The sermon is just about to start. As you peruse the congregation, you notice that multiple people have the nerve to pull out their smart phones or tablets and get online. What do you do? What. Do. You. Do?
According to the Barna Research Group, 6 out of 10 students will leave the church. Now there are many theories out there as to why so many students are leaving the church of their youth and never returning. The question is what do we do? What. Do. We. Do?
I think one answer is found in technology. It’s not the only answer, but it’s a start.
In a recent survey of 18 to 24 year olds, 98% use social media. 98%! That’s impressive! We can fight against people having their noses in the phones, or we can embrace that it is the new norm. If it’s the new norm, then why not partner with technology to help people discover Jesus?
For the 98% who are on social media, the message once they get into church is “Turn off your cell phones.” That’s the equivalent of telling a 98 year old to turn off his pacemaker.
A few months ago, a pastor friend of mine introduced me to the “Live” feature on the app, YouVersion. I use YouVersion every single day to read my Bible, but I did not know about this feature.
The “Live” feature allows the church to download notes, links to articles, surveys, questions, links back to your website, links to online giving, and more. I was blown away by this feature.
I started using it immediately in my church. I start almost every sermon actually asking people to take out their smart phones or tablets and to go to YouVersion and click on the “Live” feature. The response that I’ve received has been amazing!
With the “Live” feature, I make sure to include a link for people to share what they are learning via Facebook or Twitter. I also try to include articles that I reference or information that I had to cut due to time.
YouVersion is very user friendly. If technology scares you, there is always Google. If you do a quick Google search for “YouVersion Live Tutorial” you’ll find multiple articles and videos.
I think that using technology can be a very effective way to engage the 98% who are already using it. Many of those represent the 6 out of 10 who are leaving the church never to return.
What will you do?