Tweeting during a sermon is nothing new, nor is using your smartphone during the sermon (excellent post here). It’s been the center of debate plenty of times and continues to be a hot button in many Churches.
I believe the denomination, demographic and geography of your Church has a lot to do with the overall view of using your smartphone during Church and involving yourself in sermon tweets.
Tyndale’s recent survey on Church and Technology gives us some perspective on smartphones and tweeting during sermons.
Here some of their findings relating to mobile technology in the Church:
- 74% of Church members read an eBible.
- 21% discourage reading eBibles.
- 8.2% say the use of technology goes against tradition.
- 1.4% believe there are theological problems regarding the use of technology.
- 1.9% of Churches have decided to avoid or limit the use of technology.
As for the last three stats, they are low enough to ignore. I believe there will always be a nominal rejection of technology mixed with religion. The 8.2% does seem a little high, but will only get lower in time. Although this is relating to technology in general, I think it’s safe to apply it this specifically. It always cracks me up when people say technology goes against tradition, as they read the Holy Scriptures from a piece of technology (a printed book).
I find the 21% that discourage reading eBibles in Church to be a bit discouraging. Why anyone would discourage the reading of scripture is beyond me. Reading from a smartphone, tablet or e-reader is the same as reading them from the printed page! It looks like we need to work harder at understanding how technology relates to Christian life, just as John Dyer has done in his latest book, From the Garden to the City.
For those Churches in the 74%, I would be curious to know if they would take that support one step further and support tweeting during a sermon. Maybe even include screen-casting tweets like they do at many conferences (more here).
Would this take things to a “new level” or take us where we shouldn’t be going?
Where do we draw the line?