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Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the Digital Age

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  74 reviews
What does it mean to be an analog church in a digital age? In recent decades the digital world has taken over our society at nearly every level, and the church has increasingly followed suit--often in ways we're not fully aware of. But as even the culture at large begins to reckon with the limits of a digital world, it's time for the church to take stock. Are online church ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by IVP
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Panda Incognito
In this book, Jay Y. Kim shares a unique and helpful perspective on digital culture and Christianity, arguing that when churches adopt technology for the sake of relevance, they alienate the very people they are trying to reach. Churches often conduct their outreach with an advertising mindset, trying to reach the younger generation with their “product,” but because young people feel jaded towards consumer culture, this approach backfires. What young people are really seeking isn’t a high-energy ...more
Annie Monson
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, 2020
(4.5) Every era shapes the Church, and this digital era is no different. What really makes a church relevant? Why does the Church really exist, and what are its hallmark characteristics? Kim asks church leaders and all Christians to thoughtfully evaluate their answers to these questions. This book prompts us to be discerning about, and constantly attentive to the ways that our use of technology limits, hurts, or helps our discipleship, worship, community, and understanding of scripture.

Kim’s wr
Conrade Yap
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a strange time to be reading this book. With much of the world locked down due to the coronavirus crisis, many churches are forced to conduct services digitally. They meet via virtual rooms. They see each other's faces (when the cameras are turned on), as well as the physical environment they are in. More often than not, they put on their best looks when online. In a digital environment, things are made to look more like zeros and ones, metaphorically. As the world becomes more digitized ...more
John Richardson
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read Jay Kim’s book “Analog Church” during the Covid-19 quarantine. As a Church leader, we, like many other churches, moved to online worship services during this crisis. As I began reading the book my initial thought was, “Oh no... here’s a book about the negatives of online church... in a season where every church has been forced to move online! What horrible timing for this book to come out!”
It didn’t take long for me to realize that nothing could be further the truth! The truth and encour
Clayton Keenon
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Will only convince the already convinced.

I wanted this to be better than it was. The core insight is good, and the second half is stronger than the first half. But I was hoping this would paint a compelling alternate picture for those who think online church is a wonderful gift and the wave of the future, but I don’t think this will move the needle for them. There are far too many places where an example presented as if it were deeply compelling (e.g. speaking to a camera to connect with people)
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Summary: An argument for churches maintain real community, participatory worship, the ministry of the word, and communion in an era when it is tempting to "go digital" with the rest of the culture.

This has been an interesting time to come out with a new book. This book takes "interesting" to a new level. It "dropped" on March 31, amid lockdowns and the pivot of business, education, and church to all-digital. In the words of the subtitle, it argues "why we need real people, places, and things in
Lucas Hagen
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it

I am sure that when Jay Kim began writing Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the Digital Age, that he never imagined that most people would be prohibited from attending church in person, meeting in person, and going to the store without a mask when the book came out. Analog Church is a delightful reflection on the importance of real physical, people and things in order for Christian community and spiritual transformation to thrive.

Kim divides this book into three main
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
As a result of COVID-19, I have been thinking quite a bit about what, if anything, we lose as a church by not meeting in person. Our church livestreams a service on Sunday mornings that is highly polished, and thanks to Zoom our small groups continue to meet weekly as well, and there’s something about a screen that allows people to speak even more freely than they might in person. We have used Slack to improve communication between church staff and small group leaders, turning one-way email blas ...more
Zach Barnhart
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-life
I recently received my copy of Jay Kim’s Analog Church in the mail, almost as if it was written and sent along for the specific time I found myself in. Like most churches, we had just made the tough decision to postpone in-person gatherings in the wake of COVID-19, and we were scrambling together to provide an online alternative.

I’ll be transparent . At first, the notion of “church online,” while frustrating and not ideal, felt better than simply nothing. At least people could worship in their h
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discipleship
Jay Kim must have started writing this book before the COVID-19 pandemic hit America, but it arrived at my house while I was quarantined. Like pastors all over the world, I was forced to do church "on-line" creating "virtual communities." The reach of on-line broadcasts was amazing and the initial reaction from people who found "zoom prayer meetings" and "Facebook live" a welcome balm in the midst of a scary time, was reassuring. Many in church leadership think that God is using this pandemic to ...more
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, owned
Woah, this book is SO good and so important. It feels very timely and adds a needed perspective to the larger conversations happening right now around the dangers of social media and digital technology.

Kim's emphasis on analog and "slow" means of doing church is refreshing. He dives into some of the psychology of social media and the digital age and how those values have changed the ways we think, behave, and relate to each other, and thus also changed the ways we do church, read Scripture, and
Sara Lawson
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Analog Church by Pastor Jay Kim is a wake-up call to the Church as it tries to market itself as a commodity. Instead, Jay reminds us that this was never what Christianity was meant to be in the first place. So many aspects of Church are impossible to do digitally. The nature of the Church is to do life together, growing as disciples, radically reordering our lives around the one who has called us to follow him.

