Perhaps you’ve been sort of suspicious of it till now. Maybe you have closed your eyes to it, hoping it will pass like a fast-moving thunderstorm; somehow passing by without disrupting or destroying your home, car, property, life. I’m certain you’ve encountered interruption to Sunday morning worship, sermons and prayers from them. No matter your thoughts, perspective or concerns, smart mobile devices are coming like a freight train, and there is no ducking the issue.
Here are some critical findings presented at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Barcelona, Spain:
- Global sales of tablets and smartphones will total 821 million units this year, then jump nearly 50%, to 1.2 billion, in 2013
- Smart devices will account for 70 percent of all mobile device sales next year
- By 2016, 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile
- Tablet sales to businesses will more than triple from 13 million this year to 53 million in 2016
We cannot ignore this tsunami of technology as it sweeps over our culture. For Jesus-followers and leaders within his church, we cannot hide or ignore this systemic change that is upon us and the entire world. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must embrace it in a profound way that alters the way we live, share Christ, preach, disciple and influence our culture. There is a potential to multiply our reach and reinvent the way we connect with our culture and church, but it will require a transformation that will be uncomfortable and even painful.
Yes, we need to tell the “old, old story,” but we need to get out in front of our family, neighbors, friends and culture with a “story” in words, deeds, ideas and through a medium that is understandable and accessible. Just as print, the Industrial Revolution and PCs had a profound impact, the swarm of mobile smart devices promises to transform our culture in new and sometimes disrupting ways.
Please understand I am violently supportive of the body of Christ and its local expressions as outlined in Scripture. One of my favorite, practical outlines of what the church looks like is found in Mark Driscoll’s “8 Biblical Marks of a True Church.”