We got some great feedback last week from our ministry app blog about technology in ministry and what that looks like in our congregations. So I thought I would share some quick data based on the feedback I received and then share a personal story that it all reminded me of.
About 50% of adults in our churches still bring their Bibles.
Less than 20% of our students still bring their Bibles.
No one forgets their cell phones.
Many of us love reading the Bible on our devices but are scared to teach from them out of fear of what others might think.(My fear is that I'll start checking email while I am teaching. Just being transparent).
Overall, most of us like the idea of our students using the Bible on our mobile devices but are nervous to let them use it during our Bible study hours because we figure they will begin texting or using Social Media. And from my experience we are often right.
All this reminded me of something. I realized recently that I am not much different than my students. I was spending a lot of time on my phone and much of it was not for anything useful. So I made a commitment and found some accountability to make sure I held to my commitment. I committed to the fact that when I wanted to look at my phone I would study God's word. Then, I loaded the Bible up on my phone and a couple of Bible studies . It took some time but it ended up working. And the growth in my faith was incredible, not to mention the practical side of my improvement in time management. Plus, I was more emboldened to go out and share with others what I was learning and how they could experience life change in Christ. Not to mention that I was more ready when situations arose, to speak truth into the lives of others.
Then I began to think, if I am not much different than my students, couldn't they make the same changes I did. Why couldn't their devices turn from distractions to tools for growth and outreach? I firmly believe that they can. And as we have seen, almost all students and adults have a mobile device so they opportunity for there to be a wide spread movement is great. I firmly believe we have an opportunity here that we must take advantage of. And I have seen it begin to work in my life already. I have seen it work in my wife's life when some of her girls wanted to know how to share their faith so she told them to get out their phones, download our app, and walked them through the Gospel and how to share it. I have seen it work in a high school student who usually waffles back and forth in his faith. But when he finally had a tool that he could use to grow in his faith and share it with others he got excited and is doing great things.
We have a great opportunity before us if we will choose to not just accept the way things are and instead to choose to see the way things could be and work to make that vision a reality. And I'm scared to think of what it means for those around us if we do not.