Our phones are an amazing device that many of us have completely come to take for granted. There’s more processing power in your smartphone than NASA had in all of Houston when they launched the Apollo missions. It’s a camera, a computer, a Web portal, a video recorder, a music and podcast player, a step tracker, a TV, an app operator, a calendar, and, lest we forget… a phone! Whether you are checking your social feeds, texting a friend, answering an email, or ordering something from Amazon, your phone is likely the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you put down at night.
We carry our phones everywhere. Always. There is an addictive aspect. Behavioral Scientists tell us that we get a dopamine rush every time our phones ping and ring and chime with social likes and message alerts.
We panic when we can’t find them. There’s a psychological condition associated with the fear of losing your phone or not having connectivity: “nomophobia,” which is an abbreviation of “NO MObile PHone PhoBIA.” Yep. It’s an actual thing.
Studies tell us that the average person touches their phone 2617 times per day. That’s a lot more than I would like to believe.
Like our phones, our Bibles are an astounding and powerful resource that many of us have also come to take for granted; unlike our phones, we don’t seem to be nearly as attached to them or concerned when we can’t find them and lose our connection.
As I evaluate my own habits, I have to admit that my Bible time and screen time are not in the proper proportion. The contrast is embarrassing and convicting. Studies from Lifeway Research indicate that it’s not just me. Research indicates that only about one in three protestant churchgoers reads their Bible every day. That’s a lot less than I would like to believe.
Guys, we have to fix this.
What if we, as ministry leaders in our churches and influencers over kids, students, and families, were determined to defy that trend? What if we carried, accessed, and referenced our Bibles throughout the day like we do our phones? How might we think differently? Walk differently? Talk differently? See differently? React differently?
This Summer, as you take steps to review, revamp and refocus your ministry in preparation for Fall, I’m challenging you to make active and intentional decisions to place scripture before screens: In your own life, for the volunteers who you lead, and for the kids, students, and families you serve. Challenge yourself (and all of them) to open a physical, paper Bible. Highlight things and make notes on the pages in your own handwriting.Let this Summer be the season where your Bible replaces your phone as the ‘first’ and ‘last’ of your days. Click To Tweet
May we be people who read Timothy before Twitter, Philemon before Facebook, Titus before TikTok. Let this Summer be the season where your Bible replaces your phone as the ‘first’ and ‘last’ of your days.
Chuck Peters is Director of Lifeway Kids. Before his role at Lifeway, Chuck had a prolific career in television and video production. He is a 3-time Emmy Award Winning producer, director, writer and on-screen talent. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck, and his wife, Cris, have served in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years.