Some of you may have been wondering why we are choosing to offer a ministry app now. There are many reasons but the primary one is that we are ministering in a mobile world. For a while now we have had our cell phones with us 24/7. Then Apple came along and convinced us all that we needed a smart phone. By 2011 40% of all mobile users owned smart phones(That number was closed to 60% for 18-34 year olds). In 2012 that number rose to over 50% and only continues to grow. With this has also come a boom in mobile data usage vs. browsing online using your desktop. Hence we continually hear talk about the death of the PC. At first this boom came to the web but then with the coming of the age of apps, 82% of mobile data usage is now on apps. What does this mean for us as the church?
I believe it leaves us with three options. Our first option is that we can reject these numbers as meaningless and just say that all this use of technology is a waste of time. Honestly this is not a terrible attitude. Much of our time spent on technology is wasted and leads to missed opportunities and broken or nonexistent relationships. But to merely say, as I have many times, "Let's get rid of all our technology," is short sighted to me and and could lead to the church becoming more and more irrelevant. The next option is to just accept that these changes are happening. This is a good attitude as well to an extent. The mobile revolution in our world is not going away any time soon and we need to get used to this fact. But we should not accept all of it. We should not accept how it has led to so much wasted time. We should not accept how it has destroyed relationships and families. And we should not just accept that these changes are happening without putting thought into how we can use all this new technology as an opportunity for the Gospel. The last option, and the best in my opinion, is that we redeem this technology. Instead of just seeing it as evil and a waste, we need to see it as an opportunity to spread the Gospel in new and exciting ways. Just think about your church. How many people remember to bring their Bibles still? But when was the last time anyone forgot their cell phone? I can not remember any other time in history where there was a device that just about everyone had, and on top of that a device that we could easily and quickly disseminate information to and through.
This is why we decided to begin offering app design services. Because no longer can the church just look for great resources but they also must consider how to best get those resources out to the people who they are ministering to. Many churches have realized this and starting having apps. But many of these apps fall short because they only exist to market the church and help their members grow in their faith. These are not bad things. But this opportunity is far too great to just stop there. We also need to find ways to use the technological advances happening everyday as an opportunity to reach a lost world around us. That is why we include things like curriculum and a Gospel tract in our app along with a bible, journal, and opportunities for you to add information feeds. We want you to get the word out about what God is doing in your ministry, and we also want your members to grow in their faith. But even more than that we want to see a movement of God's people started like we have never seen before. A movement where all followers of Christ are out sharing their faith and building disciples. A movement that refuses to accept the lie that things are just too far gone and the lost world around us cannot be reached. And we firmly believe that the tools we have added in this app, and the others that we will continue to add, may just be the spark that starts that movement in your communities.
Why now? Well studies have continually shown that 4% of this generation will follow Christ. We can point the blame finger but I squarely point it at us, the church. We have dropped the ball, not just with students but with the generations that have become before them as well. And it is time we realize there needs to be a change in they way we go about what we do. More importantly, it is time we realize that change cannot wait and must happen now. We must find ways to equip all of our people to go out and build disciples.
Just imagine for a second if ten years ago I told you that you could have a Gospel tract, Bible, Bible reading plans, a life issues scripture guide, and six months worth of discipleship curriculum for $24.95 a month. Not only that but you would also have a way to communicate with your members and people who you have not even met yet. And best of all, your members could copy all of those resources and share them as many times as they wanted to at no extra charge. I would have fallen out of my chair laughing at you and said your were crazy. But thanks to the advances in our world this is the opportunity that is staring us in the face. Take advantage of this opportunity today. Start turning the tide in your churches, schools, places of work, and communities. Let's work together to start a movement of God like most of us have never seen before.