Lynne Baab’s overriding desires are that congregations become clear about who they are and what they believe - their values, principles, mission, and goals - and that congregations accurately communicate their identity in every written word and visual image that they disseminate. Former Presbyterian pastor Baab believes that congruence between who and what a church claims and how it publicly portrays itself will be identity-producing and affirming for those inside the church and help them become more empowered in their faith and ministry. Baab’s further sees this congruence as valuable for those outside the church, noting that visitors and community members will be better able to determine their relationship with the congregation. Baab discusses a variety of church communication tools, including websites, blogs, e-mail, mission statements, projection screens, and desktop publishing. Baab addresses the changes in the contemporary world, the “Myths about Identity, Values, and Communication,” and the postmodern mindset. Other related topics are also briefly addressed. This includes information about Facebook, church architecture, and others. Thoughtful assessment questions end each chapter. Many readers will find the appendix on doing a “communication audit” particularly helpful. Clergy and laity from a variety of congregations and traditions will find this book user-friendly.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover