3 Tips for Mobile Ministry

Did you know that 90% of all americans are within 3 feet of their cell phone at all times?

Drew Goodmanson shared that stat last night at the Biola Digital Ministry Conference. It really got me thinking.

Is your church ready for mobile ministry?  Here are a few simple tips to get you started.

Use mobile communication to build, not replace, face-to-face relationships and community.

The church is not a list of people who follow a feed, much less a personality.  Church is people who do life together centered around Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Groups and teams can easily use mobile communications to share prayer needs and answers to prayer, as well as pass along important information.  Given that people respond to text messages within minutes instead of hours or days, as they do with email, it’s also a great way to pass along important information about activities, events and meetings.  This will increase their time together, rather than inhibit it.

Use mobile communication with permission.

The physical mailbox is the place you receive paper you don’t want – I watch my neighbor go to his mailbox, walk to his garbage can and then go back inside empty handed. What you send people in the mail has a lifespan of about 10 steps.  Email has become almost the same thing, and filters mean that I probably see only half the emails sent to me. Yet I probably only miss 1 out of 100 text messages.  Why? Because only people I know, and want to hear from, text me.  So, before you start spamming people’s phones with details about your next meeting, get their permission. Simple tools like this can make it easy: http://teamreminder.com/about.php

Use mobile in the right social space.

Edward Hall introduced the concept of Proxemics back in the 50′s.  He refers to public (such as in public speaking), social (with acquaintances), personal (close friends) and intimate (hugging, whispering) spaces. How do we translate this concept of physical space to mobile/digital settings?

I would suggest this:

  • Your church website is public space, a billboard for all to see.
  • Your church Facebook page is social space, an online porch where likeminded people hang out and share activities and interests.
  • Mobile communication, on the other hand, is personal space, a virtual conversation that normally would have taken place face to face, over coffee or a meal.  Using mobile communication in the right space means not violating someone’s personal space by using it to spam people with promotional messages.
  • It also means not expecting it to deliver more than it is capable of – because intimate space requires touching, and you can’t do that with a cell phone.


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