The “hope for revitalizing our churches,” maintain Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson, “is related to the ability of leaders in ministry to engage people exactly where they are. And ‘where they are’ increasingly includes social media spaces like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.” Their book, Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (Morehouse, 2012) is packed with information about social media tools and how they work. But more than that, it addresses how these tools can serve as effective instruments of ministry.
Digital ministry is relational and networked, and these relational networks reach far beyond the local church.
The authors distinguish between digital marketing and digital ministry. While the former revolves around selling goods and services, the latter focuses on communicating religious meanings to new seekers and believers. “Digital ministry is relational and networked, and these relational networks reach far beyond the local church.”
Drescher and Anderson also explain four core church practices in social networking, designated by the acronym LACE:
- Listening. Recognizing what people share about who they are.
- Attending. Noticing people’s experiences as they express what matters to them.
- Connecting. Reaching out to extend one’s networks into diverse communities
- Engaging. Building relationships through collaboration.
Within this core group, there are specific ministries that social networking supports — such as spiritual care, hospitality, disciple formation, and public witness.
Ultimately, the authors hope that congregational leaders will be able to invite “disenchanted and disengaged believers and seekers into relationships that move easily from digital spaces to local ones, and back again.”
Concluding with a glossary, this book will acquaint any congregational leader with the opportunities and challenges of effective social media ministry.
This review originally appeared in the CRG online newsletter and is used by permission. Click 2 Save, is available from Amazon and Cokesbury. The authors are Elizabeth Drescher, who teaches in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministry at Santa Clara University in California, and Keith Anderson, pastor at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
- Using Facebook Appropriately as a Ministry Tool by Thomas G. James