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Recently, Pastor Kerry Shook sent a midweek Twitter message to his 6,033 followers, "The Christian life is not a set of rules to follow but rather a Person to follow!"

He could have elaborated; he had 60 characters left. But Shook, senior pastor at Woodlands Church in Woodlands, Texas, is a social media rock star and knows he can expand his thoughts in his next tweet.

Glenn Shuck, assistant professor of religion at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., says evangelical churches, like Shook's, were quick to jump on the social media bandwagon.

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Recently, Pastor Kerry Shook sent a midweek Twitter message to his 6,033 followers, "The Christian life is not a set of rules to follow but rather a Person to follow!"

He could have elaborated; he had 60 characters left. But Shook, senior pastor at Woodlands Church in Woodlands, Texas, is a social media rock star and knows he can expand his thoughts in his next tweet.

Glenn Shuck, assistant professor of religion at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., says evangelical churches, like Shook's, were quick to jump on the social media bandwagon.

More >

There’s a disconnect, says Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, IT director of the Center for Congregations in Indianapolis. Particularly when it comes to effectively using Facebook and Twitter.

A recent study by the Center found that most while clergy have a personal Facebook page, they aren’t using social media to conduct congregational work.

“They see (social media and church work) as distinct, and it doesn’t work,” says Spiegel.

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While many clergy have taken to Facebook in the past decade, fewer venture onto other social media sites, especially Twitter. That’s a shame, says Diva Morgan Hicks, online communications manager at the Forum for Theological Exploration.

“It’s an opportunity to share about current events from a theological standpoint,” says Hicks. It’s also a great place to highlight upcoming sermons or series and build anticipation. 

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While the advent of e-readers, search engines and electronic versions of research tools, more and more of what used to be exclusively the domain of the library has moved to the digital world. However, libraries have so far withstood the test of changing times and declining print mediums, adapting to become ‘third places’ where students gather to read, study, meet in groups and use tools not accessible to them individually.

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The Web presents church leaders with all kinds of mixed emotions. On the one hand, they want to embrace its promise of increased connection among members. On the other, they fear the Web may lead members astray or diminish their investment in the local congregation.

Andrea Useem, a freelance writer who has written a guide to the Web for churches, says such fears are real but probably misplaced.

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News

News

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