all the @'s for certain! Heck, I know folks on Twitter who sometimes don't realize that an RT is not from the person RT-ing, but the person being RT-ed. ("No it's not my wife that's sick it's the wife of @someoneelse that I just RT'ed.")

  51. Dan Gross says

    Twemendous list!

    Additional one (only because people so readliy ignore 23 I guess): "Don't assume your followers share your theology. You probably have folks on both sides of 'theological debate' areas."
    –Have seen artists post a tweet that implied the earth's age was in the millions only to get lambasted by fans of his that were "young Earthers." Also saw someone tweet about seeing Ringo Starr only to get lambasted by fans for seeing such an anti-Christian artist…

    and while I'm talking #23…a really sad example: @PaulBaloche was having travel troubles getting to a gig recently…was trying to book an alternate flight to area (separate city from where his checked luggage was going) and tweeted about having his "guitar and toothbrush, that's all I need." Cue the #23-philes saying "What about your Bible?!" [ummm, he has an iPhone…check] and "What about Jesus?" [yeah, Jesus is too big to carry-on so Paul had to check Him….cancel the concert!]

    –27: yes, the "if you can't say anything nice" rule…of course private admonishment only useful when available (many do follow-back so you can DM but not all…).

    –29a: Consider carefully which service you use to post pics to Twitter from, for the same reason.
    Recently was brought to my attention that yfrog, for example, often has ads of questionablecontent. Had not noticed the ads myself because of the ad-blocker in my browser. They also link the "top viewed" photos on right side of page, which are not always appropriate.

    And maybe another: "Famous folks on Twitter do not follow people back based on who @replies them the most 'follow me back' requests." That must really be annoying…Also, yes they know you can't DM them if they don't follow you back…that's kind of the point.

    Yeah, I'm on Twitter. I use my name as my handle on purpose because I want to ensure that everything I tweet is "worth" attaching my name to. Doesn't always work tho… ;-)

  52. says

    I understand you really don't like people hatin on how much you tweet Jon (I'll confess, I didnt follow you for awhile because of your Tweeting marathons), but I think it's more about quanity. Three tweets in five minutes is obnoxious, five tweets over five hours is normative.

  53. Ally says

    Crap, i think i've been guilty of the vast majority of those at 1 point or another :(

    Love the advice on #29 ab awareness of sites you link, especially with photos. I've never done that, but will certainly be much more careful in the future. Thanks for that tip!

    Jon, i can't tell you what a blessing your ministry and your humor has been to me. * weeks ago this Wednesday i came back to my faith after a long, selfish drought. Your site (especially serious Wednesdays) and your readers have profoundly impacted my walk with encouragement, scripture, & comfort. I'm eternally grateful to all of you!


    • Ally says

      I don't know how that star (*) got in there, but it was supposed to read "8 weeks ago this Wednesday." Ugh, typos.

  54. rachebec says

    #17 should be embroidered and hung on my wall – and not just for twitter. Sarcasm comes far too easily for me and I've learnt in various other venues (that allowed for even more than 140 characters) how easily it can be missed and taken seriously – occasionally with close to disastrous results. Consequently, non-sarcasm has become a project for me and I have opted to delete many a tweet before sending them. Unfortunately/fortunately, without sarcasm I apparently don’t have a lot to say and my tweets are few and far between. So really there is no worries with regards to #4. Although honestly, what is with that? As far as I know, there is no rule that says you have to read every tweet that someone makes. If you've reached your 7-per-day limit and your tweet-mate insists on an 8th & 9th, just scroll on by! What's the big deal?

    Someday, hoping to be funny without the crutch of sarcasm…


  55. Ryan says

    Here's a tip… don't shameless plug your Twitter handle to obtain more followers in the comment section of the Twitter Tips article.

    • says

      Normally, I would agree… except Jon gave us all invitations (and party hats) to do it…

      "if so, comment with your name so we can all follow you. (You can follow me @prodigaljon)"

  56. Emily F says

    I like Twitter because I felt like FB was getting creepy. Just everybody putting way, way too much out there. Also I always felt vaguely annoyed when I posted something and then someone commented on it in real life. I know, I'm the one who shared in the first place! Such is my love/hate relationship with social networking. So Twitter is easier.

    I'm @emilyasfarmer

    And nope, I'm not a farmer, it's my name!

  57. Ashley says

    another rule: use at your own discretion…but sometimes its necessary to block fellow followers AKA creepy mcghees. @ashley_dyan

  58. says

    I tweet, but very little. I don't have a ton of followers and for the most part, I just tweet a link to the blog I wrote that day. If something strikes me, I will retweet, but I tend to facebook more than I tweet.
    My twitter account is @ShansMan33
    Best thing I have retweeted recently:
    @craiggroeschel "Give me 10 men who hate nothing but sin and love nothing but God and we'll change the world." John Wesley

  59. joshtate11 says

    Those are all awesome twuidelines….oops sorry…I mean Twitter Guidelines. Follow me @joshtate11

    Add this one:
    Be carelful with the shortning of words. . "LOL, I m going 2 friends house, r u? c u soon." ANNOYING.

