The first time i saw my local church Pastor, go up the pulpit with his ipad (it was in a wake-keep service), i felt so proud of him that i told the person beside me, ‘Yea! That’s my Pastor…’ lol.
What is the place of Gadgets in our worship? To enhance worship or has it become a distraction too?
I remember when these smartphones just hit the shelves. Chei! Ushers in our church had clashes with members whilst trying to maintain decorum…
‘brother please put away your phone, the sermon is on’ #the culprit gives the usher a look of are-you-just-jealous-or-plainly-ignorant?# ,then he says, ‘thank you but i’m reading my bible on my phone’ .Reluctantly the usher would back-down to avoid a scene. I imagined part of what will pass through the usher’s mind…#with eyes rolling# ’what insolence! if not that we’re in church ehn…. hmmm… who does he think he is… Or Father forgive them though they know what they do….
Those around me know I’m a ‘gadget’ person. Modems, Blackberry, Androids, Ipad #eehm, okay i don’t have an Ipad yet, but I’ve listed it so you can get me one after reading this…lol. don’t harden your heart o#
Okay, back to our gist, gadgets in church can really be cool, efficient, swaggy, and sometimes distracting. For instance, you’re in the middle of this hot sermon, checking the Hebrew translation of one scripture on your blackberry and PING! You hear that ever familiar sound PING! . You’d mutter under your breath, ‘who could be pinging me in church?’, the brilliant red light is blinking all over the place, calling for attention…tell me you didn’t read that ping?
Or hasn’t it ever happened that whilst you were in church, during a service, an email suddenly drops on your Ipad. You decide take a peek (saying in your mind, I’ll read it later) then you realize it’s an ‘important’ mail, perhaps one you’ve been expecting, an international business mail, visa approval, or from your lost cousin…tell me you didn’t quickly read that email?
Putting your gadget away and paying attention to those talking to you? There’s an App for that, it’s called ‘RESPECT’. Even your spouse gets pissed when during a conversation and you are busy pinging or responding to an email, let’s not mention your boss, how much more God.
I’m sure a lot of us have several marked highlighted, underlined and even painted parts of our bible (hard copy, i mean), and one day you were flipping through or searching for a passage; suddenly one marked verse strikes you, the Holy Spirit begins to minister to your soul…that wouldn’t have happened on your gadget.
Yea, yea…i know all about bookmarking of favourite passages on your device but nothing really compares to the rugged good old hard copy bible. You don’t have to press ‘Power On’ to read it.
In all these, i am the ‘chiefest’ of sinners. I’ve also gotten tired of feeling guilty and apologising to the Holy Spirit each time i distract myself. I quit whining about my ‘easily besetting sin’ and found me a cure; where do we draw the line between use of our gadgets as worship enhancements or distraction?
- 1. Don’t bother bringing it to church, that way there’s zero chance of temptation
- 2. Switch off the internet before entering church, that way no mails or pings can drop
- 3. Preload or download offline versions of the bible on your gadget, that way you won’t worry about going live online to get a passage, commentary or translation
- 4. Exercise restraint, stop your amateur videos and paparazzi during service, you’re distracting other brethren. Thankfully media produces CD’s each Sunday, buy them instead
- 5. Come each Sunday with your rugged big old bible and jotter, that way you don’t get to doze and you’re actively engaged
As for me, I’ve decided nothing can separate me, not NEPA or PHCN, not MTN, AIRTEL, GLO, ETISALAT or any other consistently unstable network, not virus, nor gadget hanging palava, not swag nor business, not convenience nor whatever else will separate me from my Bible.
Maintain decorum in the use of your gadget today, don’t miss your blessing and if it’s too much of a bother send it to me, I can put it to excellent use #winks#