Which new technologies hold the most promise—and the most peril—for use in church ministries? Brad Abare, founder of the Center for Church Communication, Mark Keller, author of God on the Internet, and John Dyer, web development director at Dallas Theological Seminary, suggest the best and worst new tech.

Mobile Smart Phones

Phones are on track to becoming the most promising—and paralyzing—technology.

Brad Abare, founder of the Center for Church Communication

By far the most pervasive and powerful technology of the last quarter century is the cell phone. Gone are the days when owning one meant you had to buy a larger car to accommodate your Motorola or schedule a weekly chiropractor appointment because of the backpack-like carrier.

Cell phones have become a necessity for those on the move. More text messages are sent each day than there are people in the world. Observe most anyone under age 25, and you will see they spend much time text messaging, typing, and toying with a gadget that contains more information and connectivity than the Apollo 13 spacecraft.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, over 4 billion people were using a mobile phone in 2008. With the global population at 6.7 billion, that means three of every five people worldwide use a mobile phone. In the world. Last year when I was in Haiti—one of the poorest, least developed countries—I learned one benefit of going to church: You could charge your phone battery under the window ledges lining the sanctuary. Come to church late, and you might not get a power outlet.

Mobile smart phones are on track to becoming the most promising—and paralyzing—technology for use within churches. Promising because of their ...

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