  60. says

    i love this… Twitter Field Guide! awesome :) i use twitter more like a mini-blog than I do for true social networking. it's a great way to inspire and encourage. I do, though, have a certain tolerance for back-to-back tweeting, and for conversation tweeting. if you were with all of your followers in one room, and you wouldn't walk up to a microphone and announce the things you tweet to everyone, regardless of if it has anything to do with them… you probably shouldn't tweet it. haha. but hey, maybe that's just me! :) [magic smiley]


  61. says

    Ah social engagement! So thankful I am an adult in this world – I can't imagine the trouble it would have gotten me in as a teen.

    So much applies to all our communication!


  62. says

    When you offend in public the apology, clarification, or pleading for forgiveness should be extended in the same manner that you offended. In other words, remember that for every 1 person who was offended by your comment and got in your face about it, there are probably 3 more who kept quiet. The silent ones deserve "reconcilliation" as well

  63. says

    Yes, everyone else was doing it, so I did too. In my Tweeting defense, I have actually chatted with some pretty cool people over Twitter. I use it mostly to keep up with famous people that I will never meet. I would really love to be Twitter friends with people I may actually have the opportunity to see one day. Come tweet me!


  64. Jenn says

    If you work out A LOT…good for you. But tweeting every time you run 10 miles in 58:03 or complete two P90X workouts in one day gets a little old. We know you are a fitness queen and we are oh so jealous of your hott-ness. Now tweet about something interesting!

  65. Sarah J. says

    I like tip #12. I find sanctimonious tweets to be very irritating…or if each and every tweet is by some theologian or pastor…


    • Sarah J. says

      oops, that should read "every tweet is a QUOTE by some theologian or pastor".

      Also, I LOLed at "in his grip."

  66. cxlink says

    Don't retweet everything someone says no matter how funny, real or deep they are. If I wanted to read all their tweets I would follow them not you.


  67. says

    I also think 140 characters is the perfect amount. I don't have time to read everyone's novel on twitter let alone finish the latest John Grisham I started. Condense it!

  68. suffici3ntgrace says

    Surprised to see that we both follow World Mandate on Twitter. How do you know World Mandate? @suffici3ntgrace

  69. says

    I love Twitter. I am a youth pastor and this is a great way to keep people up to date on the happenings of our youth ministry. You can follow me at @JonUchacz and our youth ministry at @revothree!

  70. says

    Twitsville for me has raised the bar on ambition and contribution to scary heights, which is one of its best qualities, but I seem to have mislaid my plans for world revolution whilst being distracted by, um, Twitter.

    Totally agree, quality not quantity. That much life in one go can be overwhelming – you have to be very discerning.


  71. says

    Think through your DMs and Tweets as much as (or more than) you would an email. A few days ago, I dashed off a quick DM to a long-time friend (I meant it to be funny), and she was really hurt. Thankfully she said something, and I was able to clarify, but I could have avoided that entirely if I had more carefully worded my original message.

    I'm @miller_schloss.

    • says

      becky and i follow each other. you should follow us, too. our wit and insight is like a little 140 character gift 3-7 times a day. i swear on my mother. who is still alive and wishing i wouldn't swear.

      • says

        (By which she means "avowedly stalk each other on Twitter, Facebook, and SCL comments.")

        What's cool is that this is not the first SCL friend I've found who turns out to have real-life connections. Meeting other funny Christians = definitely something Christians like!

  72. says

    I've had the problem of people complaining that I tweet too much. But a tweet is more than just a facebook status update. A tweet contains pictures sometimes. Evaluate how many picture you upload onto facebook and then think about each picture as a tweet, that's not counting facebook updates.

  73. lisacolondelay says

    If you quote someone, don't cite it as "-Unknown" … Find out who it is, or opt out.

    I've seen things like,

    "It's not easy being green." -Unknown

    (it's re-twitulous. whoops, sorry messed up #24)

    Jon, 32 is amazing. You were in the Spirit, man!

  74. says

    Not a bid Twitter user but I do have an account. I'll probably start using it more as I'm trying to finish my CD. Follow me @brentowens.

  75. Tamara says

    I use it with a mixture of love, hate, and ambivalence.

    Here's a rule to add: Don't quote yourself unless you want to come across as abominably self-important.


