Latest news from across the pond notes that there is now an iPhone App for the English Methodist Church. With the app, users can check out Bible verses and daily prayers. A convenient option when a Bible is not handy. Leaders of the English Methodist Church however, would like all to be forewarned that technology should not be a substitute for actually going to church. Incidentally, the Methodist church originated from the Church of England or Anglican or Episcopalian church. Its name refers to the “methodical” approach to faith as practiced by its founder, John Wesley.
Apps for church are actually not such a new thing. Several churches have them. There are Bible apps as well. Last year the Mars Hill Church in Seattle made news for launching its app. God is great with technology, say Mars Hill leaders. “God has often used technological advancement to spread the Gospel through the church. At the time of Paul it was the Roman’s system of roads. For the Reformers it was the printing press. For Billy Graham it was sound amplification systems and stadiums. For Mars Hill, we have been blessed to have the opportunity to use the advances in video and internet distribution.”
While bringing the church into the digital age may be hailed by some followers, all are not thrilled. A group calling itself, the Center for Church Communication, dedicated to protecting the “Church” brand name, notes that churches don’t need technology as a point of entry. “As humans, our desire for gadgets and technological connectivity is little more than a proxy for a deeper desire to connect with humanity and purpose. And for most churches, you won’t need an app for that.” Ultimately, it could be said that in the world of churches, there are those who are down with apps and those who say “down with apps.”
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