Despite the subtitle (What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks), this is thankfully NOT a book on how to use social media to promote your church. Instead, it’s about relationships, and how the church can use its networks more effectively. Again, NOT social media networks — just the relationships between people and groups in the church and in the world.

So as far as language goes, it’s a very geeky book — lots of networking vocabulary and metaphors. That will be pleasing for people with technical knowledge, but it’s not too much for non-technical types, either.

Instead of trying to explain the book, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes:

Once, while teaching a class, Friesen “invited the learners to collaborate in the creation of a network map of our collective journeys to the school.”

“By the time the whole class had finished, we discovered a clear hubbing pattern, and it was not what I’d expected to find … One of the most connective hubbing nodes was http://www.mhgs.edu (the school’s website), and the other was Brian McLaren.”

On connective leadership:

“The goal of connective leadership is not to gain more links to increase the scale of your own influence, but to help those connected to you make meaningful connections that will help them find fullness of life.”

I can’t categorize this, but I like it (emphasis mine):

“We exist to connect people with God, one another, and with creation in continuity with the capacious narrative of Scripture … Sometimes this may even mean helping people who are a vital part of your church connect to a different faith community or ministry even at great cost to your own ministry … The church doesn’t exist simply to propagate the church, rather the local church exists as a local expression of the reality of God’s networked kingdom.

And there’s more. I bookmarked several other sections which are too long to include here, like the story of how an aging, traditional congregation welcomed and eventually transferred their entire facility to a young church plant, for the sake of God’s networked kingdom.

I recommend this book especially for Christian techies, but anyone who is interested in relational aspects of the church, and in getting beyond traditional church structures and routines, will enjoy it.

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Disclosures: I received a free copy of the book through The Ooze Viral Bloggers in exchange for this review. I do receive a small commission for any purchases made through Amazon.com links above. Thanks!

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