  76. GiLinda says

    I totally missed out on the rick warren deal. Maybe I need to follow him or people that follow him. Geez, I’m so in 1840s mode now.

    #4 is describing me, but if people tweeted vital stuff, I wouldnt mind their 27 texts a day. My solution? Unfollow them :)


  77. says


    If someone sends you a direct message, at least send back a one word reply. Otherwise, one give the impression that they are ignoring you, which sucks. Especially if everyone knows you use twitter for iPhone as your text messaging app.

  78. Lauren says

    I think a rule for everyone (which I discovered multiple times in my own tweets) is if you are going to tweet from your phone and your phone is not a smart phone…read your tweet before you send. If your predictive text doesn't read your mind, you end up with a tweet that makes no sense at all.

    and don't tweet and drive

  79. says

    Ditto on all of the "what I had for lunch" tweets. If it's awesome or hilariously disgusting, it should have a picture.

    If you use twitter intentionally by choosing to follow the people you want to hear from, you'll have a more valuable experience…examples: @Relevantmag, @PasteMagazine, @Charitywater, @Kiva are some of my favorite sources for great, timely information on things I'm interested in. Twitter gives me the chance to stay up on what they are doing.


  80. Kendall Conner says

    Love your posts, dude. You've straight called me out on some of these! Thanks for the eye-openers!


  81. says

    As a Twitter newbie, thanks for the advice. As I read Twitter, though, there are some people that I follow who definitely get "seminary mouth" and it just makes me want to slap them. (Watch me get that the next time I go to Tweet….)


  82. MarniW says

    The great little community (FOTTSP) that sprung up out of this site, found it's way to Twitter and we've been thoroughly entertaining the internet–in Jesus' name–ever since. You're welcome.

    Marni (@marni71)

  83. Alannah says

    I don't tweet as often as I used to (because I realized no one actually cares what I'm doing or have to say), but I do go on to see tweets by my favorite people on twitter (including you; I find your tweets hilarious).


  84. Hey Now says

    I don't use Twitter. Facebook is all I can manage. And I'm getting weary of that.

    p.s. #30 is awesomely funny, though. I do this with texts and people get mad at me.
    30. Twitter time is different from real time. Responding to a tweet from last week is like referencing the 1840s. Stay current or stay quiet

  85. Chad says

    Try not to antagonize testing little Christian rock stars by saying their music stinks.
    -I did that and got punched by the angry lead singer

    Stop posting posting obscure quotes from Emo bands. I keep thinking I need to call the suicide hotline for you.


  86. Danielle says

    33. Don’t post a vague, philosophical-ish comment about how your life is falling to pieces just so other people can @mention you and ask you what’s wrong. That drives me CRAZY

  87. says

    Love twitter. @pvanblaricom is my name. This is one of my favorite posts of all times. Good stuff Jon! I often tweet a quote during a message, normally while on the front row. The key is to wait until the pastor is talking to the other part of the auditorium and then whip your phone out like it is an extremely relevant, important, service-altering text you are responding to. Works everytime.

  88. thousandframes says

    Not sure if this has been covered in these comments but my biggest peeve about Twitter is the use of the #FollowFriday or #FF hash. If you are going to tell us all who to follow on #FollowFriday, please tell us why. I have no idea who these people are or why you think I should follow them unless you tell me. So, take a moment and explain why the people you list are worth following, don't just list a bunch of names.


  89. says


    Don't retweet every compliment you get on Twitter . . . the occasional one is fine, but if it's a habit, it starts to look vain.

  90. Doug says

    If you're in ministry, please try to refrain from constant mentions of your cool gadgets, vacations, new opportunities, latest conference, hot wife, etc. ad nauseum. Really. There must be other topics. We know your cool and all. Just chill.

  91. says

    I'm @ladyphlogiston

    I'm pretty sure married people are also allowed to use a pic of their offspring – or is that just facebook? At any rate, I never saw getting married as a reason to give up my little blue alien dude, so tough noogies.

    retweets drive me nuts. They rarely say anything that interests me – if I wanted to get Rick Warren's thoughts I'd be following him myself, kwim?

  92. says

    My biggest Twitter pet peeve is when someone tweets the link to whatever they're working on several times. (Yes, Jon, you're guilty of this, but you're not the only one.) Most people use clients: they'll see it in the backscroll! The more times you tweet the same thing, the more you're just making the signal-to-noise ratio worse.

  93. says

    I think 27% is a conservative estimate…

    I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to Twitter, but that's more about my personal preferences than anything else. It does bother me when people tweet quotes & don't give credit to the source. That ain't right. The only thing that will get an immediate unfollow from me is IF YOU TWEET EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS!!! (Stop yelling into the twitter, please.)

