An interesting shift has happened in our social landscape over the last few years. When people are made to wait—at the doctor’s office, restaurant, coffee shop, or even stoplights (unfortunately)—they rarely just sit and twiddle their thumbs. Instead, you’ll see these waiting areas filled with people with their heads bowed and attention focused entirely on their screens.
You’ve done it, right? Checked sport scores and movie times. Cleared Facebook and Twitter notifications. Browsed Craigslist. Played solitaire. Searched for directions. Checked email. Googled some random question about something or other. Maybe even caught up on the latest episode of your favorite sitcom.
In short, activities that were once possible only on our clunky desktop PC—and then our laptop—are now available at any moment in any place. As a recent Forbes article put it, “There is no screen more personal or engaging, and no screen that provides a more stunning canvas than the mobile screen. Be it a smartphone, a gaming device or tablet, from tweens to boomers, we are all engaging in mobile.”
Interestingly enough, mobile usage isn’t just…well…mobile. In fact, according to that same Forbes article, nearly half of mobile usage happens inside the home. In short, our mobile devices have become our “first screens.” In fact, by 2016, mobile will be the most popular way to be online. This is a big deal…a big deal that churches seem to be either passively ignoring or even actively avoiding.
Years ago, I was encouraging churches to develop websites. Two years ago, I was urging churches to update those websites. (For the sake of all that’s good and holy, enough with the comic sans and animated GIFs already!) And now I’m encouraging churches to go mobile. In short, if your participants and potential guests don’t have mobile access to your church, you’re missing a huge—and rapidly growing—point of connection.
I suspect many of you are now thinking, “Yeah, right. Mobile Apps are great for churches with big budgets and huge communication teams. No way can we do this.” I’ll tackle that in the next post.
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