June 11th-14th I’m attending the annual European Christian Internet Conference and the theme this year is Reaching People in the Mobile World. The mobile usage is increasing and with tablets becoming more common it will most likely keep growing. Because of this I’ve been thinking about how the mobile world changes us and changes the church. Here are a few reflections.
- I don’t carry a printed Bible any more. I use youversion on my desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. That way I always have access to a multi-language Bible and I can display both a Swedish and English translation. Or if you’re into Greek or Hebrew you could display the original scripture next to the English one. The youversion widget gives me a daily scripture in my phone.
Question: Does the constant availability make you read the Bible more often?
- I’m constantly online and I don’t turn off notifications or log out of my social networks if I’m in a service. I just turn off the sound and vibration. So when I read my Bible on the phone, is there a risk of getting distracted from notifications about Facebook messages, retweets, text messages? Personally I don’t look at the notifications until later. I’ve also thought about what others think about me. They don’t know whether I’m reading the Bible and follow the service, or if I play Wordfeud or check my notifications.
Questions: Is it an accepted behaviour to use your phone/tablet as your Bible in church? Does the notifications distract you? Does the usage of the phone distract others who might think you’re not focused on the service?
- How do we reach people with scripture when they’re on the move? Is it possible to provide a one minute Bible study people can read on the bus? Most churches have Bible study groups meeting every week. But to reach the mobile world there’s no specified time or place, no fixed group. Is your church thinking about the differences between traditional church activities and reaching people in the mobile world?
Questions: What challenges and possibilities does the mobile world offer? Do you have examples of church activities aimed at the mobile world?