July 22, 2010

Cell Phones in Church

This past week at church, a 13-ish year old girl in front of me spent the entire service texting. I can only assume this will be a growing problem, and I also assume that some churches will publicize a "texting" ban in services.

Why don't we work harder on engaging this girl instead?

Improving our communication styles. Shortening our sermons. Making the information more relevant She's not the only one who gets bored in church. The rest of us are just too scared to publicly show it.

7 comments:

Angela... said...

the sermons at my mother's churches are extremely short -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 minutes -- and I feel gypped by them.

Kat said...

I saw this girl as well, and my theory is that because she was 13 and sitting alone, she used her phone to feel more connected and less alone. Or, she was texting the person that should have been sitting next to her asking them where they were.

But, I am definitely on board for more concise and engaging sermons in general.

Three minutes feels a little lazy to me.

Eric Olsen said...

Angela, is your Mom episcopalian by any chance?

CaseRanter said...

if i have learned anything in my time spent treating teens it is that their need for connection is the single most important thing, someone lecturing/teaching/preaching on a stage does not connect like some friend at the end of a device. unfortunately this limits their learning to the fleeting moments between their electronic friends.

it seems like church is church still for teens (at least a majority) so it stinks.

changing it too much will disrupt the people my age or older learning

Eric Olsen said...

CaseRanter, but didn't we just learn to accept/expect poor communication?

wouldn't adults react even more positively to higher engagement. i'm not just advocating "change", but smarter communication.

Mackle said...

Shorter sermons do not necessarily = more engagement. I've sat through hour-plus sermons that were so electrifying I felt as if someone was pouring hot oil down my trousers.

Our church has such an incredible percentage of teens / tweens that it's getting insane and the sermons are seldom less than 45 mins.

What teens need to engage them is what they've been misisng for so long: a hefty dose of the truth.

Eric Olsen said...

math is truth. they fall asleep in math class.

the truth still needs to be engaging.