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The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication Paperback – February 1, 2014
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Justin Wise connects the power of social media with the potential for life-changing ministry in a completely fresh, easy-to-understand, and relevant way. His energy and wisdom bleed through the pages. He gets it. He totally gets it and now you can too. The Social Church is a must-read for all Christian leaders called to serve in this time and space.
Tami Heim, president and CEO of Christian Leadership Alliance, coauthor of @stickyJesus: How to Live Out Your Faith Online
The rumors are true: Justin Wise knows his stuff. Not only does he ask the right hard questions in The Social Church but he boldly challenges the status quo, encouraging churches to embrace digital communications with vision, strategy, and purpose.
Carrie Kintz, Digital Communication Strategist, Focus on the Family
Justin is a knowledgeable and accomplished practitioner of social media strategy and tactics as well as a practiced speaker on the subject. He consistently creates and publishes useful content that goes beyond mere thoughts and opinions to include the tools he uses for success and the tactics and techniques for others to become successful.
Chris Giovagnoni, Social Media Marketing Program Manager, Compassion International
Justin Wise is the real deal. He is passionate about local churches and assisting them in connecting with a new generation. He brings creative and innovative thinking to each training, but more than that, you'll find in him a genuine heart of service with a purpose.
Haley Veturis, Social Media Manager, Saddleback Church
Justin has handled social media for both our SCORRE and Platform conferences in the last year and we couldn't be more pleased.
He understands the power of social media and the benefits that come when it's used correctly. Most importantly, he accomplished our goal: people who weren't at the event felt like they were and were encouraged to sign up for the next one.
Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers
From the Back Cover
Did you know you can read online reviews of your church?
How often have you talked about “reaching people where they are”—and realized that much of the time, they are on the Internet?
We’ve been living in a digital world for quite a while now. Justin Wise speaks about social media as this generation's printing press—a revolutionary technology that can spread the gospel farther and faster than we can imagine.
It’s time to take what we know (and admit what we don’t know), and learn together how to move forward as the church. Are you ready to think theologically about this digital age and reach people in a new way?
- Publisher : Moody Publishers; New edition (February 1, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0802409873
- ISBN-13 : 978-0802409874
- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.38 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #245,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Wise does a good job backing up his point to move churches into the social media generation through historical evidence. For example, he points out that until Martin Luther took the Bible to the printing press, the lay reader could not read a Bible because it was written in Latin. Martin Luther utilized the technology of the printing press to get the gospel out to the many instead of the few. "Luther’s dream, aided by technology, became a vivid reality. He had done it. He bridged a widening gap between “us” (clergy) and “them” (laity). Boundaries were shattered and new stories could be written. All of this from a German monk with digestive problems" (Kindle, Loc. 209). Right from the beginning of the book, Wise lays out a strong argument to support his idea that churches should evolve with technology.
The one critique I would point out is that there is a lot of information in this book and Wise does little to display that information visibly. In most book that are as information rich as this one, there is a chart or diagram (usually at the end of each chapter) showing how everything fits together. The assumption of each chapter being that you have read and understand the material so now it can be presented in a nicely organized image or chart that helps a person fit together the pieces of this information jigsaw puzzle.
What Wise does very well is two things. 1) He throws a joke in here and there, usually based on personal mistakes and experiences, that are a delightful little break in the information rich dialogue. Plus he displays vulnerability (as Brene Brown would suggest) that demonstrates he is a normal guy like the rest of us... a normal guy with something to offer the rest of us. 2) What Wise lacks visually on paper, he helps you to imagine in your head what a social media strategy might look like. He gives little tips such as, find the Big Idea, don't come across as the creepy person that only talks about your spouse on social media with no other life (referring to those that only post Jesus as if that is the only thing happening in their lives), getting the attention quickly, like, within seven seconds (the average time that a user visits a website and then backs out if it doesn't seem appealing). The tips throughout the book are little golden nuggets to take to heart when building your social media strategy. Wise even talks about the generational difference and the stubbornness of both generations trying to get what they want and ignoring the desires of the other.
Wise does an excellent job supporting and sticking to his thesis statement throughout the book. He doesn't tell you how to set up a social media page and he does not tell you when to post or what to post. He sticks to building a strategy and understand "why" you're posting in the first place, or why you shouldn't post, depending on the situation. Wise shares many success stories of churches that have sat on the fence regarding social media and then decided to make a go at it. He proves his point throughout the book but does it in a way that would not offend those that wish to deny social media. He takes in consideration those that either blatantly do not wish to use it or that are afraid to use it. If you've been sitting on the fence, this book will give you some great insight and make you ask questions that you perhaps had not thought of yet.
If you have an interest in your local church, communication, and social media than this is worth your time. Don’t expect this to teach you ‘how-to’ use social media more effectively however it will stimulate thoughts on how your church is currently communicating. Author Justin Wise is well versed in the importance of being culturally relevant in the way churches our communicating. This is a must read for at least one person in every church that cares about communication strategy. The point of the book is answering the why when thinking about social media and how to communicate in our church context.
Another strength in the book is the overall challenge to step up and address the status-quo in how we communicate within our churches and to our cultures. I greatly appreciated his thoughts on moving past complacency towards new chartered territories. With the ever changing realm of social media we must stay intentional to keep up with the pace. Our cultures are adapting to the new ways of communications so our churches must as well. We can’t complain about not having younger bodies in our pews when we are not doing anything to communicate with them. He emphasizes the importance of churches having a big idea if they are going to have any success in implementing a social media program and stresses the importance in making sure that everything flows through a churches vision.
So if your church does not have a solid vision and a plan to see that incorporated into the use of a social media campaign or strategy than you are just throwing darts, hoping for success. Wise brings great emphasis on planning for the change and for the future. Preparation and courage will lead your church into new arenas. It will also bring towards you a new audience to engage with. The author nails the premise (we must adapt and change now) and supports it well throughout the book.
My one thought of question in this book is that it appears to be missing something. And maybe this thought comes from my own personal desire that there would have been more theology in the text. It would have given the perfect connection to 'the why' we should all be searching for when thinking about this topic.
He has a comfortable writing style and invites you into to his storytelling well. I recommend the book.