Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Church of Facebook

Apparently, except for the video I posted earlier this month, I did not mention The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice.  Oy.  Big lapse on my part.  So here's the scoop:

Facebook: Where the Future Church Hangs Out

How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

The Official Word:

A revolution is taking place, one profile at a time. Online social networks like Facebook and MySpace are connecting people like never before. With hundreds of millions of users, they’re creating almost limitless potential to redefine our personal worlds. It’s a movement that’s changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity.

In his new book, The Church of Facebook (David C Cook, October 2009) author Jesse Rice takes a deeper look at the movement which, at its core, reflects our need for community. “Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community,” Rice states. This new perspective raises new questions: How do these networks impact our relationships? In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves? And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us?

The Church of Facebook explores these ideas and much more, offering a revealing look at the wildly popular world of online social networking. “The new landscape of social networking tells us two basic things: One, we have a deep desire to be known. And, two, we are faced with a technology that both enables and hinders the intimacy we’re looking for,” Rice says. From personal profiles to status updates, author Jesse Rice takes a thoroughly entertaining and insightful look into what Facebook reveals about us, and what it may mean for the future of “community.”

Social networking is no fad; it has become a fact of life, especially for teens and twenty-somethings. The Church of Facebook is essential reading for parents and pastors who want to understand this trend and its impact on their children and congregations. Rice’s discussions will engage social networkers of all ages and stages who are wrestling with the very real issues of identity, meaning, purpose, and friendship within the context of virtual communities.

In the end, The Church of Facebook moves readers toward understanding God’s work in the body of Christ, the church. Driven by Rice’s thought-provoking questions, observations, humor, and heartfelt storytelling, The Church of Facebook challenges readers to consider new perspectives regarding their social networking habits and how those habits may point to deeper heart issues and, ultimately, our hunger for Jesus.

Author Bio: Jesse Rice is a writer and musician and served for eight years as the Contemporary Worship Arts Director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a large and thriving congregation in the heart of Silicon Valley. Jesse has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and is an authority on the search for meaning in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world. He is a sought-after worship leader and speaker with more than fifteen years of experience working with college students and young adults. Jesse and his wife, Katie, live in Palo Alto, California.

The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice
David C Cook/October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6534-5/192 pages/softcover/$12.99
http://www.davidccook.com/  http://www.churchoffacebook.com/

Tricia's Take:
If you are online (which you are since you are reading this), then you should read this book.  It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still very good.  It really made me stop and take account of how I am using my time and how social networking can be handled properly and for good, not just a waste of time.  I learned alot of interesting things about human behavior and really enjoyed the stories/examples Jesse shared in order to flesh out his main points.  Plus the book has some great little bits of humor, and that is a rare (and welcome) thing in a genre that can get a little dry.  This book was very easy to read, but that doesn't mean there was no substance.  I really dug this book.
Here is why Jesse is my current favorite author.  An excerpt from the footnote page 147:
I feel the need to point out that a Bluetooth device is not a fashion accessory... Yes, I can see the value of hands-free communication while driving.  I drive "hands free" all the time - it's why God gave me knees...at no time, and not under any circumstance, should you be caught wearing such a device.
It's like he crawled inside my head.
Another example of the sense of humor displayed in the book is this video promo for the book.  You need to take a couple minutes and watch it.


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