“You bring your phone to church?” John asked me somewhat surprised and cautious.
“Yes, and so do other people.” I launched into great detail as quickly as I could due to a lack of time. “One person invites people to sit with her at church. She brings her cell phone to follow along the live sermon. Our church does a live sermon and a handful of us work to inspire deeper conversation about the sermon in the comment section of Facebook. I have a new phone, and this means, it can go total silence so I can have the live video playing and be there to serve the community online without disturbing others around me.”
“How do you focus on what you are being taught?” John looked troubled.
“Before the live sermon, I used to Facebook and Twitter my sermon notes. I can easily follow along the sermon. I even use my YouVersion Bible on the same device so I can keep up. So many times, when one does handwritten sermon notes, they go into a Bible or a notebook and never are used again. Why not share what I am learning with my community? If I am wrong, people can talk to me online about that, and I continue learning; and if an unbeliever is watching my notes, it allows for the possibility of more private conversations. The whole idea is to build a community inside and outside of church. Being available to pray for and answer questions during the live sermon is no less serving than handing out bulletins on Sunday or manning the Welcome Center. Some children workers can’t even hear the sermon most Sundays because of their service.”
When I had this conversation with John, I wanted to explain so much more, but we had to part ways. The most important thing one can remember when thinking about how social media impacts missions and evangelism is how we should use it to serve each other online. You can arrange for teams of people to serve on Sunday and some to serve during the week. All online and all using their own social media. With today’s technology, you can even do so while sitting in the service (tip: if your phone doesn’t have total silence, plug in head phones or go to the cry room of your church; you don’t have to wear your headphones; it’s just a way to keep the sound off).
Let’s reflect Jesus in our conversations as it is not about growing the church, but inviting people to participate in meaningful conversations so we share the Good News with people in our communities.