Book Review: Viral


Ah. Finally finished this amazing book!

Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival was my first introduction to Dr. Leonard Sweet, and man was a I blown away!

In this book, Sweet works on breaking down two main topics and explains their impact on culture, relationships and communication; and then relates that information to how it has affected the spread of the Gospel. The first topic is that of the two generations we see in USAmerica—”Gutenberger” and “Googler”— and weaves the comparison of these generations through each main category of the second topic—the “TGIF culture.”

Sweet goes through a great effort early in the book to help the reader understand the difference between the “Gutenbergers” and “Googlers.” This greatly solidifies the significance of the message, as it enables you to put his argument into proper context, how social networking is poised to ignite revival. If you don’t grasp the generational differences from the beginning, then it would be difficult to follow the rest of the book, as it leans heavily on understanding the differences. He then builds on this foundation with a great teaching on the significance of the “TGIF culture”—Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook.

I have the privilege of approaching this book from a unique position—I have my degree in Youth Ministry and have been a Youth Pastor at 2 churches, am currently starting a new church, and also work full time as the Social Media Manager for an international non-profit organization. So to see the significance and importance of Sweets proposal is an understatement. I live what he is teaching here on a daily basis beyond being an early adopter of Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone.

This book is highly recommended!

Since I began reading this book, every person I have come in contact with that works with youth in any fashion, as well as anyone involved in church ministry, has heard me rant about how important it is for them to read this book. To date, I believe it is one of the most well-written books on the subject of the cultural significance of social networking and it’s affect on the Gospel.

So, are you a Gutenburger or a Googler? Are you a catalyst for sparking revival, or have you become irrelevant to this evolving culture? Get your copy today and find out!




A thought about community and generational gaps after some good reading last night from one of my new mentors (via books).

Nothing more

Lately, there’s has been this longing in my heart…
… this desire…
… to have nothing else but God.

I wish I could just sell everything.
Or give it all away, for that matter.
To have no other responsibilities but to trust in God for everything.

I just want Him.

It’s almost as if everything else is just a distraction.

My wife is not too keen on just bing a tent and living in a field.
I tell her, “God will provide everything!”
But, she just gives me that look…
Yeah, you know the look.

The more my life remains entangled with all this stuff, the more I wonder if it’s really all detrimental.

I’m all into social media.
Is it all necessary?
I use it a lot personally, I do it for work, and I think there is value when using it well…
… but is there a cost?

Are we becoming more dependent on methods of proclaiming the gospel, and less on the One whom the gospel proclaims?

On a personal note, this has in no way diminished my use of the various platforms.
But I wonder if it should.
Does this make me a hypocrite?
I’m not preaching against it, but simply asking questions regarding value.

Ah… I’m rambling now.

Quite simply, my thoughts are this:
There’s a hunger in me that needs to be quenched…
… I know that the One that can quench it is the Lord.
Now, how to do I get to that place—so desperate and set apart, that He comes in such a way that my heart is satisfied by Him and Him alone?

Pressing in…


Have I gone too far?

How far is too far?
Have we crossed the line?
Can we be too connected?

Yes, this is a continuation from yesterday’s post… sort of.

Today, the second official day off my full social media fast, I started an account on Posterous. I also added more links in my WordPress profile, linked some more of my different platforms together, and tweeted, four-squared, instagramed, pathed, and Facebook-status-updated my way through the day.

On the way home I was listening to a segment on NPR about the integration of Facebook with other media outlets, allowing for more integration between our personal lives, social connections, entertainment options and consumer habits. Many have voiced their concern for lack of privacy and a fear of the gathering of too much personal information. Even today, someone made a comment to me about being off the grid.

Where is all this headed?

Have we gone too far?
Where is the line?
Can we be too connected?


Back in Black… or Red…

Over the last week or so I have slowly slipped back into the Social Media Universe. Yeah, I was gone for close to a month. Did you miss me? (Probably not.) I almost blogged/Tweeted/status-updated the fact that I was going silent for some time; but then I thought about the fact that I would be drawing attention to myself and the fast (which we shouldn’t do). So, I just unplugged.

This was difficult, considering that my full-time job is a Social Media Manager. It’s like fasting food while a waiter at a restaurant, or fasting caffeine while a barista… done both. So, the rule was no personal social media. No Facebook. No Twitter. No FourSquare. No Instagram. No Path. You get the point. (Note: During this time I did break the fast for two tweets. They were on consecutive Sundays. The first was when Tim Tebow beat the Steelers in overtime. The second was when the New England Patriots beat Tim Tebow the following week.)

During this time a lot has happened personally. I am no longer am a barista at The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company, I now work a full 40 hours a week at Creation Today, our launch team for our new church plant is into the double digits with a young family it he mix, and my wife is pregnant. Okay, that last part is not true.

It’s amazing how sensitive you become to the Holy Spirit when you begin to remove distractions from your life. I have noticed how much I “connect” myself to others via all these different platforms, yet in the process, tend to wane in the one “connection” that I truly can’t live without. My desire and longing for the Holy Spirit, and His ever-growing power in my life, has increased beyond any level than it has ever been before. I say that like there is a meter, or measuring stick that measures the depth of yearning. You can’t quantify it with any measuring tool, but it is something that is clearly either more or less; and interestingly enough, you only really notice when it is more. In English… The more we set time aside for communication with God, the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit; and the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit, the more we realize that we lived so long less sensitive to Him.

Not really sure why I just wrote that. This was not planned. Maybe that was for you? (I think that was a demonstration of what I was talking about… I honestly didn’t plan on blogging about this today…)

When a fire is burning in your belly, you know it. That fire has been fanned and I want more or God. That’s really what it comes down to, and not really sure where that is going to lead; but I’m excited to see what happens next.

Living in anticipation