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Church Communications

“Why Mobile Ministry?” Ten Observations

Assumption of shared knowledge is a real problem in tech talk. It is one of the most common mistakes made when sharing information about technology and ministry.

It is the assumption that everybody has sufficient understanding to translate complex technology into usable, relevant ministry solutions.

But, for example, not everybody knows what “mobile ministry” is or why it is so important.

In the mobile arena, developments are occurring at lightening speed. That makes it hard to keep up.

The good folks at the Mobile Ministry Forum (MMF) want to help.

The MMF is a network of ministry organizations that are working together to use mobile technology to spread the Good News.

Their focus is exclusively on the mobile platform’s potential role in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

The best part? Like the publishers of a good cookbook, the MMF takes the time to explain tech terms and why certain actions are important to the end result.

What sets the MMF apart from many resource groups is their commitment to provide time starved leaders with practical tips, tools, and tested programs in the mobile space.

The collaborative group plans to develop a mobile ministry training curriculum, establish a global “mobile practitioner” community and expand an existing data base of mobile research.

Let’s begin where the MMF begins, with a working definition of mobile ministry, followed by ten observations that answer the question, “Why mobile ministry.”

Definition of “mobile ministry”

Connecting and engaging the lost with the life-changing message, community and mission of Christ through personal, mobile technology.

“Why mobile ministry?” 

1. The mobile is the world’s most ubiquitous media device (the number of mobile phones in use worldwide has topped 5.0 billion) and can provide Gospel access to hundreds of millions outside the reach of the Internet or other media.

2. The mobile is a near-universal cultural insider and presenting the gospel via this “cultural insider” helps to minimize the foreignness of it.

3. The mobile is an individual’s most personal/intimate media device and when the gospel is shared via this device it is shared in one of the person’s most personal/intimate spaces.

4. The mobile provides one of the most powerful media platforms for two-way communications and the development of real relationships.

5. The mobile provides a powerful way to reach vast numbers of the most difficult to reach (hidden, oral, women and children, etc.)

6. The mobile is the device that is present in the majority of circumstances when believers come into contact with the lost and is typically the only media device that could be leveraged in those encounters.

7. Mobile ministry provides one of the most economically viable means for Christian content creation and distribution.

8. Mobile ministry allows for the viral spread of Christian media content.

9. The early mover opportunity is still available (the earlier in a media channel’s life one is able to obtain a hearing the cheaper the initial investment and the greater the likelihood of being able to get and maintain an audience), but the door is closing due to increased interest in commercial, etc. use of the medium as well as efforts to control it by governments.

10. Global mobile statistics 2011 show that the majority of Internet usage will be through mobile devices, rather than through personal computers, by 2015 at the latest. As such, even Internet ministry, as a whole, will need to be “mobile first.”

The trusted and true factor

One of the main secrets behind a great recipe is the “trusted and true” factor, that is, a recipe the user can rely on.

The Mobile Ministry Forum combines hundreds of years of collective instinct, experience and knowledge. They are the trusted and true factor of mobile ministry. I’ve spent some time getting acquainted with a few of the leaders. You can depend on them.

Never before in human history has there been a technology as highly personal, rapidly deployed, and universally embraced as the mobile device. The mobile device presents a unique, two-way communication channel that represents the most important technology for kingdom advancement in the next 20 years.

Take a few hours to browse the Mobile Ministry Forum website. Visit the Mobile Evangelism Wiki. You will learn quickly that these folks know what works in mobile ministry and they want to share that understanding with you.

When tech connection and understanding occurs the kingdom advances. No assumptions.