Though doing so makes me a bit bashful as I’m featured in it, I would like to review Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible by Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson (both Twitter and Facebook friends whom I’ve never met in real life. Yet.) In short: it’s a darn good book. Unless you have a black belt in digital ministry or a Klout score over 80, you should read it…and then share it with other church leaders.
In four clearly written chapters, Drescher and Anderson (who I’ll just call “the authors”) give a wonderful overview of the digital ministry world these days. The tone is gentle and informative. The authors do not overwhelm you with technology jargon. The artwork — yes, there’s artwork! — is fun and helpful. Upon completing the work, the reader feels informed and ready for digital ministry. And yet, it will surely be a book most go back to from time to time for that tip they forgot, or that website they’re now ready to check out.
In chapter one, the authors lay out our digital world today. They write, “we are confident that much of the hope for revitalizing our churches and sustaining their good work in the world 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” (3).
The second chapter describes an approach, a strategy and posture, for digital ministry. They argue that church leaders should use an authentic personal voice in their digital ministry, and do so to connect and relate, not just spew info about the times of worship on Sunday. Sections on appropriate boundaries, and reminders that pastors should not have their personal needs met online by parishioners, are great too.
Chapter three and four are even more practical. Three covers Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, and FourSquare. Chapter four extends the conversation on how to use these platforms, including several helpful exposés on awesome digital ministry types like Nadia Bolz-Weber, Father Matthew Moretz, and the Massachusetts Council of Churches (my social media work with The Project F-M is featured here, which is crazy cool).
Along the way, every chapter has extensive sidebars with profiles of ministry leaders, ideas, definitions, and areas for further thought. Each chapter concludes with a helpful list of how leaders can put the chapter’s ideas to practice: tips for the “novice,” “oblate,” and “superior” user. (I will say, though: I wish it had an index.)
Click 2 Save is not an exhaustive text (the subtitle is provocative, not descriptive) — it’s firmly planted in the mainline, it sees digital ministry as relationship and supportive of face-to-face ministry and not a replacement. It’s also not a program to implement — though its ideas can easily be filtered throughout a congregation’s leaders. It is, most certainly, a very solid, readable, and incredibly helpful introduction and overview to digital ministry in 2012 and beyond. I commend it to you. Click away.