Book review: A valuable guide for social media ministry

By Mark Norman, Special Contributor

Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible
Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson
Morehouse Publishing, 2012

I have been blessed to speak to diverse people about many different things. I have discovered there are many opinions about social media. I often hear, “I have a cell phone and I do email, but I don’t do Facebook and I don’t tweet!”

People of all ages feel this way about social media. It is a scary thing. You never know who is going to friend you on Facebook or who will follow you on Twitter. The wrong comment or the wrong picture that you are “tagged” in can create problems for your personal and professional life.

What do we do? Should we as the church build a wall to protect ourselves from the fast world of social media? Or do we infiltrate our ministries into the world of social media, taking the gospel to a digital age?

If you have wrestled with these questions, the first book you need to add to your library is Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible. This book gives you a simple breakdown of different digital ministries that can happen in a local congregation.

The book begins with how social media has grown and become a part of the life and ministry of the church. For example, a movement by a group of Catholic priests started discussions with the Vatican about the importance of social media; now, Pope Benedict XVI is on Twitter. Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson process the world of digital ministry and express parameters for effectiveness.

Creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your church is not what this book is about. The authors understand the need for a ministry that “communicates an authentic representation of self and ministry that humanizes the community of faith in a digital world.” In its digital ministry, a church must offer “real presence” and relational communication to present and future members of a congregation.

Click 2 Save is an excellent manual for use in a digital ministry. At the end of every chapter, it offers tools for social media profiles, strategies and platforms to help tell the story of Christ in a digital age. The last two chapters help ministry teams process the evangelistic message of the church, tools for effective management of all social media, and explore how to make your social media pages vibrant.

If I have one critique of this book, it’s that it does not address the less tech-savvy people that I mentioned earlier. If you don’t have a social media person anywhere in your congregation, this book would not be of much help.

You will not need to be a “techie” to benefit from Click 2 Save, but the book itself is written for people who have at least some knowledge of social media. It is an excellent tool to help create an effective social media ministry, and it’s worth reading. (Even if you have to ask a young person or a regional conference techie to help you translate it!)

The Rev. Norman serves as associate pastor of First UMC Benton, Ark.

Special Contributor to UMR

Special Contributor

This story was written by a special contributor to The United Methodist Reporter. You may send your article submissions to
editor@circuitwritermedia.com
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