Brandon Vogt’s new book, “The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops who Tweet”, released in August 2011 by Our Sunday Visitor is getting good reviews for good reasons. The twelve contributors are all pioneers in the use of social media for sharing our Catholic faith. They share what they have learned and how they want to move forward in using new media for good. Their contributions are easy-to-read and rich with practical examples that others can imitate.
Here are a few insights that I especially liked:
We are all called to be missionaries and evangelizers in our families, communities, workplaces, and social networks. Just as we expect great missionary orders to learn the culture of the natives they are evangelizing, we must also learn, live and embrace the life and culture of the digital continent.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap
It would be unwise in the extreme for the Church to absent itself from the virtual Areopagus for fear of rejection or contradiction. We should enter it with the courage, intelligence, and sheer panache of St. Paul.
Rev. Robert Barron p. 43
Change is scary but inevitable. What’s scarier is losing the hearts and minds of our parishioners. The Catholic Church has one thing that will never change: the fullness of Truth and grace given by Jesus Christ. And the best way to communicate that Truth is in a way people will listen and relate. This is the power of New Media.
Matt Warner p. 147
In our efforts to build and to be a positive part of online communities, we must always operate with balance. We’re also called to remember that our online communities may well include non-Catholic friends and contacts. For those who do not share our beliefs, our posts, status updates, and tweets may often be the only contact that they have with our Church. When we air our dirty laundry online or engage in divisive rhetoric, we give them ammunition to perpetuate their stereotypes about us. However, when we proclaim our faith with joy, we send a message about the truths we hold dear, and we inspire others to learn more about the cause of our happiness.
Lisa M. Hendey pp. 155-156
Even as we’re intimidated by New Media’s novelty, fearful of its dangers, and complacent toward its change, we must use these tools. Few other means connect the Church with unreached populations, communicate the Gospel so innovatively and effectively, link communities across the world, and organize movements for good.
Brandon Vogt p. 205
The Church and New Media is a book worth reading and 100% of the royalties will be used to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya. Very nice, Brandon!
If you need more incentive, check out this video: