Of the questions that make their way through the conversations and search inquires, one of the most common ones is simply, “where do I get started with mobile ministry?” For sure, there is a technological and ministry component that is taken into consideration. But, after you have assessed, or while you are assessing, there is this question of exactly what to focus on to be effective with mobile ministry strategy.

Mobile is all about attention. Some would even go as far as to call what we see in mobile and other modern media elements as aspects to an attention economy. Meaning simply that value is determined, generated, and lost by the type of attention gained or lost, and the transaction between those moments of attention.

For example, Facebook wants to keep you on their site (within their properties), and so to get your attention, there is the allure of connecting to friends and people you might have lost touch with. To keep your attention, they use the information you have placed within their environment to create more streams of connections to those relationships and others. This can manifest itself in Likes, games, or other opportunities.

To that end, it’s quite helpful to have a similar starting point for mobile ministry initiatives. If you will, to have some kind of starting point for creating, engaging, and making the attention gained something worthwhile. One method that I would recommend to use to figure this out is to simply look at the top categories for mobile downloads (that is, if you are making something to download to a device). For most mobile platforms, this translates into categories we are familiar with:

  • Games
  • Sports
  • Sex
  • News
  • Office/Productivity
  • Education
  • And a few others which could be gleaned easily by looking at nearly any app store listing.

Now, look at what those categories are saying:

  • Games: interactivity; a feeling of being entertained or playing
  • Sports: being part of a team; being part of a larger story; achievement (solo and shared)
  • Sex: intimacy; being touched; having the senses besides visual and auditory engage
  • News: being informed; knowing what is going on with others
  • Office/Productivity: being creative; contributions to a bigger voice; control/management
  • Education: being enabled; offering a chance to inspire/succeed

Given those kinds of descriptions to those categories, what becomes of that focus or starting point for mobile ministry? Or better, how do we now see more clearly the opportunities to point the activities of our ministries towards those areas that people are already placing their time? It’s not about creating a new space, but about making the space people want to inhabit one where their attention towards the things of God can be focused on more specifically.

Mobile Ministry Magazine has written a series of articles towards understanding mobiles in ministry and how ministries can take action in this space.

Below are some of these:

  • Mobile Ministry Methodology
  • What is Mobile Ministry
  • 6 Identified Applications of Mobile Ministry
  • 3 Layers of Mobile
  • Should Our Church Have a Mobile Website or a Mobile App
  • How to Build a Mobile App for Your Ministry

In a very real sense, it’s no longer about mobile being the future of how we engage one another, but how we are using it in this present to focus our intentions specifically to those who have been longing for us to connect with them. Focus your mobile (or social) ministry initiative along those areas, and success for out/in-reaches is much easier to discern.

Antoine RJ Wright is the Founder and Primary Voice behind Mobile Ministry Magazine. With a penchant for listening for innovations within and outside of traditional streams, Antoine is pioneering an approach to understanding the use of mobiles and implications of mobile technology within faith-tuned spaces. He also teaches knowledge management skills around SharePoint and other collaborative technologies, and sketchnotes on his iPad at various conferences and workshops.