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The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Reyes-Chow
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

For anyone who has wondered if and how social media can benefit the church, Presbyterian pastor and social media early-adopter Bruce Reyes-Chow steps in with answers. He deftly weaves practical how-to's with a convincing rationale for why social media matters for the church. Social media novices will find an accessible introduction and ideas for getting started, while more experienced users will discover new ways to use social media in congregations. Readers will learn from Bruce's experiences managing information overload and navigating social media issues during a pastoral transition. This is a book to pick up for both practical purposes and Bruce's insightful and inspiring commentary on the ways social media is changing our culture and the church. Learn how social media allows Christians to be in the world in new, powerful, and God-honoring ways.

Editorial Reviews


A compendium of every thing, every term, and almost every insight anyone could ever need or want for effectively integrating social media with God's business in His Church,Definitive-ish is also conversational, personal and pure pleasure to read. - Phyllis Tickle, Author, The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why and Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters

About the Author

Bruce Reyes-Chow is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), a technophile, and an active and prolific user of social media. He is keenly interested in social media as a force of cultural change both within and outside the church, and frequently writes about these topics as a blogger for Patheos, The Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Reyes-Chow pastored Mission Bay Presbyterian Church in San Francisco for eleven years and served as Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He lives in San Francisco with his wife and three daughters.

Product Details

  • File Size: 711 KB
  • Print Length: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Shook Foil Books (June 26, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great into to social media and its role in ministry June 28, 2012
By Dawn L
Format:Kindle Edition
Are you confused about hashtags, tweets and status updates? This book does a great job providing an introduction to facebook, twitter, and so many other platforms available today, as well as how they can be used in the church. You'll find some more useful than others, depending on the needs of your church, but it will be helpful to know what's out there and what it can do, and being aware of these tools will open your worldview and enable you to connect with others in your congregation who are using them.

No matter who you are and what size church you serve, you'll find something of value for your ministry in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By clyde
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book quite helpful. I do our church's website and constantly there is a battle, er, holy discussion, about what should be on the homepage etc. Not everything can FIT! Nor should it. Websites should be simple, inviting, informative about who you are, how to come to the church, and it should be very easy to navigate to find basic information IMHO. It is fairly static. It cannot substitute for other media communication tools. Kvetching aside, I had no other answers to offer the homepage crowders, to fix their very real needs.

This book lays out a practical plan to follow for many kinds of church missions, relates the author's own experiences, the pitfalls, but most of all, tells how to do it well. It is very clear, I think others who know nothing about this, will be more inclined to branch out with some success. I like the tools he mentions for volunteering and queries. Bruce's ideas (I feel I am on a first-name basis now) for newsletters, how to "do" Facebook well, taught me a new way to use these. I confess, I am still not sold on Twitter, but, as Bruce says, lots of people use it, so find someone who wants to take that on. THANK YOU. This is a huge help. And he put to rest my argument, "How many people would this actually reach anyway? All this energy on posting, and who looks at it?"

In the future updates (he plans to update yearly to keep this viable) I would like to see more in the Glossary and again, more on Twitter. Perhaps some simple illustrations of some of the things discussed would help (screen shots). How it looks to RT, @ and #. You have got me stoked to go to my long dormant Twitter account and see how people do it. Or maybe it is on YouTube somewhere...

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not ish at all - Definitive for sure! December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to follow instructions and theologically sound reasons for bringing worshipping communities into 21st century and on to Web 2.0.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Primer November 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From my blog:

How can my church effectively use social media? Which social media services should my church use? Aren't we opening our congregation up to abuse if we venture into social media?

I've been blogging for seven years and because of that, I frequently get questions like these from pastors and congregation leaders. I can offer some help but social media can be used in many creative ways. I've never focused on social media's application for a congregation so my input has always been incomplete. But now I have definitive-ish solution, or at least a starting place, for congregations that want to fully engage with social media.

Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow wrote a book earlier this year, "The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church." Bruce was a church planter and a pastor. He also is also a past moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). But most importantly, Bruce has been an avid user of social media as pastor in the congregational setting.

The book begins with Bruce highlighting culture shifts that have reshaped the way we communicate and connect. He writes about the spirituality of social media, but also the inherent dangers, offering insights on how to navigate this new world.