  94. jessicabenz says

    I get announcing you (you in general, not you, "Jon Acuff") have a new blog post, but there is such a thing as over advertising… and once every hour is probably to the right of that over advertising line.

  95. says

    There are two things in regards to twitter that I'm not a fan of:

    1. Tweeting a play by play of your life. I don't need to know you're waiting for your fresh squeezed juice, that you're eating at the same restarant for the 3rd time this week or that you plan on tweeting a play by play of the adventures you expereince that day.

    2. Making your life sound like it is the most magical ever complete with rainbow, puppy dogs, ice cream, unicorns and glitter falling from the sky. There is such a thing as overkill.

    follow me if you want: @agrlbrushedred

  96. Julie says

    Yes I twitter and I retweet @prodigaljohn too much! I would add:
    1. If you send replies to Christian leaders you follow and don't get a response back, don't be pathetic and take it personally. Yes, we are all part of a community but they have better things to do!

    I'm @JulieAWaters

  97. Charles says

    33. don’t use big words you don’t understand to sound scholarly on spiritual matters

    example: “vacuous” “innocuous” “profane” “love” and “rob bell”


  98. says

    @swkrmommy I don't mind when people tweet a bit of personal info…but a play by play of your daily schedule and every meal is tiresome. I do the twitter thing…mostly follow people, but it is the newest cheapest and most effective way to brand yourself, and as a social worker in private practice I need that. I have enjoyed your blog, keep them coming

  99. Derek says

    Great list!

    Did you help DR out with #32? I followed the DR show on Twitter and got an auto-DM the next morning at 3. I figured, though, if right now I sleep like no one else…

      • Derek says

        Having you say my attempt at humor was "well played" is akin to John Piper responding to a theological comment of mine with "O, that we would live out this glorious truth for the joy of all peoples."

        Thanks for brightening my day.

  100. says

    Did Rick Warren delete his wayward tweet? Not sure I see what happened there.

    That is a good one, when you think about it: delete a tweet when you realize that what you put out there prob wasn't a good idea. Like complaining about work, or just saying something really negative or rude. I hate how people use Twitter to rant about politicians they hate.

    Follow me! @bgdsuckrow

  101. says

    if the word “tired” makes it into your tweets on a daily basis, maybe you need to take your sabbath more seriously. :)

    this actually goes beyond twitter and into daily life as well, but i read so many tweets about people’s lack of energy, need for a nap, etc. i’m starting to believe that Christians are required to be sleep-deprived.


  102. says

    #33 Don’t get stuck on getting followers so much. Start with asking yourself why you want a certain number of followers and who you want as followers. Let twitter serve your purposes, not the other way round. It’s easy to start attaching your number of followers to your self-identity. Anyhoo, twollow (:-)) me for meaningful interaction on @gracemoaisi :-)

  103. alainarkraus says

    My guiding principle for Twitter is pretty much #19 on your list. If someone who follows me on twitter that I don't know outside the twittersphere already were to meet me in person they shouldn't be too surprised by who they find. As with anything else I do online, if I wouldn't say or share something in my offline life I'm not going to do so online. It's a lesson that many people learn the hard way, but everything you do online can be found. It's just a matter of how long it takes and how much effort someone if willing to exert to find it.

  104. Pearl says

    I Twitter and I follow several Christian female Twitterers. Many of them write lovely stuff. My biggest beef is the Ode to Homeschooling that some of them can get on from time to time. I guess it's that time of the year, but if I read one more tweet about "gently leading their minds" and "deeply drinking from the well of my child's brain," I will fall over.

    Just as soon as I drop off my kid at Montessori.


  105. Becky Marie says

    I don't twitter, or tweet, or try to keep up on tweet-troversy , so I was trying to figure out how something offensive could have been made out of the Zach comment. So I googled. Imagined my dismay that there was no mention of Zach, or even the Purpose Drive Life. Way to disappoint a girl (should I add a smiley for clarification?).

  106. Christine says

    I don’t like it when people use twitter for big announcements and tell you in a tweet “big announcement coming up in next 3 tweets”. And that reminds me, if it doesn’t fit in 140 characters it’s not a tweet! Half the fun is trying to creatively pare down a message to less than 140. It’s like doing a word twuzzle. My bad. Is this where I add a smiley face!?

    Seriously great list Jon!


  107. says

    I won't say that i'm addicted to Twitter, but I do enjoy reading tweets that have meaning or are just genuinely clever and make me laugh. I've actually met some pretty cool people on Twitter and have enjoyed talking with them and reading what they have to say. It's a great place to keep up with the news and sports, too.

    God bless!

  108. Jerrica says

    I just use my twitter to follow people, honestly. I think I'be twittered about a total of five times in the entire year or so that I've had it.

  109. says

    twitter name: @Rachel_Emily.

