My family is on a journey. We are currently searching for a new church. So for the first time in years, I get to sit with the rest of the normal people, and not work. I don’t have to set up, I don’t have to tear down. I don’t have to worry about lighting or sound or if the program is communicating. I don’t have to analyze if our people make others feel welcome. Nobody, or very few people, know me. And so I sit there. And pretty much go crazy.
This year begins my 12th year in ministry. That’s a really long time. So I’m not quite sure what actual congregation protocol is. If I was in a Baptist or Catholic church, I would most likely know to be careful because “Jesus is watching.” But in the community church, everyone is accepted, no one is condemned. There’s just love…love…love…until….
You pull out your phone. Then you get the glares, the glances, the sneers, the disapprovals. Honestly, I’ve seen some people act all crazy with their phone in church. In fact, I’ve yelled at my kids for using their phones during worship and busted some friends texting other friends, from a phone hid inside of their purse. I judge. What can I say? But Sunday I decided to use my phone as a distraction of my unhealthy need to serve and analyze and “consult” as I like to call it. I launched my Bible App and looked up the scripture that was already on the screens. Then I posted the Scripture that jumped out at me on Facebook so the world (well, the world that is mine) could be just as inspired. For the record, I think I got 12 ‘likes’.
I made notes in my Notes App. I watched my kids out of the corner of my eyes. They were on their phones too. But they weren’t looking up Scripture, no they were creating Vines and Texting. So when the pastor got to the part of his sermon where I knew my kids needed to pay attention, I text them. I asked them the same question that the pastor asked the congregation, but my kids responded to me. And so I encouraged them, and threw a nugget of truth at them via text message. I connected with them the way I knew they would respond.
Now I know some you guys are thinking, “How wretched. This mother encouraging such disgraceful behavior!” While others are thinking, “So!?”
But I think this is a big deal. It worked for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay or not okay. Whether or not we use personal technology in church is a game changer. It will determine the culture of how our churches grow and function. It will determine who we reach. It will determine how we connect.
What do you think?
Is it okay to text in church, even if there is no way to police what people are doing?
Should Cell Phones and iPads be discouraged during service?
What is your church’s stance on personal technology during sermons?