Book Review: Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media

A-Parent-s-Guide-to-Understanding-Social-Media-Oestreicher-Mark-9780764484636In preparation for a parent seminar on social media I am doing this week, I picked up a copy of Mark Oestreicher and Adam Mclane’s  little book Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media. I was blown away by this book! It’s a short book (I read it in about 45 min.), but it’s loaded with facts about social media sites, what teens are doing on those sites, and practical advice for how parents can handle social media when it comes to their teens.

This helpful book informs parents about everything they need to know about social media and their teens. It tells them what social media is all about, what teens are actually doing with social media, the psychological impact of social media on teens, what parents need to remind their teens about social media, and of course practical advice on how to deal with social media and their teenager in regards to their parenting.

The main thing I enjoyed about this book and why I would highly recommend it to parents is how Mark and Adam wrote it with preparation in mind rather than protection. “The focus of this book, then, isn’t ‘circle the wagons’ mentality. If you want a book to tell you the internet is evil, you can find that elsewhere. Our goal, instead, is to move from building walls of protection to shaping a focus on understanding social media and earning trust that moves your teenager towards adulthood” (page 8-9). Did you catch that? Mark and Adam says the main goal of parenting is not just protecting your kids, but preparing them to move towards adulthood. I couldn’t agree more. I too believe that parents must move from a mindset of protecting their teens to a mindset of preparing their teens. Click here to read a post I wrote on this topic a few months ago.

Another thing I liked about this book was the amount of practical advice Mark and Adam shared. They wrote a whole chapter on practical ways you can parent your teen when it comes to social media. Some of the advice they give is things they did or do with their teens or something they have heard of other parents doing. Either way, they share easy ways to help understand and communicate with your teen about social media.

In my opinion, this is a must have book for parents of teens. Teens are on social media networks and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Parents cannot just hope it will go away and pray their teens use it wisely. Parents need to understand and engage social media in a way that they know what their teens are doing as well as to know how to prepare them for adulthood. Now go grab a copy of this book for yourself! Click here to purchase it for only a few bucks on Amazon.

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Freebie: FREE Book “Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads”

Normally I share a freebie on Fridays, but the freebie I want to share is only free until midnight tonight! That means if your reading this blog about this free ebook, you need to grab it asap before it goes up to $4.99 tomorrow! The FREE ebook I want to share with you is called Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads by Mark Riddle. I had the opportunity to meet Mark personally a few weeks ago at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I have not dived into this book just yet, but plan to in the coming months. From what I am hearing it’s an excellent leadership book that those in church leadership. One review of the book said, “This book should be required reading for church staff and lay leaders alike.” Here is a short review of the book by Tim Schmoyer:

Most church leaders deal with the issue of congregation members who expect the paid staff to serve them, provide services, and direct programs. For the most part, the congregation members are involved, but they’re serving the youth pastor in his ministry or the children’s director in her ministry rather than taking responsibility for THEIR ministry. Things like this happen because somewhere along the line the team player removed his or her shoulder pads and placed them on the paid staff member. Unfortunately, the staff member accepts them because “this is what I get paid to do” and before long, it’s a church of people with unrealistic expectations who also share no ownership in the outcomes.

Mark’s little book addresses issues like this and more as he talks about how we can discover our role in misplacing responsibility because church staff members do it, too. He also addresses how we can begin to give back misplaced responsibility that’s been delegated to us.

I hope these thoughts have wet your appetite to read this ebook. Below is the link to download the book for FREE from Amazon as a Kindle edition. If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry! You can click here to download a Kindle reading app (for FREE) that allows you to read Kindle edition books on your computer or tablet.

Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads by Mark Riddle

Recommended Ministry Apps

The other day my good friend Josh Evans posted a blog with some great ministry apps he recommends. I would encourage you to go over to his blog and check out the recommended apps, he recommended some great stuff! I always love when people share resources as Josh did so I figured I would share some ministry related apps I am currently using as well. I have an iPad so these apps will be for that, but all of them are iPhone apps as well. Enjoy!

The Gospel Coalition-If you are keeping up with whats going on in ministry than you know the voices that come through the Gospel Coalition-Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Tim Keller, DA Carson, Mark Dever, and many more! The blogs, articles, and videos on this app are amazing! So much good ministry-related stuff!

Reformed Theological Seminary-One of the top seminaries now have all their course lectures for you for free through this app! Yes, you heard me right, every lecture, from every class, is on this app for you to listen to for free! A lot of people cannot go to seminary for different reasons so if you’re looking for some seminary level lectures and education, here you go! Listen and learn!

Elevation Church-I am a big fan of Steven Furticks’s preaching and listen to him via podcasts a lot. Elevation now has an app where you can listen, and watch, every sermon from every series Furtick has every done! Also, his blog is part of the app so you can keep up with his blog as well as his preaching.

Dropbox-You have to use Dropbox! I recent wrote an entire post on how you can use Dropbox in ministry. Click here to read that full article.

YouVersion-This is by far the best Bible app out there. It has every translation you can imagine and it lets you keep your own notes that will be saved to your account so you can access them from the app or on the website. The downside of this app is you have to be connected to internet most of the time to use it. I would also recommend the ESV Bible app that works offline.

Vyrso-If you like to by e-books and do reading on your iPhone or iPad this app is for you. You can purchase books through this app and it will save them in a library for you. If you use Logos Bible Software this is a must have app for you! This app is made by the same people and if you have Logos your whole library will be saved in Vyrso for quick, easy reading. This is nice because when you use the Logos app it sometimes take too long to load and is complex because its such a huge program. But with Vyrso, its easy to read a book from your library.

Grace to You-I am very big fan of John MacArthur. I use his study Bible frequently and enjoy his preaching as well as writing. Grace to You is his ministry and they now have an app where they keep all the resources. You can listen to almost every sermon he has ever preached as well as watch him teach the Bible. His blog is also on this app so you can keep up with that as well.

Now for some less ministry related apps that might be of interest to you who are in ministry or not in ministry.

Amazon-I do most of my shopping through Amazon. I always buy books through Amazon and recently have been buying others things from them as well. They have this handy app that lets you quickly browse items and purchase them from your iPhone or iPad.

WordPress-If you are a blogger and use WordPress as your platform you have to get this app! I love it! It allows you to keep up with your blog on your mobile device like a charm! It basically is your dashboard where you can see your comments, views, and even edit posts.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google-There is no need to explain these apps, everyone loves social media and google is the number one search engine. Get these apps and use them!

I hope you have found these recommended apps helpful. They all are free and work on both your iPhone or iPad. I would love to hear of the apps you are using in ministry and outside of ministry!