Shuck and Jive

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Blogging Moderator

The election of Bruce Reyes-Chow may have changed the way Presbyterians will be doing business. BRC is a blogger with a huge internet presence. Google him and you find his life. Who cares about interviews with moderator candidates in the traditional newspapers such as the Presbyterian News Service, the Layman or the Witherspoon Society? How many people actually read the paper copies of those magazines anyway? I can find out about Bruce by asking him myself on-line. So can anyone else. This is a totally new deal.

This was an internet election and the candidate who knew the internet best and blogged most won. That in no way takes anything way from his message and his personality or that blogging was somehow an unfair advantage. No, he is the man for the job because he has the pulse of what is happening in church today. The medium is a big part of his message.

The internet is democratic, well, pretty much. It allows voices of the smaller church folks, layfolk, youth, and people without access to traditional sources of power, make it happen on-line. This medium allows people into the discussion. Adding voices is the heart of Bruce's message.

My internet presence has made a huge difference in how I do ministry. Much if it is on-line ministry. Much of my session business is done via e-mail as well as pastoral care, committee work, you name it. And I'm a loser at the computer. I can't even figure out how to get one of those real wide, attractive blogs to work.

And outreach?
The PFLAG chapter would not have the influence and success it has here without the internet and the willingness to use it.

Bruce knows this. That is why he is moderator. It will be exciting to watch what happens.


  1. I'm staggered, John. For once I totally agree with you.

    God bless.

  2. I've never been to his church and I've never met him, but this sounds like good news for your denomination. I paid a visit to a Presbyterian church service this morning and his name came up during the service--sort of a local boy makes good story. His background and his youth were mentioned. Apparently his church is not a full fledged congregation yet (I don't remember the terminology that was used for the time of development project that it represents.) He's got the hipness factory going big time, as far as I can tell; I somehow feel like I am probably not in the age demographic of that church's congregation (seems to skew a lot younger than I am, but not having actually been there maybe I'm wrong.)

    He's definitely active on the web. I've seen the reviews that he's written of other Presbyterian churches on I don't think he's ever given a negative review to any of them. :)

  3. Bruce is not a negative guy. Even when folks trash him he comes back with at least a thanks for your opinion kind of thing.

    But now he is in the fire. He will likely get hit hard by the right wing. He'll need all the hipness he can muster!

    Another blogger talked about the GenX factor. They are about getting stuff done rather than talking about it.

    It is not really my generation either. I am a border boomer or a boomer buster or whatever.

    But I definitely feel old when in the online presence of him and the "emergent" 20's - 30s crowd.

    New Church Development is probably the official phrase for his church. I don't know when one of those becomes a congregation.

    On a related issue, the Emergent Church is something that Bruce will bring to the center.

    What that is exactly I am not sure but it connects with phrases like postmodern and all of that, whatever that is!

    The kids love it!

    O Gawd I am old.

  4. "But now he is in the fire. He will likely get hit hard by the right wing. He'll need all the hipness he can muster! "

    Yeah, it has already started. So far they seem to be most ticked off that he has an ear-ring, and doesn't wear a tie. Seriously, that was the concern of one blog I read, in which those attributes were derided as a clear indication of style over substance.

    People are jerks.

  5. What is it with Presbyterians and their ties, anyway? :)

  6. As someone who is relieved that Joan Gray (who is from my neck of the woods after all) got off relatively easy (compared to Rick Ufford-Chase, Fahed Abu-Akel and Jack Rogers, not to mention Clifton Kirkpatrick) from the LayMAN crowd, I'm donning my poncho for the inevitable $#!& storm coming Bruce's way.

    My pastor is in San Jose as we speak. I have no idea how she does it year in and year out.

  7. One thing Bruce has going for him that may be the difference is his ability to stay cool and above it all.

    If he can maintain that and let others take some of the heat for him he may be able to overcome that.

    Clifton Kirkpatrick also has that same skill.