Friday, August 20, 2004

"Little nudges for a reflective experience" - Cellphone spirituality

Christians in the US might be unaware of the surging global growth of new technologies bringing "little nudges for a reflective experience" to followers of many faiths, including many Two-Thirds World Christians enriching their faith on the go.

A Wired magazine article this week describes how "Cell Phone Users Are Finding God." Groups sending faith messages (as SMS text messages) to cellphones are rolling out a host of services for followers of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and even more obscure religions. The same is true for Christian ministries. The Pope's Thought of the Day is so popular that it is finding ways to enhance and extend this method of keeping in touch with its adherants.

For several months I've been enjoying's free daily Bible verse, which sends a daily verse - using the popular NIV translation - to any North American cellphone that can accept SMS text messages.

The points may be manyfold: To connect with younger, on-the-go people, ministries are discovering how to catch them in their world, which includes nearly ubiquitious cellphone communication. We're realizing the depth of penetration of technologies such as cellphones - and learning not be afraid of harnessing them for their power to deliver the little nudges for reflective experiences. Those small reminders can make the difference between faith that is integrated through the work week and faith that gets compartmentalized into Sunday-only spirituality.

Finally, we in the West can only marvel at how easily Christians around the world are adapting and adopting new technologies - such as this cellphone spirituality - at rates surpassing ours. We really have a lot to learn about 21st Century global Christianity.

--Dave Hackett