Alban Institute Publishes “The Networked Congregation: Embracing the Spirit of Experimentation”

The Alban Institute sponsored a one-day gathering about a year ago that laid the groundwork for this publication. The event included communications scholar Heidi Campbell, public television editors and designers, campus ministry coordinators, and pastors from around the country. The resulting publication address hopes, concerns, questions, ideas, early practices and the impact on individuals, communities and organizations. They begin:

Digital technologies mean we live in a time of rapid change. Every day we have new digitized ways to learn, interact, and do business. What do these changes mean for religious congregations?

This booklet is meant to be a guidebook: a short introduction to the digital world of Web 2.0 technologies and a friendly, informed voice to help you navigate its challenges, promises, and pitfalls. As you will see, there is no quick answer: Social technologies are neither all bad nor all good, and deciding which fit your own congregation will necessarily be a process of trial and error.

With over a dozen articles (click on topics such as “The Challenge and Promise of Web 2.0” to reveal many sub articles), which include examples from congregations of many faiths, the publication offers insight and inspiration for what is possible. “Parish Facebook” tells the story of how one congregant increased his involvement and religious identity through invitations on Facebook, and “Parents, Shut-ins and TwentySomethings” includes insights from Darim.

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