Mark Crosby is the Director of Communications for Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland ( VCUKI) and a genuinely nice guy. This is his first book, and my hot take away for you is this: every church leader should read this book, and ponder what it could mean for their mission in their community. This is a readable, practical book that does what it says on the tin, in language that is pretty jargon free, and a beautifully produced colourful package that makes consuming the ideas very easy.
One theme that runs through So Everyone Can Hear: Communicating Church in a Digital Culture is two vital words, that open up the heart of both the author and his message: prayerful planning. This is a book that takes faith seriously, and is so motivated by the gospel that the author believes that he is sharing practice and ideas to reach everyone with the good news. This book could be applicable in some cases to secular organisations – but it won’t make nearly as much sense without the prayer element, and indeed Mark’s evident passion for Jesus. Practically, this book explains things carefully and concisely, and offers some incredibly helpful communications checklists.
Some readers of this blog may be concerned that this book is only for church leaders in the Vineyard movement or similar churches – that couldn’t be more wrong. There are a few turns of phrase that are quite ‘Vineyard’, and this is consistent throughout the book, but the lessons, content and vision that this book has for readers should be accessible to anyone in church leadership. Mark is careful too, to stress that whilst communication is important, it isn’t everything: “Communication can never replace community. So, we use communication to celebrate and encourage community”. This is a book that aims to support church leaders in building health, growing churches, in a transparent and practical way.
I had very few niggles with this book, and none that are worth writing in this review. I would, as I said at the outset, recommend So Everyone Can Hear to any and every church leader – with its principles and practicals being helpful for both small group leaders, and people with specific responsibility for communication, and everyone in between. The language is friendly, it’s written accessibly, and I’m excited for the impact that this brilliant tool could have.