Is the Smartphone Killing Weekend Church Services?
But just how seriously is technology digging into attendance and what can a church leader do in response?
The question is challenging because the change happening around us is so rapid, and those who fail to respond will likely be left clinging to a model that worked a decade ago.
I’ll Just Listen When I’m Running
You only have to be in your 20s to realize how much things have changed in the last decade.
Ten years ago, there was no smart phone. Computers still mostly used cords to access the Internet, and Internet was painfully slow (at least by today’s standards).
If you wanted to listen to a message by a pastor who didn’t live in your town or access pretty much any Christian content, you had to order a CD, wait for it to arrive and listen then. Some churches were still rocking cassette ministries.
Fast forward to today.
Your phone has more power than any device you owned in the 2000s. It’s always connected, and as a result, so are you.
Consequently, you (and millions of others) have access to any preacher, anytime and anywhere, including all the influential communicators. For free. Which is what a growing number of Christians are listening to.
And even in small churches, parishioners now have access to their pastor’s messages on iTunes.
Throw a few bucks into the mix and you can even grab your favorite worship tunes.
Which means that the two ingredients that have been the mainstay of church services for millions of people in Western Culture—a great message and some music— have become largely downloadable.
The implications of this are huge.
Many Christians are thinking ‘why bother going at a set hour and fight traffic when I can listen when I’m running?”
It’s a great question.
And to simply dismiss that approach as unfaithful is a bit simplistic.
This is a great season for leaders to dig deeper and ask why do we do what we do. That’s true any time change comes.