New Tools For a New Century
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Churches know that if they are to reach people raised in an electronic culture, they must use the tools that this culture makes available. For people accustomed to checking their e-mail hourly, surfing the Internet daily, and receiving most if not all of their information through electronic media, our customary reliance on the printed page and the spoken word will no longer be good enough. Yet, recognizing this, where do you start? How does a congregation with little or no experience in the daunting world of the Web, projection technology, and computer presentations begin? Faced with too many choices and too little prior knowledge, congregations are opting not to use the new tools that electronic culture makes available, hence bypassing opportunities to spread the gospel and make disciples.
John Jewell studies the issue confronting most congregations: the crucial question of knowing the appropriate ways to begin to use the new electronic media. In this helpful and practical guide, he offers simple incremental steps that churches can take to expand their ministries through electronic media. He outlines basic tools that are required to set up the congregational web page, focusing on software and designs that those with little or no experience in Web artistry can employ. He reviews different kinds of projection systems, understanding that most church budgets are not capable of purchasing the largest, most state-of the art equipment to start with. He explains how PowerPoint [MicroSoft trademark] and other presentation software can greatly enhance and extend the teaching and preaching ministry of the church, laying down fundamental principles for clean, simple, effective presentations. Animating all of the author's discussion is his concern that people start where they are, rather than insisting on an 'all or nothing' approach.
John P. Jewell is director of instructional technology and distance learning at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He's author of New Tools for a New Century: First Steps in Equipping Your Church for the Digital Revolution, and pens a weekly newspaper column--"Positive Living"--for The Shoreline Leader (Racine, Wis.). Jewell lives in Dubuque, Iowa, with his wife and their youngest daughter.