The president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has finally joined the world of social media. Using @PastorTedWilson on Twitter and /PastorTedWilson on Facebook, Ted N. C. Wilson launched social network accounts on October 1st in order to communicate more effectively and directly with people, he said in the Adventist Review.
A small team of media personnel will help manage Wilson's accounts, but all social media communication will pass through his office, he said.
The decision to implement social media as another means of getting out his presidential agenda of "Revival and Reformation, Mission to the Cities, Comprehensive Health Ministry, and Total Member Involvement," may have been spurred by younger members of the Adventist community.
In June, Pastor Chad Stuart interviewed Wilson for the Adventist Review and raised questions about Wilson's social media deficiencies:
Wilson: "Another huge thing that we are focusing on and developing rapidly is a strong, strong emphasis on media—social media networks, television, radio of course, Internet, the whole thing." Stuart: "I informed him he isn’t doing a very good job with Twitter..." Wilson: “In the future we are going to—my office will probably have to enter considerably more into the social media aspect. I’m not on Facebook personally, but I recognize that’s where a lot of people are.” Stuart: "Should I tell him Facebook is losing touch?"
As of press time, Elder Wilson's Twitter account was set to "protected" so that only approved followers could see tweets from the account. However, sixteen followers had already been approved.
The Adventist Church already has an official Twitter account, @adventistchurch, handled by the General Conference communication department. The account has 50.8K followers. Wilson's new accounts will allow him to further manage the messaging that goes out of the World Church headquarters.
Other religious leaders on Twitter include Pope Francis, whose @Pontifex accounts in nine languages have over 25M followers, the Dalai Lama with 11.9M followers, and Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who has 116K followers.
EDIT: As of noon Eastern Time, @PastorTedWilson was no longer a protected account, and had over 850 followers. Elder Wilson's first tweet:
Welcome to my Twitter account! I’m looking forward to sharing with you. You can also follow me on Facebook: http://t.co/TIC9sAze0q— Ted Wilson (@pastortedwilson) October 1, 2015
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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