Home Outreach Leaders Smartphone Discipleship: Three Ways to Get the Most out of Your Phone

Smartphone Discipleship: Three Ways to Get the Most out of Your Phone

Smartphone Discipleship

I hear a lot of talk about how dumb and unspiritual our phones are making us. There is surely some truth in that. In this article, I want to focus on how our phones can make us as small group point people, closer to God, closer to each other, and better disciples.

Smartphone Quiet Time

The fundamental discipline of the Christian life is the Quiet Time. It is the single discipline that leads to everything else. Paul spoke of the “knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.” (Titus 1.1). My definition of a disciple is someone regularly exposes themselves to Word with a view to application in the power of the Holy Spirit. It all starts with regular exposure to the Word.

Donald Whitney describes the importance of exposure to the Word this way:

No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture. The reasons for this are obvious. In the Bible God tells us about Himself, and especially about Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God. The Bible unfolds the Law of God to us and shows us how we’ve all broken it. There we learn how Christ died as a sinless, willing Substitute for breakers of God’s Law and how we must repent and believe in Him to be right with God. In the Bible we learn the ways and will of the Lord. We find in Scripture how to live in a way that is pleasing to God as well as best and most fulfilling for ourselves. None of this eternally essential information can be found anywhere else except the Bible. Therefore if we would know God and be Godly, we must know the Word of God—intimately. — Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 28.

Andy Stanley describes their discipleship strategy this way:

From the beginning we have looked for ways to coax, bribe, bait, and equip everybody from kindergarten up to engage in some kind of private devotional exercise. — Andy Stanley, Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012).

I wrote a book a few years ago called The Habit of Discipleship. The habit. One habit. One. And, it is a habit. Not so much a discipline in the sense of something I don’t want to do but force myself to do anyway. It is the habit of starting my day with my Bible on my lap. It is the habit of praying about what I read about. This one habit—the Christian Quiet Time—changes everything.

I have my Quiet Time on my phone. It is not the only way to do it. But, it is best way for me.

My life was forever changed a few years ago by reading something else by Donald Whitney—his book, Praying the Bible. I came away with this nugget: Read the Word; pray about what you read about. God speaks to me through the Word. I speak to Him through prayer. Meditation on the Word could be described as praying about what you read about.

I use the Bible memory app. What I love about this app is that it drops out every other word of a Bible verse. This gives me enough information to work out what the verse is, without giving me the whole thing. I read a book on learning a few years ago that talked about the idea that learning actually happens in that moment when you struggle to recall and then do successfully recall. If you don’t struggle, you don’t learn. If you don’t recall you don’t learn. You have to struggle and recall.