Treat Churches Like Movie Theaters
We use technology for everything. It plays our music, shows us our movies, gives us the news, and connects us with friends/family. Chances are that all of this is done from your phone, let alone what you get to do with your tablets and laptops. It's an incredibly powerful tool, but it's also highly distracting.
In some of my recent dives into the internet, I've learned that the use of technology is actually limiting our ability to digest large chunks of content well. We consume so much information at such insane speeds, we are actually losing our ability to focus on a singular topic for large swaths of time.
I don't think this is anymore noticeable than in churches. As a Pastor, I'm in 2 church services every Sunday with hundreds of people and there is this funny trend. People start out focused, then about 10 minutes in they pull out their phones.
Usually it's to check some notification they got. Sometimes it's to look up whatever the speaker is referring to. But they always put it back...for about 5 more minutes. By minute 15 so many people have their phones out, they don't even need the house lights up. We could just sit in darkness illuminated only by the glowing, apple-sponsored, face of distraction.
Obviously, I'm being a bit overdramatic, but truth be told, it's actually kind of discouraging. As a Pastor, you want to lead people into a better understanding of Jesus and what he has done and what is still doing. The only real way to do that is to read the Bible and explain it in ways that are encouraging and helpful.
When Ezra wanted to reestablish Israel, he simply read Scripture. The synagogues of Jesus' time regularly read the Old Testament as a way of teaching. The Apostle Paul consistently encourages the churches to consider Jesus' teachings (the Gospels) and apply them to their lives. Reading the Bible is the consistent method of life change throughout Scripture.
But it's also incredibly hard to compete with instagram or facebook or your friend texting you. The latest currency is your attention. How you choose to spend your focus is what google pays a premium to find out.
So what am I saying? I'm saying that your phone is distracting you from what is probably one of the only times in your week where you might actually grow closer to God and be a better Jesus follower.
But more than what I'm saying is what I'm asking. I'm asking you to put it down and treat church like a movie theater. We all know those guys who are texting in the movie. It's bright. It's distracting. If they actually answer a phone call, God forbid, the whole freaking movie theater would shush them.
We place a higher value on 120 minutes of a movie than 30 minutes of the Gospel.
So I'm asking you to not just turn your phone to vibrate only. Turn it on silent. Turn it on Do Not Disturb. Turn it off. Give your pastor a chance to help you love Jesus better by giving your full attention.