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Pastors preach: turn on & tune in … to your Blackberry

Here are two headlines blogs4God juxtapositioned for me perfectly: Blackberry in Church? Pastor Asks Congregation to Turn Cell Phones ON During Church Service.

Wow, I knew an aggregator was useful, but when it begins to first ask, then answer such questions – yippeee!

Kidding aside, last October I attended the Mobile Business Expo in Chicago. While it was cold outside, inside the heat was on with discussions about how the entire mobile industry is racing along to ditch all things analog – and for that matter cellular – and go all digital all the time.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to blog about the mobile church, and will do so in greater detail in the future. But as an appetizer, first a snip from this article from the good folks at the ESV Bible entitled “Blackberry in Church?”

“I recently forgot to bring my Bible to church, and then remembered that I could use the NET Bible and ESV, by surfing to their websites. I know people at our church who have Bible software for their Treo, so I thought I should try it.”

Amen! Preach it brother. As mobile phones get smarter – and as the software industry continues to adopt the Software as a Service model – both pastors and congregants better quit looking disdainfully on other members who are thumbing their way through the topical references raised up at the pulpit.

Oh sure, there will be some in the pews surfing the sports scores – but for someone like me who’d like to have the ability to look things up in God’s word as they occur to me during the course of a sermon, such online tools are a blessing.

Which is why I was glad to see this article title above the other on blogs4God contributed by blog.OurChurch.com that read: “Pastor Asks Congregation to Turn Cell Phones ON During Church Service.”

‘“Please bring your cell phone with you to the service this Sunday. Yes, you read that right. I, the President of the ‘I hate cell phones going off in church club,’ am inviting you to bring that blasted thing to church this Sunday.”

The reason?

“At the end of the teaching on prayer this weekend I am going to devote about 7 minutes to answering questions on the topic and the way you will pass on your questions is by texting them to a number you will receive during the service. We will of course all have our phones on SILENT won’t we!”’

Well now there you have it. That’s at least one pastor out of thousands who has seen the light – and rather than resist change – adopts it to a useful purpose.

Folks, change is coming. ’4G’ technologies for mobile, smart phones are coming whether you like it or not – and many of your newer and younger congregants are not going to know a world without them.

Either figure out a way to leverage such technology for good, or suffer the evil consequence of obsolescence, irrelevance and empty pews.

One place to start? How about posting your sermons online, hyperlinking Scripture and study references. This way those individuals who are up-to-speed are also all into your message.

Wouldn’t hurt to have such material available for others on long business trips either. I know I appreciate it (as I head to Malaysia in just a few hours).

So what do you think? Leave a comment so we can discuss this issue after I get done flying half-way around the planet just to meet-up with some excellent, emerging Church bloggers!