UPDATE: @PreachersNSneakers creator explains why he did it
“This thing started as an attempt to make people laugh …”
On Friday Eternity reported on an instagram account called @PreachersNSneakers that featured high-profile emerging preachers wearing expensive shoes and clothes. At that stage, @PreachersNSneakers had 7,000 followers – up from 3,500 on Thursday.
In less than two days, the account’s followers have grown to 53,000 and provoked a passionate conversation between Christians.
“I just want people to be real and have an awareness of how their financial stewardship may affect those around them.” – Tyler Jones
We reached out again to PreachersNSneakers creator – who goes by the pseudonym ‘Tyler Jones’ – to ask why he created the account, what he thinks of its success, and what he’s hoping to achieve with it all.
Eternity: Why did you start PreachersNSneakers?
Tyler Jones: I started this account with ZERO intention of starting any kind of movement or deep theological discussion. This account was initially started as a comedic bit for close friends that thought it funny. That quickly changed when I saw how many people from seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum (devoted atheists to devoted followers of Jesus) connected with it. Now, I have had to wrestle with where this discussion is going.
Eternity: Do you have a background in activism or theological critique or something?
Tyler Jones: I don’t have a background in activism nor in theological critique and have only managed my personal social media accounts up to this point. Ultimately, I just want people to be real and have an awareness of how their financial stewardship may affect those around them.
Eternity: Can you believe how PreachersNSneakers has blown up?
Tyler Jones: I absolutely cannot believe the growth of this thing. It has been super fun but also super challenging. It has made me evaluate questions that I never would have considered before and consider the impact a simple IG post can make. I hope it continues but also hope that I can be wise in how I handle it.
“This can be very useful or immensely detrimental” – Tyler Jones
From a technology perspective, I do think this is an incredible time to be alive. So many more people have access to the platforms and media needed to drive a movement or provoke new ways of thinking with virtually no barriers to entry.
This can be very useful or immensely detrimental; society today has clearly shown that we still don’t have a complete grasp on how to handle it.
Eternity: Why the anonymity?
Tyler Jones: I’m still being careful as far as divulging much about myself but hopefully will be able to find a way soon.
Eternity: What are you hoping to achieve with PreachersNSneakers?
Tyler Jones: I’m still processing the growth of this account and haven’t had time yet to develop a good long term answer to this.
As a Christian, I want more people to come to Christ (despite all the accusers who slide in my DMs saying I’m tearing the (C)hurch apart). I do, however, want the leaders of churches to have to evaluate their stewardship of the funds and people of which they have been put in charge. They have such a heavy calling and need to understand the gravity of the example they are setting.
I also want to drive discussion within the community of people that are atheist, agnostic or questioning. Already this week I have had amazing conversations with people from all walks of life/status and all over the world. This component is incredibly fulfilling to me and I hope it continues.
This thing started as an attempt to make people laugh and obviously I would like to continue that as well.
My wife is sick of hearing my jokes so it’s nice to have a new forum for that (ha ha).