Pastoral Resource: Viral – Leonard Sweet

Viral – Leonard Sweet

Waterbrook Press – 2012 – ISBN-13: 978-0307459152

Viral serves a very specific purpose for church leaders.  It serves to remind us that ministry changes daily whether we like it or not.  With the advent of so many forms of social media,  pastors decide whether or not to embrace social media.  Most pastors label it as unhealthy and move back to preaching and teaching in the 1990s.

However, Len Sweet reminds us that social media could spark a world wide revival.  Sweet defines people into two classes – the Gutenbergers and the Googlers. Gutenbergers prefer to have a printed book in their hand.  Probably born before 1979, they have grown through the computer, digital revolution.  Googlers were born into this culture.  They do not need assimilation.  Social media comes naturally because of their everyday interaction with it.

He then redefines the acronym, TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, and Facebook), for a new generation.  After detailing the many traits of both groups, Sweet relates each of these phenomenon to the Christian experience.  For example, he explains how twitter forces us to be more transparent and as such helps us to connect with people who do not know Christ.

We have recently viewed the collapse of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries due to the connection people can make on social media.  The church ignores social media at its own peril.  Leonard Sweet’s book, Viral, serves the church as a great primer on why to social media.  Just a note:  It is not a how to book on how to use social media.

Worth a read, especially if you are over 25.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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