Earlier this month, I was reading over at the Wapple Blog and a title from one of their posts from the end of last year caught my attention: Mobile Strategy is for Life, not just Christmas. As I pondered how that title rocked me (the content of the article fills in the blanks), its struck me at how with many mobile (Internet, radio, TV) ministry efforts, the tool’s use starts and ends with evangelism. Once the person recieves Christ, essentially both the tech and the people associated with the tech go away.
In conversations about similar observations with some others, I’ve heard things like “yea, those are just tools to get them in the door, the local church needs to take over,” or, “we don’t see [mobile/web/media] technology able to facilitate the things we’d like to do in ministry relationally.” Don’t get me wrong, I get it. But, I wonder if such viewpoints constrain our ability to not just innovate with evangelistic efforts, but we end up missing the other demonstrations of life after the Gospel is preached. And not just after, we actually end up missing the places and opportunities for evangelism in what should be the most obvious of circumstances.
In what ways can mobile minsitry stick around for the lifetime of an evangelistic endeavor? I’ve heard of educational engagements where the Bible was used to teach people how to read/write/trade with other economic groups. Couldn’t the use of mobile in minsitry track along the same lines (instead of a book, we are using a mobile, and taking different steps towards language learning and interaction due to the unique characteristics of mobile)? Some groups talk about going into areas and starting their approach to evangelism with health and wellness. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of the access that some might have to a mobile device to provoke behavioral changes which keep them healthy long after the funding of your endeavors have you leave their presence?
I’m not saying that you have to skip preaching the Gospel, or even propose that you water-down the message. No. What I’m saying is that if you are bold enough to say that the tech is good enough for the season of getting someone aware of the nearness of the Kingdom of God, that you also need to be bold enough to stick around longer than the season – with that tech channel as part of your teaching/discipleship efforts. I like how the Wapple piece put it:
Those who didn’t implement a mobile strategy in time for the festive season not only missed their share of these sales but may also miss out on future sales as consumers offer their loyalty to brands who delivered them a merry mobile Christmas.
Its not just about mkaing best use of the evangelizing season. Its about preparing and being presented as ready for the implications of evangelism.