“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” has become a cliché.
For the most part, even Christians have began to celebrate Christmas as a commercialized holiday devoted to materialism. Even those of us who are more mindful might remind ourselves that the stuff doesn’t matter, it is the people we love that make Christmas special. And so the true meaning of this holiday season, our Savior coming as a baby, gets lost in the shuffle of paper, toys, and nice warm feelings. Because of this, in the past few years, my family and I have shifted our focus from a traditional Christmas to a celebration of Advent. It has been a no-regret transition for us and I do not see us ever turning back. We have felt like the true meaning of Christ’s birth has been more real and significant to us through our newly established Advent traditions. In years past, I thought Advent was just a fun little countdown before The Big Day of Presents!
I was way off.
If you’re not entirely sure what Advent is or what it is all about, here’s a well written definition:
A few weeks ago, our very own Eric Dye let us in on an exciting development from Lifechurch.tv: the upcoming application aimed at younger people interested in the Bible: the YouVersion Bible App for Kids.
Well, it’s here! Smack dab on Thanksgiving day, it is currently available for Android and iOS devices.
Styled as the Bible for Kids, it isn’t just a stripped down version of it’s old, more established big brother, the Bible App; indeed, it’s a relatively fresh vision that takes heed of the app’s target demographic.
In the Android community there has been a bit of a hoo hah over a new type of launcher that is gaining a lot of popularity, but also has caused some controversy. It’s called Aviate and its aim is to provide the apps you want in the context you want.
Custom launchers are one of the really nice features that separate Android from iOS. If you are an iOS fan you might well argue that the iOS launcher is simple and set up for simplicity. All you need is to unlock, and then get to the app you want, which will be where it always is. However, the customization of Android means you can easily change simple things such as the icon sets, the size of the icons, add in widgets that provide you a preview of information from an app straight from the screen, or the ability to instantly use the app from your home screen. Or you can edit more advance features such as the way you slide between different screens, introduce different touch action shortcuts (such as double swipe up to open X), but Aviate is truly a revolution in terms of launchers.
I am broken. Defeated. Completely worn down.
What happened? Everything. Yes, me and mine are healthy. I am still blessed beyond measure, and I am grateful to be here today. Well, mostly. I’ve lost something, and there is a huge void without it.
My HTC EVO 4G LTE is sick. Seriously ill.
Hold on a second. This isn’t you’re usual tech-addicted nerd whining about broken electronics. Not all of it, at least. This is a tech-addicted nerd whining about broken electronics AND broken productivity, thank you very much.
That device is my hub, and nothing underlines that more than my patched together process this week.
Yesterday, we took a look at Google and Apple’s different approachs and how they compare to churches. Google using an attractional church strategy while Apple uses a church missional approach.
(I suggest reading part one, first, as this post will make a lot more sense.)
Both Google/attractional and Apple/missional have their positives and negatives, so what if we did both? What would that look like?
Let’s take a look…
I was reading some articles from a few tech pundits this past week, following Apple’s product event in October. In the mix, I somehow found an old article that attempted to compare Google and Apple’s business models. The article made a few decent points, but it didn’t really offer anything amazing.
But then I began to think about the various church models that exist in the West, particularly the US, and I think I found a neat way of looking at them, from a tech perspective. That said, let’s take a look at Google and Apple’s differing approaches to their mobile platform as a way of comparing two of the more common church models, attractional and missional.
I recently read a post by Eric Dye about posting professional videos to Instagram. This idea was sent to him by Alex Welgraven, video producer for Radiant Church. I was immediately fascinated with this idea and researched it and created a video tutorial on how to create to do this.
Watch the tutorial below and learn how to do it:
When you see people staring down at their cell phones in church these days, turns out they’re as likely to be reading the Good Book as reading email. Maybe even more likely considering that e-Bibles optimized for mobile devices are now boasting millions of downloads. The glow of screens, once a no-no in the pews, has come to be a regular sight at Sunday services as more and more church leaders and churchgoers embrace technology designed to bolster faith and make the Word of God more accessible.
Churches themselves are capitalizing on their congregations’ tendency toward connectivity by having custom mobile apps created to highlight devotions, events, online giving opportunities and blogs written by the church leadership. According to a story on Time Magazine’s website, a Catholic bishop even publicly approved a confession app – though absolution still requires the presence of a priest.