Please Turn off all Electronic Devices until the Church is Airborne

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Why is it a bad thing to have your mobile phone switched on in church? The standard answer is because everybody should be concentrating on the sermon, rather than playing with their mobiles.

Some churches solve the problem by jamming the signal. Others tell people to switch off – or else:

Yet that misunderstands how we listen, and how we learn. These days, people are not looking for a lecture. They would rather have a guide on the side than a sage on the stage.

There’s a double standard when it comes to new technology. We encourage people to take notes with pen and paper (although who knows whether they are actually distracted and drawing doodles?) yet dislike the use of phones or tablets. It even spreads over to the language we use. Children are either voracious readers, or addicted to technology. It sounds different the other way round.

A (silent) smartphone can have multiple bible translations, note-taking facilities, audio/video recording facilities, and the opportunity to text or tweet the preacher during an interactive sermon.

Perhaps we should go the whole hog and have iPads for everyone.

Can the Holy Spirit only work with old fashioned stationery? Or should we never take any kind of notes in sermons? What do you think?

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