It’s time. My first book, The Social Church, launches today!
15 months ago, I told you about the journey that was about to start. We’ve come full circle. All the hard work is done. The book is officially here!
I’ll share some details on how you can help in a second, but first I’ll let you in on a funny story…
See this photo? This is from Saturday morning around 10:30 AM. It’s the Amazon listing for The Social Church and, as you can see, it’s clearly sold out:
We were visiting some friends for an early lunch and my phone started buzzing. And buzzing. And buzzing. I was getting tweets, texts—heck, smoke signals—from people telling me the book was available and, subsequently, unavailable.
After talking with my editor, Randall, it became clear Amazon just kind of does what they want, when they want. So pre-orderers of the book got it nice and early and I got a taste of what today will be like, the “official” launch date.
Never in a million years did I think pre-orders would wipe out the entire stock of (physical) books. Obviously the message of The Social Church resonates deeply with me, but it must mean something to you as well.
Why Another Book on Social Media and the Church?
This book is not a “how-to” book. It’s not going to show you how to create a Facebook page or open a Twitter account. It won’t tell you the “perfect” time to tweet (if there is such a thing).
What it will tell you is why your church needs to be paying attention to social media. It will help social media advocates make their case clearer, and convince social media holdouts to change their opinion.
I had a moment of clarity a few months ago and it came after doing this search:
Do you want to know what the first result is? It’s this post. One that I wrote nearly two years ago. See for yourself:
(If you’re wondering, this is an incognito search, so Google has no idea who I am.)
I realized there was a lack of leadership in the Church when it comes to the WHY of social media. For better or worse, I find myself in that position by default.
Given my experience, passion, and background, I’m happy to take the baton and lead the charge forward. It must be done. This is a crucial moment in the history of the Church.
What Are Early Reviewers Are Saying?
Here’s a small snippet of the reviews that are coming in from the web:
Each passing technology jump makes it more difficult for the Church to communicate and Social Media might just be the most difficult medium to master to date. Justin’s book evens the playing field. – Jonathan Watson
The Social Church is a not just for the hippest guy on staff, nor is it a “how-to” on social media. It’s an inspiration for you to start, keep going, or be better in connecting with your church. Whether you’re a pastor, a leader, in charge of communications; whether you’re just starting out online, aren’t sure where to go next, or need a little reboot–this is a book you need to read with your team. – Jacqueline McGinnis
If your ministry has a voice (which it should), or if you have a voice in ministry (which you do), and want to continue to be heard above all of the noise out there today, you would be wise to read Justin’s book. He’s put together many thought provoking questions that will help you understand the voice your ministry already has, as well as help you realize what the next steps look like. This should be required reading for all ministry communication teammates. – Bruce Crews
While social media is constantly changing, Justin Wise has written an evergreen book. He lays down a foundation of theology on which to build your organization’s communication strategy for years to come. Justin skillfully connects the present to the past (e.g., Paul was using the latest technology when writing the epistles), while also contextualizing wisdom from contemporary thought leaders outside of the church (e.g., Chris Brogan). He also presents a compelling case for why church leaders should always be asking how new media can be used for Kingdom work. – Trina K. Lee
How Can I Help?
1. Buy the book.
If you have found value in the content I produce, please purchase this book and tell your friends, colleagues, and family members about it.
I try not to make a habit of pounding you (or even lightly striking you) with asks, but this is one ask I’m not bashful about making:
- Buy two copies and give one away. Get one for yourself and one for someone else in your ministry or church. You’ll love the book and they will love your generosity.
- Buy one even if you are not Christian. This may sound strange, but I believe the social media principles in the book are solid regardless of your faith background. If you dig practical social media teaching, and don’t mind reading about Jesus, you should buy this book.
- Buy in bulk. I think my love language might be bulk orders. Head to the Amazon page and go nuts. Buy a round for your pastor buddies, your church staff, or clients.
Books are going for less than $10 as of this writing, so hopefully anyone who wants a copy can afford to take part in the fun.
2. Join the Thunderclap or send out a tweet.
If you’re reading this before 9 AM CST on February 3rd, 2014, you can join the social tsunami that’s scheduled to go out on Thunderclap. Just click here and link up your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr account for a one-time message set to go out today.
If you’re reading this after 9 AM, you can still participate. Just copy and paste the message below and send it out to your social circles:
Luther had the printing press. Billy Graham had television. We have social media. #SocialChurchBook releases today! http://socialchuchbook.com
There’s power in unity, so let us unite, my brothers and sisters!
3. Pray for me (seriously).
In talking with family, friends, and my amazing Launch Team, I sense the message of the book is bigger than I first thought. Sure, I love this material, but over and over, I keep hearing how timely this book is for folks. It’s hitting at just the right time.
Obviously there are benefits to me if the book does well, but much more importantly, local churches win when this message wins. I’ve seen firsthand how churches change when social is taken seriously. It’s not just a methodological change, it’s a mindset change. That’s huge.
My prayer is this message would encounter as little friction as possible. That it would lance the boils in churches that have been festering for far too long. That God would be honored and churches would adapt their methods to share the Message of light, life, truth, and hope.
Even you’re not a pray-er, I’d covet your positive thoughts and well-wishes. Although this message is distinctly Christian, I hope you would feel welcome enough to enjoy this book without fear of being scolded or shamed if you’re not there yet.
Wrapping Up On Launch Day
When I was a pastor, I used to preside over communion. Now, if that sounds like a foreign language to you, it basically means I was the guy at the front of the room, wearing a robe, telling people what to do during communion.
One of my favorite parts of the liturgy (communion instructions) was right before people started coming up to receive the elements. The servers took their places, the music would die down, and I’d stop and say to the congregation: “The table is set, all is ready, come and eat.” At that point, there was nothing left to do but come and receive the grace God promises us each and every day.
I’d echo that statement to you, dear reader. The book has been written. It’s been edited, re-edited, re-written, designed, typeset, packaged, and sent out. The marketing plan is laid out. The system has been set into motion. There’s nothing left to do but wait and watch how the Church responds to message of The Social Church.
The table is set. All is ready. Come and eat.