As you might have seen via Twitter and a few former postings, Cybermissions has begun the next Mobile Minsitry Training Course, and for the first week, I’m the guest presenter/faciltator. One of the questions that started off the discussion I thought was quite appropriate and so I’m posting both the question and my answer here to continue the discussion in a wider frame:
What really zings you about Mobile Ministry – the numbers, the opportunity, the ideas, the technology?
And here’s the answer as posted to the thread (w/addition of links or emphasis here)
I find that numbers are one of the more interesting parts of the discussion. Mainly because while we are very often in the mindset that the entire world (all 7 billion or so of us) is a candidate for evangelism, that we don’t usually pay as much attention to the numbers of people who are already hearing the message, who heard and rejected the message, or who are out of range of any [computer-aided] technological opportunity for the message of the Gospel. And if that sounds like I’m saying that not everyone can be reached with the Gospel via mobile, that’s pretty much it. The numbers don’t line up with the zealousness of the activity.
The numbers (for mobile ministry) do line up with the ability to fix some broken walls between classes/cultures as it relates to the Faith. The numbers do line up with the economic opportunity to improve situations for those using the devices (and by counterpoint, undermine the economic opportunity for those on the side of making the devices and pulling the materials needed for those devices). As it stands with current activity, mobile ministry is only addressing the side of people exposed to a literal message of the Gospel, its not addressing the lifestyle of those folks who should be influenced by a Holy Sprit-infused perspective.
If we look at it by the numbers, then the direct opportunity for mobile ministry gets clouded:
- global population of 7 billion
- global population of ~4 billion with exposure to some cellular mobile device/service
- global population of ~2.5 billion whom are some iteration of a professed Christian
If we take the first two (global population and all those w/some mobile exposure) as a proportion (2/3 of the world connected mobile) and do so in isolation (that is, we aren’t counting the other media channels like radio, TV, Internet; nor are we accounting for a global illiteracy rate of 60%), the we can take that 2.5 billion and ask a simple question:
Are 800 million people enough to spread the Gospel via mobile technology? Or, are 800 million people preaching a Gospel to themselves, missing the ears other 6.2 billion?
That’s where my answer to the question ends. What’s your input on this (I’ll point the class here to also view perspectives as well).
And just think, this is the first week of the Mobile Minsitry Training Course. There are three weeks left, and the conversations get a lot more intense than this. You should consider signing up the next time this class comes around.