Not too long ago, I was sitting next to a preacher and his wife while visiting their church. I happened to glance over to see the unbelievable! The wife was reading her text messages while we were singing. THE PREACHER’S WIFE! How can you ever overcome cell phone usage in church when even the leadership misuses their phones? Then there was the time a few years back when I was teaching a leadership workshop in one of the poorest countries in the world, out in a village, when someone’s cell phone began ringing. Don’t even get me started on the youth group sitting side by side texting during the sermon and such!
Smart phones have become such a distraction in our lives, that we can’t even go through an hour of worship without constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Periscope or a million other things people do on their phones anymore. Isn’t it strange that we can be so connected electronically, but can’t have a simple conversation with the person standing in front of us?
THOSE BLASTED PHONES ARE DESTROYING THE CHURCH! …or are they? I remember scolding a teen girl after worship for texting during my sermon. I then felt like a heel when she showed me she was taking notes on my sermon because she really liked the thought. That’s what I get for jumping to negative conclusions without looking at the facts. I have also seen a rise in people using their Bible apps to dig deeper into passages we are discussing in Bible class, look at various translations of a passage to understand it better, take notes, write down ideas for a later time, and many other really good uses of those phones we want so badly to hate.
You see, a phone is simply a tool. How we use it, is what matters. We will never stop cell phones from being used in Bible class or worship service, so why not find ways to use them in a positive manner? I worshiped at a church not long ago, where the preacher got everyone to walk around the building and take selfies with various members and then post them on social media with the message of how thankful they were for their fellow church members. What a great idea! We live in an age of technology. We have a generation that has grown up with a mobile phone always in their hand. Those phones can be a real problem, but they can also be a great tool. Don’t lose sight of that.
So, what good ideas can you come up with to use our phones for the glory of God and his kingdom?