Turn your phone off in church … NOT – Church | Social Media

It used to be (it may still be at your church) that there was a sign hanging on the door that asked you to politely turn your phone off during the worship service. And, years ago people complied – well, almost everyone did. There was always one person who did not turn theirs off and that pre-set ring would go off at exactly 12:00 sharp and it would take the person the entire invitation to find their phone to turn it off. You know the one.

Anyway, it was that we wanted people to unplug during the worship experience. That was yesterday – this is today. Today, we do not really want people to unplug – we want them to be plugged up and plugged in during the worship service. Now there is a generation that could not do church without their electronic device. When they bring their device to church they are bringing their Bible, commentary, worship music, sermon note taker,  diary, calendar, contacts, camera, and social device with them.

Comscore recently released this information:

Analytics firm comScore released new data today showing that U.S. mobile social media audiences increased 37%, and more than half of social mobile audiences read a post from an organization, brand or event on their mobile device.

People are using their mobile devices like never before to help the do life! In my opinion we shouldn’t fight it – we should tap into it. Have portions of the service where you are asking people to use their mobile device and then ask them to go silent for a few minutes.

Here are 3 ways you can tap into the mobile device your church members bring with them:

1. Put “snippets” of your sermon in the bulletin

Instead of putting your outline in the bulletin what if you put snippets from your sermon that could be broadcast on Facebook and Twitter? What if during a portion of the service you encouraged everyone to post 1 snippet to their network? You would ensure that your message was getting out to people who had never been to your church. You would be helping your people be a digital witness.

2. Encourage photo sharing

Ask people to take pictures of their day at church and to post them on-line after the service. They could get their small group to pose for a shot. A staff member. A friend. When you tag people in pictures on Social media the effects can be multiplied.

3. Take your Ipod and open to ….

It is OK for people to use their device to read the scriptures. YouVersion even has a way you can upload your sermon notes online for people to view during the service. I do not mind for people to read on their phones because I know that wherever they go that week their Bible will be with them.


Those are just a few of my ideas…. if you have more share them below.




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2 Responses to “Turn your phone off in church … NOT – Church | Social Media”

  1. Tye Peel April 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Thanks for the blog post Joel. I agree 100%. Not only do I always have my Bible with me via my phone, my sermon notes are synced to the cloud so they’re available on any device anytime I want them.

    More and more people at our church are using phones and tablets during the sermon. When the pastor is reading the scripture for that day, our cameras always find a Bible and show it on the screens. I loved it when a few weeks ago they showed someone reading the verses on their phone. Hopefully more and more churches learn to embrace technology as a way to reach their membership and their community.

  2. Joel April 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Tye you are 100% correct. The great thing about the mobile device is their Bible is alway with them.

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