Beyond the Screen: Youth Ministry for the Connected but Alone Generation

by Anthony Zirschky. Abingdon Press, 2015.
Large beyond the screen

Are the conversations youth ministers have about young people and social technology moving beyond assessing the negatives and toward understanding deeper needs for relational connections, often absent in our churches? By reframing the discussion, this source examines reasons why social technology is being used, especially regarding the need to be known intimately, which goes beyond the need for friends. The first three chapters reveal how social media is used to make connections satisfying the need for relationships. Chapters 4 and 5 look at previous social systems contrasted to today’s networked individualism. Chapters 6-10 place social technology into the theological and biblical contexts of koinonia, communion with one another face-to-face. Here, the author shows the differences between connecting through technology and connecting through genuine community, and offers ways holy practices can be used. A concluding chapter suggests that the best features of social media can be transformed to enhance the koinonia experience.

Reviewed by Jan Goodyear



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