the blogging church, by brian bailey and terry storch
someone needed to write this book, so i’m glad leadership network got it done. the book is a good onramp for pastors and ministries considering how blogging may or may not be helpful to their ministry. in fact, i think the biggest strength of the book is that it directly addresses most, if not all, the questions churches and ministry leaders would raise when considering a blog (or, at least, these are questions they should be asking). so, i think there are two categories of ministry leaders who really need to read this book:
1. those who are clueless about blogging. parts of the book are very elementary if you know anything about blogs and blogging. but this is appropriate for those ministry leaders who need an onramp before even considering if they would potentially blog.
2. those planning on starting a ministry-connected blog (or planning on connecting their personal blog in to ministry a bit more). the book raises and responds to questions these people might not have considered.
the book has a tendency toward fiat statements and generalizations that frustrated me at times (“you must view it this way,” “all churches are this way,” “this would be the only reason you would blog”). but for the right reader, the book is still helpful enough.
one final thing: i had a similar love it/don’t love it reaction to the appendix, which has a final word (about a page or two each) from 15 or so leading bloggers. on one hand, that appendix is totally worth the price of the book on its own. and i was fascinated by the level of bloggers the authors were able to get responses from (multiple technorati top-100 bloggers in the list). but i was disappointed by how few actual ministry bloggers were on the list — people who are using blogs in the very way the book is promoting. and, because i get very nervous about the american church’s obsession with taking all our cues from business leaders (not that there isn’t plenty of great stuff to glean from good thinkers in any field!), the input was a tad diminished for me. i would have loved it if the authors had acknowledged that tension, then had two appendices: one from business leaders, and one from ministry leaders. and a greater breadth of ministry leaders would have been sweet also — andrew jones seemed to be the only ministry blogger in the appendix who isn’t a contemporary mega- (or wannabe-mega-) church pastor.
there you have it. one thumb up, one thumb sideways.