Collin Hansen on New Media and the Local Church

Collin Hansen, the new Editorial Director for the Gospel Coalition, has written a thoughtful post about the interaction of new media and local church ministry. It is easy either to dismiss the new forms of internet media or to overestimate their significance instead of doing the hard work of trying to understand the new dynamics that are emerging between the interplay of real life and online life. As Hansen notes, the lines cannot be neatly and starkly drawn.

A pastor who draws his primary identity from his internet associations is in need of some serious reevaluation of his life and priorities. On the other hand, a pastor who has the ability and opportunity to leverage the new media for kingdom purposes should not underestimate the good that his investment of time and energy can do.

Here is the money quote from Hansen’s article:

God has instituted the local church for our good the the glory of Jesus Christ. He has revealed to us standards of character for Christian leadership. At its biblical best, the church enforces those standards with loving concern that the gospel would sink deeper and deeper into our whole lives, manifested in our words and deeds. We should be concerned that our online voices find that gracious support from their local churches. And our local churches should realize that online leadership is real leadership in a new media age, so they would be wise to identify and encourage the bloggers among them.

Read the whole post here.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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