    I'm still trying to figure out the strange world of twitter…so i only follow funny people. i'm so judgmental.

  110. @camshelton says


    I do Twitter. It's a great way to express creativity and get out spur of the moment bursts of though.

  111. says

    Right on for #19!

    Please Please Please resist the temptation to tweet: "RIP dead celebrity I had no interest in until I learned of your death on twitter today"

    But what if just about everyone you follow also follows @prodigaljohn and re-tweets his stuff? Can't tell you how many times I read that tweet about David and lunch!


  112. @ccameroncollins says


    Twitter is such a great tool. Each of your rules are fantastic and I wish I would have known them when I started tweeting a few months ago. Keep up the hilarious/inspiring tweets.

    New blog idea. "Stuff Samford Students Like". It'd be a hit. I promise.

  113. Brad says

    Don’t use hashtags that no one else uses like: #ilovejesuswithallmyhearteventhoughihaveashallowwickedheart


  114. says

    May I also suggest no to the following:

    CoolChristianLeader: I'm a cool Christian Leader, and I'd like you to know that I drink beer

    FoursquareUser: I'd like you to know I'm at a certain restaurant, again (This means I have a large enough income to eat out for every meal)

    AssociatePastor: Meetings, meetings and more meetings! Long day at work, but at least I've got great boss! :)


  115. willeymac says

    Twitter should be used constructive talk that uplifts and challenges rather than demeans and criticizes. Especially if you are trying to refute a speaker in real time; leave the criticism for a more personal and private conversation. I loved this list and it seriously made laugh.


  116. davidmcwhite says

    Maybe something about people retweeting tweets about how awesome they are? Like if I retweet my friend's tweet and he's all: "@DavidMcWhite is the best bo-staffer in the galaxy" and then I retweet it, put two backslashes after it, and then write "so humbled," or "all my gifts are from God," or "I'm a great bo-staffer, in His grip." I notice a lot of Xian leaders retweeting their own praise and it bugs me, but I'm pretty sure one of your rules keeps me from tweeting about my frustration. Love your stuff! Keep it up!

  117. Kirsten says

    Every time I log onto twitter, I want to tweet…. Hi Tweeps! But then I think it sounds corny; and it is. But I still think about doing it every time and I crack myself up. @kirbyct

  118. Nichoyoung says

    Fair enough @prodigaljohn. And girls don’t list ‘tickle fights’ as a hobby? I’ve been duped. How about people needing to realize that sarcasm translates poorly in text form and unfortunately typing the words ‘rolling my eyes’ or ‘just kidding’ takes all the fun out of it. So be careful when tweeting sarcastically. On a side note I am a fan of monkeys and my most recent tweet was about smog and Smaug.


  119. @jessewick says

    I disagree with number 30. I reference the 1840s all the time. What a decade! The Mexican war, Manifest Destiny, the “Know-Nothings”… good times! Maybe I should start tweeting inspirational quotes from Henry Clay.

  120. chroniclestudios says

    You already follow me, Jon. In fact, that was how I found out about SCL. I'm addicted now. ;)
    @chroniclestudio for anyone who wants to follow!

    I have to say that this is a great list. Funny and extremely true at different points. I'm going to share it with my friend and youth pastor, I'm sure he'll enjoy it as he's a twitterholic. ;)

    I personally use twitter as a less censored way to speak my mind than the likes of Facebook. I'm in leadership ministry and am connected with a lot of different types of Christians and non-Christians. I never speak differently than what I would normally, but it's more like I'm in a group of friends that understand me than standing in front of a group of elders. It's not two-faced at all, it just uses wisdom in not offending people who just can't understand sarcasm and/or will start an argument if I post an opinion on Christianity. I tell people up front who mention my twitter that I am a bit more free with my words than on FB.

    Anywho, I use wisdom with both. If I wouldn't say it to God then I wouldn't say it on Twitter, bottom line.
    A few personal rules….

    — Don't mention anything that has to do with a bathroom. No one wants to know if you're taking a dump or getting a quick shower. Most people are visual, when you mention that, we automatically go there in our imagination. It's not something we like to do, It just happens. Protect your brother and sister by not inviting them in the bathroom with you.

    — I don't care if the speaker you're listening to is making a great point every other sentence. Don't tweet every word he/she says.


  121. Gretchen says

    thanks, love it – especially the part about the sign that states "I'm tweeting the sermon". I was recently at a youth conference where it was part of my responsibility to tweet what was going on in order to keep the live blog up to date. Mostly it's no big deal, but it just doesn't feel right when the Archbishop is giving his sermon and I'm on my phone.

    Thanks for keeping it real!


