I know you may have seen plenty of reviewers by now, raving about The Church and New Media—a ground-breaking book authored by Brandon Vogt, with eleven other outstanding contributors (making the total a quite symbolic twelve).
What you mayn’t have yet read are straightforward reasons why you should reach into your wallet or thin ministry budget and purchase this book…
Allow me to assist:
One-of-a-kind. There isn’t anything else in the world like this book.
Bang for your buck. This book is almost like getting personal advice from professionals in Catholic new media! (Oh wait…that’s actually what it is.) You don’t even have to pay consulting fees to all of the contributors. After I started reading, I almost felt like I’d stolen something.
Many perspectives. This is perhaps one of the most impressive characteristics of TCANM. Readers benefit from the perspectives of moms, dads, priests, laity, young & old[er], converts and cradle Catholics. We hear from writers and bloggers, podcasters, video creators, webmasters, Facebookers, Twitterers, and that doesn’t cover all the bases. The result is a multi-faceted look at the past, present, and future of the relationship between the Catholic Church and new media.
Time in a bottle. Needless to say, hearing so many varying voices speak with you about new media is like bottling all the collective experiences of so many individuals. You gain from their years of experimentation, failures, and successes.
Inspiring examples. Sprinkled throughout the chapters are sidebars highlighting outstanding examples of organizations or individuals who have embraced new media for the Church’s purposes. You’ll be inspired to take leaps of faith and stretch your creative muscles after reading about these Catholic new media ‘Olympic athletes’, and I definitely don’t say that because I’m one of ’em. These are all ‘normal’ folks who’ve used their unique talents and experiences to glorify God.
Dynamic resources. Brandon Vogt has stuffed this baby chalk-full of websites, and the book’s website will continue to grow as a resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Church and new media. This is one of the ways you can bet the book won’t become outdated for a long, long time. I’m honored to have two of my projects currently on the website’s Resources list.
Timeless guidelines. “But really, won’t this be outdated once the next big thing comes along?” you’re asking me. No. I can confidently say that Vogt and his contributors have guarded against this by employing several strategies: incorporate Scripture, Tradition and Church documents; view new media usage from an eternal perspective; recommend principles that remain true regardless of the media – dealing with fear of the unknown, making ministry investments, relating to those you serve, etc.
Practical tips. While these pages are rich in principles, they also contain practical tips for familiarizing yourself / your ministry with new media, starting a blog, creating a podcast, bolstering parish new media, and even setting diocesan guidelines for new media quality and use. How much more brilliant does it get?
Doubles as charity! Well, it gets more brilliant at its heart. That’s because this book’s heart is truly united to the heart of God. Your purchase not only gets you this valuable book, but it also contributes to a CRS project in the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya, to fund computer labs. The author is taking none of the proceeds for himself. None! Now that’s discipleship. And what’s more, by diving into the ‘digital continent’ yourself, you’re breaching a gap (the ‘digital divide’) of media availability to richer and poorer nations.
Those are just my few reasons. If you’ve read the book, what do you have to add to the list?
>>> Purchase The Church and New Media ASAP. This is required reading.