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eMinistry: Connecting with the Net Generation [Paperback]

Andrew Careaga
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15 2001
(Foreword by Leonard Sweet) An Internet savvy youth pastor and journalist advises church leaders on creative and effective use of leading-edge technology to reach the Net Generation.

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"Careaga writes with wit and wisdom about the growing gulf between the church and contemporary, high-tech culture." -- Quentin Schultze, Professor of Communication, Calvin College and co-author of Internet for Christians

"It's a www World. I know of no better guide to this new world than eMinistry." -- Leonard Sweet, Author of Aqua Church

About the Author

Surfing for interesting websites, playing chess online, and invading chat rooms to discuss postmodern philosophy-that's all in a day's ministry for volunteer youth pastor and journalist Andrew P. Careaga. He has written about the Internet and how to stay in touch with the Net Generation in such publications as Christian Computing Magazine Online, Ministries Today, and Charisma.

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First Sentence
IN SHERRY TURKLE'S BOOK The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, a twelve-year-old named David explains his views about the future of artificial intelligence: When there are computers who are just as smart as people, the computers will do a lot of the jobs, but there will still be things for the people to do. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, But Laced with Post-Modern Paranoia June 15 2001
Format:Paperback
Andrew Careaga has written a very good book about ministry in cyberspace and what he terms the N-geners.
This book is much more substantive and useful than his previous book on a related subject, E-vangelism. He has put a lot of work into this new work, and his argument is tight and focused. The ultimate point is to explore the nature of the newest generation (those following Generation-X). I found many of his insights to be very useful, especially as concerned distinctions between Gen-X and N-Geners. But a weakness is found in his rather two-dimensional analysis of 'Post-modernism.' His understanding of post-modernism seems incomplete, stressing the negatives while underplaying the strengths of this perspective on things. It becomes particularly annoying as he throws complaints about the pervasiveness of post-modernism within N-Gener thought. It reminds me of too much hollow sloganeering I have heard over the years -- 'Commies,' 'squares,' 'liberals,' and 'conservatives' -- these labels don't mean much when used sloppily. Nevertheless, the book makes a very important contribution that I think is worthy of notice.
The author has also prepared excellent resource references for the reader, and this deserves a great deal of praise.
This is a book that should be read by those who are interested in ministry, generational issues, and the Internet. I recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the paradigms of Christian Internet books March 16 2001
By avlight
Format:Paperback
What makes this book such interesting reading is that the author is a journalist, volunteer youth pastor, and a self-professed lover and user of the Internet from online chess to chatrooms. Many Christian Internet books in the past have either been written by either Christian sociologists or by divinity school college professors who were forced to use, but not necessarily embrace the Internet technology. It is this difference in mentality and background that easily allows Mr. Careaga to see outside the box of paradigms and show us how the latest toy, research tool, and communications media know as the Internet is the ripest harvest field for Christians to glean for souls in years. Answering the call of the postmodern generation's quest for spirituality, the author delves into the motivations, attention spans, actions, and feelings of the "N-Generation", the new generation of net-savvy people. In fact, the "N-generation" is actually the first generation of people to be exposed to the wonders (and in some cases, the darkness) of the Internet since their birth. This is a book that is needed now in order to understand postmodern culture and their fascination with the virtuality of the Internet. I recommend this book to those who desire to understand the need to effectively communicate the love of Jesus to the postmodern world. We clearly see how to fulfill the Great Commission online and fully see the mandate to take the 2000 year old message of Jesus Christ to the year 2000 generation using year 2000 technology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the times - and changing them. Feb. 24 2001
Format:Paperback
Andrew Careaga is uniquely placed to help us understand the times we live in, from a Christian and Internet viewpoint. He's a trained journalist, working in the academic and youth-oriented environment of a university public relations department, and is also a youth pastor. So his insights into postmodernism, youth culture and effective communication are informed by firsthand experience. This is not a theoretical abstract book in any way.
Neither is it about technical web issues or even primarily about what Christians are doing to use the Internet for evangelism (the subject of his previous book 'E-vangelism'). The main focus is the modern world and what he terms the 'N-generation' (web-savvy young people) and how we can effectively communicate with them online.
The quotations and footnotes display a wide breadth of research, understanding and insight. At the end of each chapter are topics for further investigation and questions to consider. Some are very appropriate for small group/seminar discussion.
This very readable book deserves the widest possible circulation. There is just no other book which even attempts to cover the same ground. It should be required course reading for Bible college and seminary students. For anyone who wishes to understand issues of relating to the modern world through the Web, it's essential.
It is still largely true that the church has yet to realize the significance of the Internet and how it is changing society. As Christians, we can so easily be 10-20 years behind in our understanding and methods. But "the past is a different country". We cannot engage with today's culture without understanding it. Unless we do, we may condemn ourselves to being only easily able to reach the 'once-churched' instead of the 'never-churched'.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to speak the right language April 13 2009
Format:Paperback
I suppose I should start out by confessing that I did not have high hopes for this book. I have read far too many books written by people who have only recently discovered electronic communications, and then come up with the idea that, "Hey! I could use this to spread the gospel!" Maybe I'm too old for my age, but I'm getting really tired of seeing people try to reinvent the wheel, and make the same mistakes over and over again. Thus, Careaga's book is a refreshing change. Here is a guy who has spent serious time on the net. He understands netiquette. He has read Tapscott's Net Generation and Wertheim's Pearly Gates of Cyberspace. In other words, he's put in his time, paid his dues, and knows his subject. (Maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. After all, he has gotten three books published so far.)

