Hardin Simmons University & Logsdon Seminary

Mark Traeger

MNST 7380 Focused Seminar

March 2, 2017

A look at Digital Communications in a Military Ministry Setting

  • Book reviews
  • Interviews and Focus Group
  • Digital Communication Implementation
  • Capstone Project

The Social Church by Justin Wise

1. Justin Wise attempts to create a working theology for social media and digital communication. Wise desires to show the need and importance of communicating online. He makes the argument that Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and Martin Luther all would have used new technology to share the good news.

2. Admittedly, Wise's book is not a "how to guide." Rather, the purpose of the book is to help readers see the importance of digital media in the local church. Wise also hopes to build a theology on why digital communication is important in the local church.

3. Wise's book is impressive on many facets. Two of Wise's strengths include digital expertise and innovative ideas for the local church.

Innovative ideas for the church

4. Wise's book suffers from three weaknesses: a juvenile writing style, sloppy theology, and sublet sales pitches.

5. Wise wants leaders who are willing to step out and try new ways to communicate. Wise says, "Desensitizing a culture to violence, the average eighteen-year-old has seen 200,000 violent actions committed on television over the course of his life, including 40,000 murders."

One hour of church a week is nothing compared to the barrage of digital media."

Digital Leader by Erik Qualman

1. Erik Qualman proposes that leaders must take charge of their online identity by creating a digital stamp or digital footprints that accurately complements their values and ideas offline.

2. According to Qualman, a digital leader will follow these five principles of leadership which spell the acrostic STAMP: simple, true, act, map, and people.

STAMP: simple, true, act, map, and people.

3. In the digital world, time and words matter. Qualman believes in keeping ideas simple and avoiding multitasking at all costs.

4. Two minor weaknesses stand out disjointed chapters and lack of scholarly material with a heavy reliance on personal stories.

5. The real gem of the book is chapter three on complaining. Leaders do not complain in public or online. Leaders find solutions and make decisions about things people complain about.

Leaders do not complain; leaders find solutions.

Mindful Tech by David Levy

1. Levy in Mindful Tech challenges the reader to observe, focus, and reflect on what their conscience and unconscious online habits are. The book's premise revolves around the idea of finding intentional rest and balance in a fast world while not forgetting the slow offline world.

Find intentional rest and balance in a fast world

2. Levy stresses the benefit of a Sabbath rest or unplugged day. He walks the reader through five exercises that help the reader become more aware of their online habits.

Everyone needs a day to unplug and Sabbath rest

3. Levy does not go heavily into the religious implications, but he does not shy away from the religious heritage of a Sabbath day either.

4. Two weaknesses include a rigid blueprint that leaves the reader wanting more concrete ideas from the author (not his students), and second a heavy reliance on quotes from past student seminars.

5. Chapters 8 - 10 are the highlights of the book because it is in these chapters on unplugging, Sabbath rest, and living slow in a fast world that Levy's ideas shine. Levy invites his readers to slow down and observe the fast world around them.

Levy a computer scientist took up calligraphy to slow down.

The Millennials by Thom & Jess Rainer

1. The purpose of The Millennials is to help the reader better understand the largest generation in America to date at 78 million people.

2. Rainer succeeds in presenting a clear baseline for people and churches who are interested in better understanding millennials who are born from 1980 to 2000.

3. Rainer based his research on 1200 interviews with millennials to gain a better understanding of personality, habits, ambitions, and spirituality

1200 interviews with Millennials

4. Published in 2011, The Millennials is already starting to show age when it refers to social media. MySpace is still a popular website at the time of printing.

5. Having the father and son perspective is a unique part of the book that is entertaining and informative. Jess truly brings a unique perspective as well as does his father. A second edition or a follow up book would be profitable.

The boomer and millennial perspective is insightful.

6. "Motivating the Millennials" is probably one of the best chapters. Millennials are driven by relationships, education, and money. They are already the most highly educated generation in American history. They want to be part of something great in the world and community.

7. The local church could and should be filling this hole in their lives. 96 percent of millennials surveyed strongly agreed with the statement, "I believe I can do something great."

96% strongly agreed: "I believe I can do something great."

Interview with HSU Ch Travis Craver

Travis Craver

How do you reach the students at HSU?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Discipleship
  • Word of Mouth
I use every method available to speak into student's lives.

Tell me about yourself and your call to ministry?

  • I have a beautiful wife and two children: Linus and Laya
  • I pastored at Pioneer Baptist for 10 years before coming to HSU as the campus chaplain.
  • The Gospel evokes movement. People hunger for a genuinely exposed life.
  • Social media is a platform. People want to see an authentic Christian life lived out.

What is your philosophy of ministry?

  • Calling people to relationship is inviting them into relationship with me and Jesus Christ.
  • We live a congruent life online and offline.
Holding onto history, will damage our destiny.

What are your recommendations for reaching millennials?

  • Face to face is best. Social media helps fill in the gaps.
  • In a me focused story, we are part of a much bigger role. We are secondary to God's primary story.
  • Millennials want to go deeper into God.
We are secondary to God's primary story

What tools are available?

Implementing Digital Communication

  1. Text in Church is a program designed to help churches send mass texts for follow up and event notification.

2. Adobe Spark allows anyone to easily create videos, presentations, and slideshows quickly.

3. Animoto is another graphic design site that allows the user to quickly and easily create videos and slideshows.

4. Screencast-o-matic allows the user to record a predetermined section of the computer screen. Audio and commentary can be added to the video which allows the creator to make a digital story.

The best way to become familiar with these tools is to start to play with them. Each tool is quite easy to use and they are free. For a small fee, many of the resources can be used with advanced editing features.

Capstone project

Digital Intro

  1. Animoto intro video with music background
  2. Videos recorded with screencast-o-matic

Digital Story

  1. Adobe Spark video with voice over narration
  2. Videos recorded with screencast-o-matic

Slideshow Presentation

  1. Adobe Spark slideshow with pictures and text
  2. Videos recorded with screencast-o-matic

Lessons Learned

  1. High Ops tempo = Sabbath rest and unplugging
  2. Relationships = Need energy, time, and investment
  3. Death/ Suicide = Connection to a meaningful heritage
  4. Communication = Share the vision and give hope
Work and Rest

I was able to provide the 317th commanders a spiritual assessment of the airlift group. My debrief addressed the four issues above and possible courses of action to take. The debrief created a lively discussion. A chaplains role in the military is to advise leadership and not make command decisions. The brief can be summarized in three words, work and rest. We need both.

Sabbath rest: take a break, schedule a break, protect the break, or your will break.

After presenting the debrief to the commanders, a day later the group commander scheduled the first down day in his entire command for the whole unit. Two commanders took personal leave, and another commander shared the four lessons with her NCOs.

Here is my digital story about what Chaplain's do.


Created with images by Barbara Brannon - "Leadership Texas 2014 Abilene 7033" • tpsdave - "longhorn cattle mother" • TexasExplorer98 - "Paramount Theater, Abilene, Texas" • TexasExplorer98 - "Hotel Wooten, Abilene, Texas" • Barbara Brannon - "Leadership Texas 2014 Abilene 7022" • Barbara Brannon - "Leadership Texas 2014 Abilene 7038" • aulbarnes08 - "water 3" • CoreBurn - "Sunset" • adabara - "job interview colleagues business" • janetrr - "flag texas flag texas" • JD Hancock - "Dairy Queen" • rottonara - "pyramids earth stones" • geralt - "cross sunset sunrise" • Mojpe - "learning geography teaching"

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