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Outline of how we are going to proceed (hopefully, quickly).
Mobile has now taken hold as a main fixture within the regular consciousness of most mainstream technical thought. From sociology to psychology, transportation to entertainment, Facebook to the Good Book, mobile is now at the tip of every tongue in being that next great area of opportunity, engagement, division, and law. Still a new media, mobile suffers from the same growing pains centering around the question: "what's its relevance?" Through the Body of Christ, we can point to some examples of mobile taking root in engagement, evangelistic, and opportunistic measures. We will look at some of these areas as a means to describe what has happened, but also in light of what can still be explored with mobile. It is from this lens that we can engage audiences towards utilizing their mobiles-in-hand as a handshake to open the door for an engaging Christ-encounter.
Slew of mobile stats: ITU, Tomi Ahonen, Gartner, Netsize Guide, MobiThinking...
Tomi Ahonen's 10 Cs of Mobile: Communication (voice and text), Consumption (passive media), Charging (monetary transactions), Commercials (targeted and response advertising), Creation (user generated audio and video content), Community (social networking), Cool (fashion and psychology), Control (telemantics, remote control), Context (status, location, environment, adaptivity), Cyber (augmented reality, extending mobile to plants, animals, and most probably body augmentation)
Looking further than some obvious applications of the 10 characteristics of mobile we just talked about, where are the ministry opportunities with mobile? Leave your comments at the MMM website, Twitter (#mobminopp), or the open conversation happening right now at Google Wave
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
At the simplest, mobile means to go. The paradigm of mobile computing has taken the idea of "sit-down" computing and pretty much turned that on its head. We see clearly that with whatever is in our hands that we can easily migrate spatially or virtually to any destination that offers better opportunities. Now, as I spoke about last year, some see mobile as an escape. Therefore we need to see mobile as a soft catcher's mitt - bracing the blows of those whom are seeking for life, but running towards the wrong fruit, numbers, or windows.
Teach (Creation. Community. Cool, Control)
And then there's the piece that we are quite familiar with online - teaching. In this case though, we are used to the aspect of putting out some type of content to be fetched by another. I'd like to infer that Web 2.0 has expanded this to mean that teaching is now more of an interactive and iterative process. See how we react towards something like Bible.org 7 years ago versus YouVersion right now.
And here's the part where mobile becomes something more than tech and online - its the making of relationships that know nothing about distance, but respect that it could be wide. It knows nothing about time - even though there are timestamps on SMS, tickets, and receipts. Discipliship around the lens of mobile means that we are being intentional about living as God's ambassadors through the tech in our hands, and with the tech in our hands as an enabler to learn more about those people are are around. Its a mastering of both communication and ambassadorship which leads others towards following after Christ's leading.
The Context of Life and Using Mobile
For the past 5 years, its been the mission of Mobile Ministry Magazine (MMM) to identify and point towards the discussion of life that happens at the intersection of faith and mobility. I've pushed this initiative to look at everything from affluence to zealousness when it comes to mobile. And the result of all of this has been an incredible, and most times humbling admission that both faith and mobile require the kind of understanding of God's context that you just can't get through coding, social networks, segregated local churches, or the many degrees of higher education. It takes all of that and more to understand how to use this tool as another item in the makeup case we have as the bride of Christ.
That being said, we are fashioned after his image for His purposes. The hope is that no one leaves this earth without a genuine and heart-touching encounter with Him. We are His craftsmanship, created in His image, to be with Him forever. And nothing about our efforts with web, mobile, or anything else means anything unless we are embracing His context, with His content. The cross reference that we must all footnote at the end of the day is that loving Him is our continual executed promise. How you go, teach, disciple others towards this amazing love defines not if the technology is beneficial, but whether we think that His love is beneficial that it knows no bounds.
The Handshake and the Commission
Reference the MMM Visual Story Network 2009 Presentation: The 4th Screen Reinvents the 1st Chance