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The Social Media Gospel [Book Review]

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Every so often, a book comes along that proves to be an invaluable resource to the Church in a very tactical way. [amazon_textlink asin=’0814647073′ text=’The Social Media Gospel’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’churc0da-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’928ee0df-5489-11e8-89c9-47bffaa007b8′] by Meredith Gould is such a book. No matter how your church functions – whether the solo pastor handles social media and communication or the communication director does – this book is a helpful, thoughtful resource that will enhance what you are already doing or get you moving in the right direction that is best for your organization.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Dr. Meredith Gould, she is writer, communications consultant, digital strategist, and founder of the #chsocm (church social media Twitter chat.)

One of the aspects of this book I appreciate the most is how thoughtfully she asks the right questions to steer your church’s approach to social media before you get down to tactics. There is, in fact, much to think about, as this 27-chapter book attests to. Between defining what social media actually is to understanding learning styles to how to curate content, The Social Media Gospel is a primer that should be on the desk of every church communicator.

Here is a breakdown of the chapters to give you a sense of the resources available with this treasure trove of content:

[amazon_link asins=’0814647073′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’churc0da-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fad1aa47-5488-11e8-9d66-3bb007d60b94′]1 Defining Social Media 3
2 Thinking Theologically 7
3 Thinking Generationally 13
4 Learning Styles 18
5 Personality Types 22
6 Virtual Community Is Real Community 27
Section II: Choosing Social Media 33
7 Strategic Planning 35
8 Participants and Participation 39
9 Curating and Creating Content 42
10 Print Is Not Dead; It’s Being Transfigured 45
11 Bridging the Digital Divide 48
12 Reaching Out to Special Populations 52
13 Social Media Durability 55
14 Why Choose Blogging 58
15 Why Choose Facebook 62
16 Why Choose LinkedIn 67
17 Why Choose Pinterest 70
18 Why Choose Twitter 74
19 Why Choose YouTube 78
Section III: Making Social Media Work 83
20 Integrating Social Media 85
21 Managing Social Media on Multiple Platforms 89
22 A Bit of How-To about Tweetchats 92
23 Jargon Alert 96
24 A Bit of How-To about Writing Online Content 99
25 Managing Online Conflict 102
26 Social Media Burnout 106
27 Best Practices for Digital Ministry 110
Appendix A: Strategic Choices 113
Appendix B: Yes, You Need a Social Media Policy 115
Appendix C: The Communications Audit

Should you order this book, I pray it would bless your efforts to communicate the Gospel through the audience that God has blessed you with.

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunterhttps://laurenhunter.net
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at https://laurenhunter.net.

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