Over the past couple of years, in any training that I’m running for churches/dioceses, I have referenced the ‘unpublished work of one of my dissertation students’… No need to worry about that any more – it’s now published in the Grove Books series on evangelism (individual link).

It was a pleasure to supervise Bryony’s dissertation – and to have discussed some of these issues in the past, the present, and I anticipate in the future! My research continues to consider the church as a case study/focus, and this is an excellent, short introduction to some of the material of interest to those looking at social media and its use in the church. I re-read it this evening – and enjoyed some familiar arguments – including references to the work of Benjamin Ellis (HALT), @digitalnun, Meredith Gould, Andy Byers amongst others!

It’s particularly interesting to look at the way users share online – as Emmaus types (sharing the journey), Damascas types (strongly evangelical), and Athens (faith impacting politics, current affairs, etc.) – and the bit I often quote – the fact that the sense of ‘anonymity online’ (often blamed for cyberbullying, etc.) encourages people to ask questions of those who are open about their faith in public spaces (including the internet) – especially via private messaging.

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