  122. says

    By #5 I can see you follow Mike Glenn (@mikeglenn) haha, and I know so many #11s it makes me want to punch them in there twitter faces every time they send a tweet. Its like they pass Rainbows out of there backsides.

  123. Sam says

    Couldn't agree more. I love twitter for the wealth of information that it provides, but I also know the people that follow me on there and on facebook and I know that many of them are not even Christians. It makes you extra cautions to be a good example. My twitter experience is about to take a different view once my wife and I move to the mission field next year.

  124. drumsr4girls says

    So where was your advise in #8 when @biblesummary started his endeavor on August 8th? Wonder if he'll truly make it until November 9, 2013. Bless his heart. Oops…I mean :)


  125. says

    Excellent post as usual! Regarding point 29, I DM’d Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic, who replied that they started blocking them when they discovered them on the site and continue to do so for any other similar ads.

  126. dvaughn2005 says

    Not gonna lie, I needed this. Twitter can become an easy addiction. Especially in our fast-paced, narcissistic culture. Everything is now and should be about me. Defenantly going to watch out for that stuff. On the positive side, Twitter can be redeemed and be a really good encouragement. The ability to feel like I am connected with mature believers from all over the country gives me a sense that I am never alone when I am on mission. Plus it's really good to steal quotes and sound like your really smart to all your friends :)
    @ dvaughn2005

  127. says


    I don't tweet about Christiany stuff most of the time – I tweet about my life as a grad student, teacher and nanny, as well as about literacy and education – with a couple random ones thrown in now and again.

    If you are politically minded at all, I have a separate account for my political vents (since I wouldn't want to offend any parents I am trying to encourage to read to their children) – so you can also follow me @YouAreLiberated

    Both are definitely me, but you have to be careful of your audience on Twitter – and while @KidsStacks is related to my job and education, the beliefs of my supervisors, peers and followers don't always jibe with my personal political beliefs so I keep them separate . . . that said, they both have their Christiany moments now and again. :D

    Follow me, and I will almost always follow you back – it's nice to share smiles and ideas!! :D

  128. says

    Yep, I Tweet. It's my way to keep up with the world.


    Awesome list. I would also say — be careful not to try and make a controversial statement unless you can make yourself clear in 140 words. It could get you into trouble.

  129. KatR says

    I have to disagree with you on #24, @jesusneedsnewpr came up with the word "twucify" during the whole Warren kerfluffle and that has to be my favorite word. Ever.

    And honestly, had Warren clarified what he meant or apologized for how he came across instead of deleting the tweet and then posting follow up tweets acting like he was being persecuted, he would have come off a LOT better.

  130. says

    #33: Stop tweeting about using Apple’s products. Unless you are getting a per-tweet royalty, there’s no need to defend your use of a Mac. I already feel insecure enough, I don’t need Tweeters telling me how my life sucks and I’m a failure because I use a PC and a Blackberry.

  131. @Torres_YL says

    Love it! absolutely awesome post. I think anyone on twitter has experienced atleast one of these(if not more).

  132. Steve says


    Did the point about criticizing a speaker on twitter have anything to do about the Don Miller backlash from Echo this year? I was at the conference, and wasn't impressed with the talk, but kept it to myself. But I saw the flaming he god.

  133. says

    Hehe… Ever since you wrote the blog about social media sermon pauses I have been tweeting sermon bits with a #socialmediasermonpause hashtag… I think we should make that a Sunday morning trending topic.

    Don't ever ask your twolowers to help you make something a trending topic. Pete Wentz and Jamie Twokowski can do it, but you can't.

    Don't use a hashtag unless it really applies. Hashtags should be used wisely and sparingly. ;)

    Aaaaand you can follow me @SarahSquishy :D

  134. says

    "such a forcefield of irony it makes Alanis Morissette’s teeth hurt" OH MY GOSH I actually laughed out loud! Which doesn't happen as much as I lol online.

    I only have like 2 followers but that could be because I forget about Twitter for days at a time, partly because I can never think of witty or interesting tweets.

    Also, I feel like Jesus every time I ask people to follow me, and I get all bashful and humble.

    But, you can follow me (!) @bepplersauce on the Twitter.

  135. says

    My life is not all that twitteriffic. … thus one of my blog posts about such things. I would like to use it more though and I enjoy hearing about my friends encounters with worship eagles pooping on their heads etc. You can find me at lindabmusic

  136. says

    If you can't make it clear in 140 words, don't tweet it.

    By the way, my husband is super hot & I'm changing my profile picture to one from my wedding day!

