The future is here and it’s mobile

I got tired of lugging my laptop to meetings, so I got a Blackberry before I went to NOC2008 in San Diego.  Of course, when I got there, everyone I saw had an iPhone or a BB, so I’m not exactly on the cutting edge here, but I’m still impressed.  I had no idea you could do almost everything on a mobile device, which brings me to the point — take the quantum leap and make everything you do mobile.   Here’s what I mean:

  1. Redesign your blog.  I realized that I had to scroll down the left column of my blog on my BB before I got to the middle column where my posts are.  I’m rethinking my blog design and hope to find a more mobile-friendly design.  But, I actually posted to the blog from my mobile.  
  2. Redesign your website.  Same problems as above, only more so.  Mobile delivery is how most people will get their content soon (Asia already does this), so your site needs to display well on mobile devices. 
  3. Blog on Twitter.  I hadn’t realized the value of Twitter until I got a BB.  Very convenient, to the point, and fast. Look for more bloggers to go this way (okay, I know they’re already going this way — check Ed Stetzer, for example.) Twitter also posts to Facebook — two birds with one stone.
  4. Chunk-up your content.  Shorter is better on mobiles, I’ve discovered.  Chunk-up content into bite-sized pieces.  Forget the 3,000 word posts.
  5. Checkout the apps stores for mobile devices.  Lots of good apps including searchable Bibles, ebooks, weather, news updates, and tons more.  You’re no longer tethered to the lappy or the desktop.

Okay, some of you are way ahead of me on this.  How are you using your smartphones in ministry?  What apps have you downloaded and how do you use them?  Is anyone out there all mobile all the time?

7 thoughts on “The future is here and it’s mobile”

  1. Could there be a slight disconnect between your small town, small church ministry setting and your hi-tech, innovative approach to ministry? Maybe it’s just me, but your intellectual, tech-savvy approach to ministry seems like it would be more effective in a more affluent suburban or urban setting rather than in a small, economically depressed town. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, but the more I read it, the more I think your interests and skill sets don’t fit where you are. This post kinda illustrates my point. One can be an effective small town, small church pastor without a blog and a Blackberry. But in a larger suburban church such tools would be quite helpful. I have often seen ministers of small churches stay busy with projects outside of their churches to distract them from the frustrations and boredom associated with being a small church pastor, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose. I’m not writing these comments to discourage you or suggest you leave your post prematurely but rather merely to challenge you to be open the possibility that God may not leave you in that small church pastorate indefinitely. I recently read about a large, suburban church in your state that’s doing the same things you’re advocating with the Abbey Church model. Bigger is not always better, but neither is smaller. Be careful not to pigeonhole yourself as the small church guru.

  2. Jourden, interesting thoughts and I appreciate your taking time to share them. I’ve discovered that not all small churches are in small town or rural settings. Lots of small churches thrive in urban and suburban settings, and I try to include topics here that 1) I’m interested in; and, 2) that have broader appeal than just small town and/or rural congregations.

    That said, even our small town is on a high-speed fiber optic network as part of the economic redevelopment of this area. The new community center we just built is fully wifi, and our town has a wifi hotspot in the center of town around the courthouse. We offer computer courses for all ages in our community center computer lab, and this summer we’ll do three technology camps for kids there. Plus, we have a major research facility called the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, a $30-million state of the art facility that is also driving economic redevelopment here.

    I agree that small church pastors can get very busy doing stuff just to be busy doing stuff. I’m as guilty as the next guy on that one. But, life in a small town is no longer the insular life it once was. My blogs are my connection to the wonderful ideas, ministries, and stories of others like you who are doing the same things we’re doing in small towns, rural communities, urban centers and suburban areas. For me, staying connected to other pastors and leaders is an encouraging and important part of my professional life.

    I have actually done more hands-on ministry here in our small town of 1300 than I did in Atlanta or Dallas when we lived in both of those places. I agree that size — large or small — isn’t the only benchmark for ministry.

    So, thanks for sharing your perspective. You give me much to think about. -Chuck

  3. I’m interested in how much it actually costs to go mobile. If I think of the time i spend on the internet now, i hate to think what that would realistically cost from one of these new phones…although i am very very tempted lol.

    Is it cost effective? Love some feedback.

    By the way I love your blog. Great mix of stuff

    1. Cush, the cost of going mobile is the price of a good smartphone. I got a Blackberry, which you can get for $100 plus a 2-year agreement. The data plan is more than just voice, but ours only went up $20 because we had a pretty high plan anyway. I went from a Motorola Razr and did not use the internet and could not get email, to a Blackberry and it saves me tons of time. I can see and reply to email on the go. Kids can text me and get an immediate reply. My BB has GPS, which has saved me lots because I didn’t get lost. I can Twitter from my BB, and have even posted to my blog from it, although that is not easy to do. Would I go back to a regular cellphone? No way. Oh, and I also have’s Bible on my BB, which I can now read anytime in about a dozen different translations. Until you do it, you’ll never know the difference. I also spend less time on the laptop, but probably more on the BB. So, it balances out.

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