Looking specifically at how we worship, how we build community, and how we practice sc
Cat Caird
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book to read during the Covid-19 crisis. I found it a helpful reminder that as a people and as church we were made for the face to face, the analog, rather than only digital. This books appeals to us to consider the great benefits of being analog, looking at the history of how technology has changed the way we do church, both its positive & negative sides. During Covid-19, there is a distinct lack of the analog and an increase in the digital, but what about when its over? ...more
Christine Son
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is good for both leaders and just members of the church alike. For those who may be struggling to grasp what may be wrong with the local church, this book may provide many answers. This book responds to the digitization movement that our culture is continuously pushing towards. Pastor Jay brings back what Christian life is supposed to look like especially in regards to community, and how Jesus calls us to not be alone but rather with others, doing life together - breaking bread , gather ...more
Anthony Draper
Dec 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s difficult to disagree with this book. I was always going to agree with the recommendation of analog church.

Kim does a good job of making the importance of analog clear whilst recognizing and leaving room for areas where technology is a helpful aid for the church.

Especially poignant in the midst/wake of COVID-19. Precisely the reminder we need in the push to everything-online-all-the-time.
Rob O'Lynn
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the BEST books on ministry that I have read in a long time! I found myself nodding along so much, almost as much as I found myself saying, "That's exactly what I have been thinking!" If you are involved in congregational ministry on any level, do yourself a favor and pick up this volume. ...more
Andy Huette
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The premise is solid. A few small things that raised my eyebrows (like the paragraph on interpretive painting during worship services--to each their own, but not my cup of tea.) Overall, a helpful reminder that much of what is helpful for our souls is not digital and though technology is helpful, we create sacred space for analog realities.
Robbie Schmidtberger
Timely read amidst Covid and the movement towards digital church

Church leaders ought to read this as they consider and think through recovering from COVID in 2020 as he details various challenges digitalism brings to Christianity.
Peter LeDuc
An insightful critique of our shallow, digital, individualistic age and a compelling case for churches to create spaces for deep, embodied worship and discipleship that the world so desperately needs.
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
In a frenetic, fragmented digital age—the habits and effects of which are increasingly leaking into churches—I really appreciate the message of this book.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super helpful. In our season of revaluing and restructuring church programs, would that many church leadership folks add this to their reading lists.
Analog Church was published into a time when it was both more needed and more unwelcome than ever. This book was published during the Coronavirus pandemic which caused churches all around the world to go digital for their church services.

Jay Kim's message is unwelcome because what good does it do to criticize meeting online when we have no other choice? Most people feel the inadequacy of meeting online and would welcome being able to meet together. They don't need to be told meeting in person is
Tim Genry
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a much needed message reminding us of our need for connection and face to face in the middle of online and digital forms of worship and connection.
Zach Hollifield
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just an excellent diagnosis of our digital moment and the disastrous effects it is having on Christian discipleship. Also a great critique of churches and leaders who have unthinkingly gone along with the digital stream rather than speaking and forming their people prophetically against it. One of the strengths is that he does not toss the baby (technology) out with the bath water. There is a place for the right use of technology for the good of the Kingdom and the glory of God.

This book will se
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Analog Church: Why we need real people, places, and things in the digital age
Jay Kim

This is a book that comes out in the midst of a pandemic that is forcing churches to be MORE digital. It seems a bit out of place, but it is helpful even in this time.

In an era in American Christianity where the common language seems to be digital, this type of book can seem out of step. We have multisite churches. We have online only churches. We can “go to church” any time we like and listen to the greatest pr
Matthew Boga
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Overview

Analog Church is framed as an invitation to the modern (particularly western) church to “go analog.” The book is a critique of how far we have taken digital capabilities in the church. He’s not arguing for getting rid of technology altogether. Instead, Kim wants us to simply utilize online platforms as a digital means to a greater incarnational end (97). Setting the stage, in the introduction, Kim refocuses our eyes on the purpose of Christian worship: an encounter with transcendenc
Luke Wagner
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I first heard of Jay Y. Kim and his book "Analog Church" from a podcast interview, and I was immediately hooked by his thoughts and the thesis of his book. Little did I (or anyone, for that matter) know that it would be released and that I would have the chance to read it while in quarantine, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unprecedented time, all churches, whether big or small, Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox, are required to meet virtually and in digital ways, for the sake of the most ...more
Paul C.
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before COVID-19, the notion of digital church was taking off and the reality of “church online.” Pastor Jay Kim speaks into that in his latest, basically critiquing the view that church can be replaced with a screen. Kim wrote this book prior to COVID-19 and IVP published this in May of 2020–around the time when the public was becoming more aware of the seriousness of the virus. The basic gist of the book is to pushback against the way people are thinking and talking about church, and the way we ...more
Scott McKnight in the foreward writes:

"There’s a theology behind what Jay Kim very helpfully calls Analog Church, and it’s the incarnation. God became one of us."

There are three parts to this book, worship, community, and Scripture. Through out this work Jay Y. Kim establishes the need for the Church to be incarnational in all three areas. He points out that in our digital world the Church has frequently "adapted and acquiesced to the prevailing culture."

In our rush to relevance we have have los
Ryan Hawkins
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry, technology
This was a solid book. Not deserving of five stars (see below), but a really solid 4-star book addressing a very needed topic.

Three positives:

First, I really enjoyed reading this. The topic of technology and ministry is right up my alley, and in terms of enjoyment, the book didn’t disappoint.

Second, I think he’s an above-average writer. As I was reading it I was struck by his sentence structures and how easy he was to read (in a good way). It wasn’t fluff, but it was clear. (Although sometimes h
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