    I will be happy to follow real people (not business) who follow me. =)

  137. says

    i love twitter–i only follow a few people that i know, and i randomly laugh several times a day at their tweets (which automatically come to my phone–ah, technology!) plus, sometimes it is the only way i know what my daughter is up to :)

    and you do tweet a lot, john. i don't know you, but someone i KNOW knows you. which is why i read your blog and follow you on twitter. and yes, your tweets are among those that randomly make me laugh. so it is ok that you tweet a lot… i am starting to automatically smile whenever i hear the "twitter tone" on my phone.

  138. says

    Don't have full conversations publicly. Thats what DMs are for. I don't want/need to read how disgusted you are w/the catheter commercials.

    I am not joking, that seriously happened yesterday.

    oh yeah – @Becca615 – I tweet a lot when I'm bored at work, which is overnight so, just fyi. =]

  139. Joxwood says

    I'm sorry, I'm a Luddite. Have never Twittered, tweeted or twote in any way. Probably never will – Facebook takes up enough of my time as it is.
    For those of you that do, enjoy and be careful out there. jo xx

  140. mchrischilds says

    Awesome stuff John! As usual you hit the you hit the twnail and the twhead….oh ooppss…

  141. says

    31. Unfortunately, 140 characters will not allow you to use a Christian email signature like, “In his grip,” in each tweet.
    For a while I was following someone who somehow managed to work God/Jesus into EVERY tweet, even if they were tweets about their travel plans or hair straightener.

  142. says

    @JulieArduini. I also have an account as @NancyStruthers, a fictional character I have from a short story series I give out to my newsletter subscribers. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off and I don't think I am, but it's a good idea. Someone will/has do that with success!

  143. says


    Ha i love this, theres also a website (cant remember the name) but its basically a christian version of Twitter and i think the website is following me…on twitter haha

  144. writingjoy says


    GREAT guide to Twitter. Every single one is on point.

    How about #twurch or #twermon for when you're tweeting the sermon?

  145. says


    Totally true. Good list!

    Don't forget waiting to tweet certain events like having a new baby until AFTER you've verbally told family and some friends. Otherwise, you may lose family and some friends :)

  146. guest says

    RE: number 11. It is entirely possible to tweet the exact opposite of this as well. I've known too many people who update constantly negative stuff too. They're always sick, life always sucks, things are always wrong, but then after every 5th or 6th negative update, they put "So glad God is in control". Thanks for knocking my God down a few pegs by attaching him to your never ending sea of negativity.

  147. says

    Great list! My pet Twitter peeve (tweeve?) is people who get angry if you don’t thank them for RTing you. They’re probably the same ones who get upset when you don’t send a thank you card. Yes, it’s nice to let people know you appreciate them…but to demand it is not doing things for the right reason.

    My Twitter ID is @Melissa_Rae

  148. jeannedamoff says

    100 points for: 'Your email address might be “GodismykingIpraisehiminthemorning777” but that’s too long to retweet.' Laughed out loud. Twice. (And no, that's not a twitterism for "ice.")


  149. @davidtiger says

    Great post (again). I've discovered twitter can be a great source of encouragement and inspiration if you follow the right people. I love the list and was considering retweeting the entire thing over the course of the next 3 weeks…I'll get to that after I finish tweeting Leviticus…


  150. says


    Aside from the horrendous grammar that is of epidemic proportions (among other issues), twitter is pretty neat! Thank God for people like John and Carlos! :D

  151. katieklop says

    Thanks for the list, Jon. It's been good to think about. I've actually committed #4 about you, and I'm sorry!

    I do think twitter can be a great way to widen our circles of influence, connect with people, and receive information. I'm glad we can all discuss how this silly but often serious form of social media affects our lives as men and women of faith. Thanks for providing the space for that.

    I made a list a few weeks ago of what I think are the 10 types of tweets ( Would love feedback from anyone!

    FYI, my tolerance is about 6 tweets a day… @katieklop

  152. Ju says

    “I stole the idea for ‘Purpose Driven Life’ from an episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack realizes his band Zack Attack is not his purpose” <— inflammatory? hmmmm… Inspiration can come from the darnedest places eh?

  153. gregawilson says

    I am @gregwilson on Twitter. I think people who have legitimate theological differences with @rickwarren should comment on them respectfully and extend him the same Christian brotherly love that he extends them. IMO, there are few who have done more to encourage pastors and church planters globally than @rickwarren (and, speaking as a member of that group of people, we appreciate encouragement).

  154. D.J says

    I started the whole Twitter thing a year ago, but i'm only following two people (not including family). prodigaljohn and danieltosh. Is that weird?

  155. says

    That's perfect, dude. I wish someone would have written this before now. I have some people who just don't get these rules. These should be printed out. Or at least put into a tab on the Twitter website.

