The NFL (National Football League) is approaching its regular season, and the preseason games are already in full swing. For many believers, this is one of the best times of the year coming – as fantasy football fans gear up for drafts, trades, and the excitement of the upcoming season’s storylines. What’s most interesting about this is that its not just fans who are getting their playbooks in order, teams are also gearing up and using a twist on tablets to make it happen.
In a recent article at the Washington Times, the NFL’s Washington Redskins were profiled on their use of iPads to replace the traditional paper binders teams have used for years to dissemenate plays to players and coaches. The article goes into how the NFL is evolving with the technologies of the times, how the Redskins and other teams are using the devices and customized apps, and then how players are living with this slightly different paradigm. Here’s a snippet of the latter:
…Just from a mental standpoint, players don’t want to trudge to Redskins Park if they want to do some studying, Alexander said. Now it’s possible for them to lie on the couch, watch TV and still review plays. Being more accessible helps beyond learning plays and being able to check out video. “Football always has had the rules where you go in, you’re the first guy in, you’re the last one to leave, you’re living in that office,” Mr. Brown said. “I think this device could actually help coaches in their quality of life, help players in their quality of life because they can do things, like the corporate world, in a virtual environment.” There are still long days. That’s inevitable. But now those days can include more work from home. “Guys have families,” Young said. “It just makes it more convenient to be at your house and Coach sends everyone an email on the iPad because it’ll ring regardless and say, ‘Hey, this is what the install is. We’re going to change this blocking scheme for today.’ Before they teach it, we can get a look at it.”
The immediate thought had in reading this piece was literally wondering if we are dropping the ball in how we’ve applied tech to spiritual transformations. For example, why don’t more churches who have the ability to create their own app have a specalized Bible study app where snippets of Scripture (for copyright reasons) can be sent to communities as the pastor thinks of them? Yes, I know email does this, but something that’s just a bit more customized to the experience of that worship community is what I’m talking about.
Or, where are the instantly accessible strategies for study, discipleship, learning languages, and such that flow into your devices that have been vetted by your denomination’s regional or national office (why do you need to wait until convention to get a paper handout of what was already typed on a PC)? I mean something a lot more than the Talking About Jesus app that recently came out, I literally mean to have a behavior of using this tech that accents what we get when the game is on.
Its probably best to ask those of you whom are pastors. How do you take the abilities that people have been used to with paper Bibles, Socratatic-methods of teaching, and broadcast types of media and help those who’ve gone digital to get what’s needed? Not so much asking if you are using social media, SMS/MMS, or have an app. But, are you fostering behaviors that are digital, that lead to a better quality of life and faith, and aren’t a copy of the media of old?
Let’s hear it from you in the comments.