Wow. That was fun.
This project began as a simple question: what *do* pastors do on a random day of ministry? What if we could all tweet about our days and find out? What incredible diversity and little moments of ministry could we unearth?
Hence this project. While it has been criticized as self-congratulatory, self-justificating, or simply a waste of time better spent in prayer, the purpose was not to promote ourselves but to educate the public about what pastors do all day. For the Methodists it was a throwback to Wesleyan Holy Clubs who would chronicle their day in 15 minute increments. And it was fun.
Thanks to twitter/facebook grassroots promotions, the UMNS News Service, and even UMC.org, this project got onto people’s radars and into their routines yesterday. And #pastors24 became a way for pastors to connect and people on the outside to get a glimpse into a typical pastor’s day.
So, we’re done with that day. And since I’ve got enough academia still running through my blood, analyzing the data was pretty fun. Here’s a taste:
- Articles at Hacking Christianity: Original, 2 Day Preview, Pastors24
- Writeup of the Pastor’s 24 project at UMNS Reporter Blog
- Blurb about Pastor’s 24 project at UMNS Daily Digest
- Using Twitter’s search function, we’ve included all the tweets from 12:01am EST to 11:59pm PST that used the hashtag #pastors24 and some misspellings (#pastor24, #pastor’s24)
- From those parameters, there were 1050 tweets that were included in the data below.
- There were ~72 pastors and ministry people who participated. While there were 107 people who tweeted the hashtag, some were RT-ing or asking questions and didn’t participate. So this is every person with at least 3 tweets.
- We plugged the names of every tweet into Wordle and the above picture came out. Click to enlarge. The larger the name, the more tweets! Though it wasn’t a contest, @pastorbecca had the most tweets by far, followed closely by @WmHWatson @agarvin, @PastorEmJ, and @herevrush. (@umjeremy is not counted since many of my tweets were maintaining the project)
- There were 1050 updates sent by pastors participating in this project. This is a rough number. It does include some misspelled tweets (ie. #pastor24), but not every tweet appears in twitter’s search function.
- At one point, we were a trending topic in Atlanta, meaning out of all the tweets coming from Atlanta, we were in the top 10. Wild.
- We plugged in the full text of the tweets into Wordle, excluding the #pastors24 hashtag, and posted the picture above. Click it to enlarge. There’s a few things that jump out to me:
- Meetings are one of the top words pastors used. Whether it is meeting with a student, parent, committee, teacher, youth…we are meeting a lot.
- There’s a lot of “youth” mentions which is powerful. It may be a bit swayed since at least 2 of the participants are in children’s and youth ministry, but still neat.
- A lot of pastors do work on meetings, worship, bible studies the day-of. A large number of pastors were actively working on their evening programs the day it was to happen. This isn’t a criticism just something I noticed.
- Many pastors worked 12-13 hour days, even if the first/last hours were doing computer work.
- Really the best way to get a glimpse of pastors’ days is to go to the #pastors24 stream and scroll. Click on a name and scroll through their tweets from yesterday. Amazing, huh?
I’m incredibly interested in feedback from the Pastors who participated. Here’s a few tweets that I starred:
Early reflection of #pastors24: inspired by prayer in stream; happy w/ breadth of what we call ministry; finding myself more intentional | @pastorbecca
Good night my fellow pastors. It’s been a blessing to journey with you today. #pastors24 | @lanecottonwinn
sorry for the spam all day. Amazing to see it all–esp when the day felt kinda calm. Praying for everyone who participated. #pastors24 | @PastorEmJ
And I suspect that these tweets may sound raw but they are reflective of ourselves:
108 miles traveled. 13 hrs away from home. 3 pastoral visits. numerous conversations. 1 committee meeting. that’s my wednesday #pastors24 | @mjmm
final question from me: does anyone besides me sometimes find this work grindingly oppressive and once-in-awhile no fun at all?#pastors24 | @barryweber
sometimes i wonder why i do this, but overall i feel blessed by the congregation i serve, my family, and friends in ministry. #pastors24 | @mjmm
I would love to hear how others experienced this. Can you comment below and let us know your experience?
- Were you more intentional yesterday? In what way?
- Did you feel more connected to other pastors yesterday? Why? Any other pastors in particular?
- What trends or common updates did you see yesterday?
Thanks to the participants for taking the time to educate the world about our day.
Blessings for your journeys!
[Shameless plug: I’m a United Methodist pastor and this is an active blog about faith, technology, and group theory…so feel free to subscribe, follow on Facebook, or follow on Twitter and join the conversations!]