  156. joel says

    Rad. I especially liked rule #11. I have a brother-in-law who is a youth pastor and sounds rather excessively "rainbow mouthed" or over-flowery, peppering his tweets with loads of "u", "ur", "hav", "n", "r", "2", "4", "-in" instead of "-ing", etc. Nothing wrong with a guy who can be found smiling and looking up at the sun in the sky, but his tweets are rarely relevant because that's how they ALWAYS sound.

    By the way – I'm @lhiver on Twitter. SCL is awesome. Keep up the great insights.

  157. Matt says

    I think Twitter is pointless and rather stupid…it's like facebook that's accessible to business people, celebrities, and middle aged folks who think they're hip and up with the times because they're using the internet. It's only a facebook status. What's the point? I feel pressured to get an account. But. I. Refuse.

  158. says

    Don’t use #hashtags like you use #bible #references in #conversation. #everyone knows you don’t know #twitter as well as #scripture.

    Love the list. Follow me breaking all rules above @thingstobylikes

  159. BennyRhymes says


    I found this really enjoyable. One thing I found was I had to hold back the urge to tweet a rule every 2 or 3 rules. I just got into your blog yesterday and I have probably read 10 or 15. I have also quoted you several times on twitter and facebook yesterday alone so I think I need to be light on the Jon Acuff quotes for a few days.

    Great stuff though I am thoroughly enjoying it.

  160. says


    I'd add the rule of don't tweet all the time on a controversial topic (like gay marriage, etc.), mocking those who disagree with you and then get offended if people who disagree with you unfollow you. That's like someone sitting at a table telling someone what an idiot they are for not having the same view as them and then screaming and yelling when that person gets up and quietly walks away.

  161. alexwittscheck says

    @alexwittscheck I have the strict rule: "Do not tweet anything that you wouldn't scream out loud in a crowded room." Good thing I have no problem screaming immature things. :D

  162. BunnyB1802 says

    Convicted! I've just done 3 retweets in a row. Sorry John.
    Loved the list though and so grateful 31. is true. Some signatures as just nauseating.

    So pleased I found you on Twitter and your blog. Plenty laughs, some thoughtful stuff.

  163. says

    I'm still learning the rules of twitter. Hope I'm not boring or annoying!


    I'm breaking number 15.

    Yeah, I've not shared a link on my blog before due to number 29. The post was really interesting, but a commenter's profile pic was inappropriate.

  164. Viq says

    It’s like #rain on your #weddingday, it’s a #freeride when you’ve already #paid…. I agree with Toby, excessive #hashtags are #annoying.

  165. @andrewsituma says

    I’m still kinda new on twitter and really trying to ‘get with the program’. love the guide esp number 18, 29, 30. number 30 seems to apply to this post and the date of my comment response…#lame. @andrewsituma

  166. Brandy says

    Brilliant list! I totally wanted to tweet #6, but could not do it and still have room to attribute it to you, so I refrained. Most of my Twitter connections are around what I do for work, and I have actually made some pretty cool friends. I am starting to follow more Christian Twitterers, including you, John, and its good to have that edification in my stream. I RT some Christian things, selectively, because most of my followers are not believers. I want what I do RT to count.

    I think you already follow me, I'm @forcedotmom

  167. says

    If there’s one thing that drives me crazy on twitter, it’s people tweeting in strange squished languages. For example:

    Thtz da bst prch Ps JJ evr dn.

    Translation: That’s the best preach paster John Jacobs has ever done.

    Follow me @Srizzil

  168. says

    pretty silly stuff. I'm sure that given this comment is extremely late, my opionion is from the 1700's….but, I must let you know that all of your suggestions were useful but I find #7 is the sermon POINT. I love that in the middle of the silliness, the truth of that little bit is lined in gold. lovely. thx! enjoy this humor immensely.

  169. Tim says


    I enjoy the work you do, it makes us remember that we should take God very serious and ourselves not as much.

  170. MWeger says

    Thanks, Jon! Very comprehensive. Had a buddy that got so excited about getting his new driver license and officially being a resident of a new state, he tweeted a pic of he and his wife’s licenses. Complete with address…DL #…full name… And he is a long-time twittalator. Oops. Sorry. Tweeter?


  171. says

    I made up a rule this morning about tweeting your first greeting of the day without mentions. It seems rude to only talk to your chosen people in front of all of us who follow you. I was grumpy this morning though.

    I'm @RobinMArnold on the Twitter.

  172. carissaelaine says

    I'm @figgins11. I'm a twitter geek. I retweet too often. Post too often.Cannot spell to save my soul. I think my twitter tips would be don't take yourself or anyone else too seriously. Give everyone the benefit of doubt. Follow Micah 6:8, Proverbs 10:12, Luke 6:27-35, and Romans 12:9-10

  173. @durvino says

    Is there a universal way to retweet with comments? The original tweet needs to be distinguishable from the comments


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