Book review: Rewired by Brandon Cox

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Social Media 101 Blog

By Karen Shay-Kubiak

Brandon Cox was a pastor at Saddleback Church and recently planted a Saddleback daughter church in Arkansas. He also oversees the content and online community of Pastors.com and Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. He was tweeting before it was cool and was the editor of the site fuelyourblogging.com. With his feet in both worlds—ministry and social media—he brings a unique perspective to the discussion about social media in the church.

The first part of Rewired provides an overview of the evolution of church communication. Cox makes the provocative claim that “God invented social media,” then does a good job of substantiating it by demonstrating how God has paved the way throughout history for the good news to spread like wildfire.

The first part of Rewired provides an overview of the evolution of church communication. Cox makes the provocative claim that “God invented social media,” then does a good job of substantiating it by demonstrating how God has paved the way throughout history for the good news to spread like wildfire.

The author pleads with church communicators to be agents of change—to “rewire” the way we do ministry and embrace the values of a social media-saturated culture. Values like authenticity, compassion for others and generosity are not only today’s communication reality; they are evidence of Christ among us.

The second part of Rewired further addresses philosophy and why we need to engage the world via social media. Cox asserts that it’s the mission of the church to engage: “It is impossible to fulfill the Great Commission as Jesus gave it without engaging the culture around us.”

Section three, “The ‘How’ of Social Media,” was where I found the real meat. Cox has a number of great suggestions for maximizing technology—including blogs, websites, mobile web and apps, as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

“Part of flooding the online space with God’s glory and with the gospel of Jesus is making sure the gospel is given a great deal of attention next to all the other stories being told. This has been our mission since the beginning, and we now have more tools than ever for getting it done,” says Cox.

He addresses the importance of voice, brand, good design, usability and mobile technology, with specific examples of each.

There were two things I particularly liked about Rewired.

1.  It’s a mix of “how” and “why.” Many of the books I’ve read on social media and the church are one or the other: either a Facebook and Twitter handbook, or a rationale for considering whether to engage at all. This book covers both.

2.  It includes excellent reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions made me consider personal application and I wrestled with some important questions. This would make a great book study for a communications team or group of social media volunteers.

In summary, if you (or your senior pastor) are still not sure whether to engage in social media or why you even should, the first two-thirds of the book will convince you. If you’re already sold on using social media in your church’s communications—and are the type who enjoys eating dessert before dinner—you may want to skip ahead and read part three first. Either way, if you’re a church communicator, Rewired is well worth your time.

The book review's opinions are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Florida Conference. Courtesy of www.churchmarketingsucks.com. 



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