In fact, even when I thought Careaga was going off the beam, events have proven him correct. He devotes an entire chapter to body modifications (tattoos and piercings) and describes them as a defining characteristic of the "Net Generation." I was aware that street kids are very much into that sort of thing, but didn't think it was all that pervasive. Well, the very night I read that chapter with such scepticism, several messages on the subject were posted to a mailing list that I follow.

Careaga's basic argument is that the kids of the Net Generation think differently than pre-boomers, boomers, or even "Generation X", and therefore, churches must think about how to present the gospel in a way which is meaningful to the Net Generation if it is to reach them for Christ (or, in fact, to survive.) Careaga argues that the Net Generation is the first postmodern generation, and is marked by relativism, eclecticism, and pragmatism.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, But Laced with Post-Modern Paranoia June 15 2001
By "gam2saints" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Andrew Careaga has written a very good book about ministry in cyberspace and what he terms the N-geners.
This book is much more substantive and useful than his previous book on a related subject, E-vangelism. He has put a lot of work into this new work, and his argument is tight and focused. The ultimate point is to explore the nature of the newest generation (those following Generation-X). I found many of his insights to be very useful, especially as concerned distinctions between Gen-X and N-Geners. But a weakness is found in his rather two-dimensional analysis of 'Post-modernism.' His understanding of post-modernism seems incomplete, stressing the negatives while underplaying the strengths of this perspective on things. It becomes particularly annoying as he throws complaints about the pervasiveness of post-modernism within N-Gener thought. It reminds me of too much hollow sloganeering I have heard over the years -- 'Commies,' 'squares,' 'liberals,' and 'conservatives' -- these labels don't mean much when used sloppily. Nevertheless, the book makes a very important contribution that I think is worthy of notice.
The author has also prepared excellent resource references for the reader, and this deserves a great deal of praise.
This is a book that should be read by those who are interested in ministry, generational issues, and the Internet. I recommend it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the times - and changing them. Feb. 24 2001
By A. D. Whittaker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Andrew Careaga is uniquely placed to help us understand the times we live in, from a Christian and Internet viewpoint. He's a trained journalist, working in the academic and youth-oriented environment of a university public relations department, and is also a youth pastor. So his insights into postmodernism, youth culture and effective communication are informed by firsthand experience. This is not a theoretical abstract book in any way.
Neither is it about technical web issues or even primarily about what Christians are doing to use the Internet for evangelism (the subject of his previous book 'E-vangelism'). The main focus is the modern world and what he terms the 'N-generation' (web-savvy young people) and how we can effectively communicate with them online.
The quotations and footnotes display a wide breadth of research, understanding and insight. At the end of each chapter are topics for further investigation and questions to consider. Some are very appropriate for small group/seminar discussion.
This very readable book deserves the widest possible circulation. There is just no other book which even attempts to cover the same ground. It should be required course reading for Bible college and seminary students. For anyone who wishes to understand issues of relating to the modern world through the Web, it's essential.
It is still largely true that the church has yet to realize the significance of the Internet and how it is changing society. As Christians, we can so easily be 10-20 years behind in our understanding and methods. But "the past is a different country". We cannot engage with today's culture without understanding it. Unless we do, we may condemn ourselves to being only easily able to reach the 'once-churched' instead of the 'never-churched'.
Therefore we must all have an advocacy role in enlightening the wider church about the power and effectiveness of the Internet - something which this book can achieve. I would encourage us all to do everything we can to cause this book to be read as widely as possible:
- ask your local library and church bookstall to stock it - write a review of the book for Christian publications or on websites - publicize it any other way you can - create a link directly to this Amazon page
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the paradigms of Christian Internet books March 16 2001
By avlight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What makes this book such interesting reading is that the author is a journalist, volunteer youth pastor, and a self-professed lover and user of the Internet from online chess to chatrooms. Many Christian Internet books in the past have either been written by either Christian sociologists or by divinity school college professors who were forced to use, but not necessarily embrace the Internet technology. It is this difference in mentality and background that easily allows Mr. Careaga to see outside the box of paradigms and show us how the latest toy, research tool, and communications media know as the Internet is the ripest harvest field for Christians to glean for souls in years. Answering the call of the postmodern generation's quest for spirituality, the author delves into the motivations, attention spans, actions, and feelings of the "N-Generation", the new generation of net-savvy people. In fact, the "N-generation" is actually the first generation of people to be exposed to the wonders (and in some cases, the darkness) of the Internet since their birth. This is a book that is needed now in order to understand postmodern culture and their fascination with the virtuality of the Internet. I recommend this book to those who desire to understand the need to effectively communicate the love of Jesus to the postmodern world. We clearly see how to fulfill the Great Commission online and fully see the mandate to take the 2000 year old message of Jesus Christ to the year 2000 generation using year 2000 technology.
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Outdated for 2010 Aug. 25 2010
By Ryan David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unless you are quite removed from all the technological advances of recent years, most of this book will seem second nature to what you already know about how the church can use technology for ministry purposes. Maybe at the time of it's writing it was helpful, but I found it to be too outdated to be of much use for me in 2010. I would suggest scouring blogs for information about the use of technology in churches, as they keep up-to-date with the constant changes in the landscape.
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