Phones in Church?

A quick disclaimer to this post, though it consists of religion as the topic. I am solely focusing on the relationship between this and technology and by no means am pushing any personal viewpoints.

As we know Easter Sunday was a tad over a week ago and the most popular thing to do when celebrating this holiday is to go to Easter Mass. Being the most important church service of the year, besides Christmas, many expectations are paired with this holy day. People are expected to don their bright spring colors and flowing fabrics, have a happy persona and exciting tone, all while having their phone in their palm….“WAIT, WHAT?”

Typically churches prohibit the use of technological devices. Many churchgoers might want to pay attention or this might happen to you…

Phones in Church?

This Easter my attention was veered off towards my left to a swiping hand.  At first I thought “WOW how rude can you be? Getting your Pinterest on while standing and listening to your priest speak? Seriously?” It was a couple seconds later that I realized that the consistent glow of the phone and the swiping of her finger meant she was reading the bible on her
I-phone!!!!

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this concept. Technology is suppose to be helpful and save time. Reaching for a bible from the back of a pew probably takes just as much time as reaching for your I-phone and opening up the app. Don’t get me wrong, I was really excited to see something nearby that could so easily relate to our discussions in class. Whether I support this however…I would have to say no.

Having a bible app is a fantastic idea for on-the-go prayers throughout the day but standing in mass on Easter Sunday surrounded by bibles and eager neighbors willing to share a page makes this decision hard to support. We don’t have to turn to technology for EVERYTHING. This is one tradition that I believe should stay untouched based on general decency. This is a place of peace for many individuals and a place to escape the hectic world on the exterior of these angled walls. Church should remain free of electronic devices and anything else that might be a distraction.

It happens to everyone
I have however, ran across an aspect of technology connecting itself to religion by translating the bible into video clips for young students to understand. The bible is a very complex read for young individuals and seeing that most people lean on visuals to help with comprehension, this becomes a very suitable device to help students learn. I even found myself being drawn to the clips!!!

Children can witness the events within the bible by watching actions play out.
Children can witness the events within the bible by watching actions play out.
Children can get to know each character more closely and have a visual to go upon rather than just text.
Children can get to know each character more closely and have a visual to go upon rather than just text.

Not only this, but the Superbook Online Kids Bible Website comes in tact with Q and A’s, profiles and text paired with images. All of these additions are visually enticing and encourage students to get excited about embracing their religion.

Superbook Online Kids Bible

Technology is great for assisting in comprehension on aspects that may be too abstract or difficult for young children to understand at their age. Also considering the popularity of video games, taking this tactic and using this as a connection to study is a clever idea!

Instead of being a couch potato in front of the TV, now-a-days students can use their gaming skills and study at the same time!
Instead of being a couch potato in front of the TV, now-a-days children can use their gaming skills and study at the same time!

Next time you decide to visit your local church, think again before grabbing your phone and embrace the holy pages of tradition instead. Then as you leave take out your phone, jump on the superbook website and read up on what it all meant 😀 Or who are we kidding? I know how eager you all are to catch the video instead! 😀

One comment

  1. Profile photo of Katie Allen
    Katie Allen says:

    Lindsey,

    This is definitely an interesting idea. I think many churches are struggling with the idea of balancing the “sacred” with the “up to date.” A church I used to attend in Rochester, NY had a live streaming of their multiple Sunday services available on their website. Users from all over the world were able to tune in and essentially “watch” church from wherever they were. On the online site, there was also a chat feature, so those who were watching could also communicate with one another to make for a more connected experience (there was a moderator to control for trolls). Most people used the chat space to respond to things that were actually happening during the service, like typing “amen” after the pastor said something that particularly resonated with them. The online space also allowed for users to participate in the offering section of church, where some kind of option to give using PayPal would pop up at the appropriate time. Many people criticized the option to watch church online because it took away something sacred – just the issue you bring up with using phones in church to read one’s Bible – because many people believe the “presence of God” is in a certain space. Others felt like church should cultivate community, and that with churches that become big enough to broadcast their services, it is harder to connect with people meaningfully. And yet some believe, if a person is able to hear the gospel for the first time because of the online streaming, then that is fulfilling the Great Commission better than a small church that remains within its four physical walls. I no longer go to church, and these issues do not have any special place in my life, but during the time I was attending, they were definitely things I thought about!

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