As a starting place, Bruce recommends five social media tools:

Google Docs

I use all five of these. Maybe you do too. But what was helpful for me was Bruce showing particular ways these tools can be helpful in the life of a congregation. He raised several ideas I hadn't given much consideration. For instance, I use Yelp to look up stuff all the time. What are people saying about your congregation at Yelp?
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Not Afraid! August 7, 2012
By DrDixie
Format:Kindle Edition
Throughout the Biblical narrative the people of God are admonished to "Be Not Afraid", yet for many leaders of small congregations the idea of using social media to connect with members and potential members is, if not quite scary, at the least intimidating. With this book, Bruce Reyes-Chow shows the people of God how to live by engaging in the social media that surrounds us and by which so many of our members engage with one another. This isn't a "Social Media for Dummies" book, detailing the nuts and bolts of exactly HOW to use a particular piece of social media, instead it seeks to define some of the best platforms for churches to use in their ministries. Reyes-Chow introduces the platforms, shares their basic functions and invites his readers to explore how they might use them in their own ministries. As someone who left a career in technology to answer God's call to ministry I've never been afraid of technology, just unsure with the rapidly changing environment of where my limited time could be best utilized. As the pastor of a small congregation I needed someone to wade through the vast array of platforms and share with me those which might prove to be most helpful. This book did just that and I highly recommend it to those who are looking for an entry point for their church's use of social meida as a ministry tool.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful, reassuring, down to earth
As one who is exploring the potential for social media in a local church, this is just what I needed. Thanks!
Published 29 days ago by Charles H. Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Are You A Church Trying To Figure Out Social Media? READ THIS BOOK
If you're a church looking to get started on how to effectively use social media in your ministry, this is a definite go-to resource for you. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kyle H. L. Powderly
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful tool to start and/or re-energize conversation about race
While anyone can encourage honest and open conversation about race within mainline Protestantism, few can do so with the credibility of Reyes-Chow. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Greg Smith (aka sowhatfaith)
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read even for non church professionals
A very good read. Excellent thoughts and commentaries. Really think church professional and officers should look at to consider how they can better do ministry and be the church. Read more
Published 18 months ago by LPG
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Great book.

It outlines social media for all us trying to figure it out in a very good way.

I am excited to see any changes that are coming.
Published 22 months ago by jadonarredondo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource
This is a great resource whether you are a novice or are looking to expand your knowledge on using Social Media in a church setting. Read more
Published 23 months ago by D. W. Luck
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Definitive-ish
With so many tools available, Bruce's guide is a great reference for helping decide which to choose. A quick read.
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening the Channels for Deeper, More Integrated Life Together
[This review originally appeared on
the Englewood Review of Books website - 20 Dec 2012 ]

Although it is an introductory guide, pastor and seasoned blogger Bruce... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Englewood Review of Books
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Start
As the webmaster of a small church, I am examining the use of Social Media to enhance our congregant's experience. Read more
Published on December 5, 2012 by A. Bastanza
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church
The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church is an e-book by Bruce Reyes-Chow. I first took notice of Bruce Reyes-Chow when he became the moderator for the PCUSA... Read more
Published on October 10, 2012 by Tina
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More About the Author

Bruce is a native Northern Californian and 3rd generation Chinese/Filipino who writes and speaks extensively on faith, politics, race, parenting and technology.

Bruce graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Philosophy, Sociology and Asian American studies (1990), earned his masters degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary (1995) and was granted an honorary Doctoral degree from Austin College (2011).

A prolific blogger and sought-after speaker, Bruce is the author of The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church (Shook Foil Books, 2012) and But I Don't See You as Asian: Curating Conversations About Race (Self-Published, 2013). His writing can be found on his blog,, as well as The Huffington Post, Patheos and The Working Preacher.

Bruce is also a Presbyterian Teaching Elder having pastored multicultural congregations for nearly 20 years and in 2008 he was elected to the highest office the 2 million member Presbyterian Church (USA.

In his spare time you may find him riding his motorycle, cheering on the Oakland A's, playing Settlers of Catan, tinkering with his fantasy sports teams, chauffeuring his daughters around town or walking the dog. Bruce currently lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife, Robin and his three daughters, Evelyn, Abby and Annie.

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