Some people seem to worship their cell phones. Others, however, worship with their cell phones. A growing number of religious leaders – from Catholics to born-again evangelicals to Muslims – are using new technology to reach a younger generation.
“It’s not uncommon to look out at the congregation and see everyone on their smartphones,” Andy Wood, pastor at South Bay Church in Silicon Valley, Calif., told Mashable.com. “We try to generate a lot of social media activity during worship.”
Wood’s church encourages members to post quotes from the church’s services on Twitter and to read along passages in the Bible from a Bible app on their phones.
There has been a proliferation of smartphone apps that assist religious study and practice, from a straightforward version of the Bible that has been downloaded 100 million times to apps that give people access to the sacred texts the Quran and Torah on their phones. Read more about the trend here.
Many churches, however, see cell phones in church as a distraction. Westminster Presbyterian Church in Burbank, Calif., produced a YouTube video that uses humor to discourage cell phone usage. (If your phone rings during the sermon, it says, “You’re going straight to hell.”)
Here’s the video, which has been viewed nearly 4 million times: