UPDATE: This project took place on October 27th, 2010.
A police station in the UK recently tweeted every single call and dispatch in a 24 hour period. The Greater Manchester Police Force between 5am on Thursday October 14 and 5am Friday October 15 dealt with 3,205 incidents and posted details of every single one on Twitter (Here’s the tweets archive). Their purpose was educational:
“The reality of police work is that although crime is a big part of what we do, we do much else besides,” Chief Constable Peter Fahy of Manchester said in a message posted to YouTube. “We’re very much the agency of last resort, and a big part of our workload is related to wider social problems of alcohol, drugs, mental health and people having problems with their relationships.”
In other words, the public perception of everything a police force does is very much out of line with what they actually do, which is much broader in scope.
It started me thinking about the common conceptions about being a pastor.
You know the jokes: pastors only work on Sundays and only care for spiritual concerns.
But I wonder what great diversity there might be in a pastor’s daily life? Could outlining what a typical pastor’s day looks like be interesting to people?
Of course, John Wesley and his Holy Club did just this every day of outlining how they spent their time while at Oxford and continued the practice to a less-ridiculous degree with Wesley’s journals. So perhaps along with public education there is a spiritual component of examining how you do your time.
So here’s the challenge: are there people interested in participating in a Pastor’s 24 hour twitter project?
Here’s what it would look like:
- Pastors or people in ministry work would have twitter accounts that they would update with every single ministry-related thing they do in a 24 hour period, from the big to the mundane.
- Obviously, details would be kept to a minimum. If a meeting is over a sensitive topic, the tweet might just be “met with parishioner” or “finance meeting”
- Try to post as close as possible to the time it completed, either by the twitter web interface or a cell phone (you can setup tweeting by text message here).
- Do this for 24 hours so the world has a better idea of the (1) complexity of pastoral issues and (2) the diversity of our ministry contexts!
- Use the hashtag (say what?) of #pastors24 at the end of the update so we can follow everyone’s work.
What do you think? Willing to participate?
If there’s interest, here’s the proposed action list:
- Plan for next Wednesday, October 27th will be the pastors24 day. Wednesdays are usually full ministry days for me, at least. Post every entry under the twitter hashtag #pastors24
- Sign up below and write your twitter name or link, then I’ll include you in updates later this week as a participant and link to your twitter/blog (free publicity if you participate!)