Caveat that seven billion mobile phone subscriptions doesn’t mean seven billion mobile phone users- that number is closer to 4.5 billion and somewhere around 5.5 billion phones in use.
The mobile phone just celebrated its 40 th birthday.
There is quite a difference between the mobile phone’s capabilities 40 years ago and those it possesses today!
While I am not willing to hop entirely on the smartphone bandwagon it is impressive to see that smartphones are already outselling dumb/feature phones in China!
In many ways the mobile phone might as well be physically attached to most people. It is the last thing put aside at night and first thing picked up in the morning by many. Studies show that many people never allow their phone to be more than nine feet away from them.
The phone is the piece of technology people are most psychologically attached to, going so far as to purchase devices that they feel represent who they are or aspire to be and then personalizing them with “skins” and ringtones that even more fully express their being or aspirations.
I have been told that the psychosocial attachment with one’s mobile phone is so strong in Kenya that the bride and groom actually carry their phones with them as they walk down the aisle (perhaps to show their status/identity?)
If you want the unreached to connect with Christ via the internet you’ve got to be intentional about making sure they can do it via their mobile phone!
A good handyman always comes to work with a fully equipped toolbelt.
In the same way, a good outreach worker should have a fully outfitted “outreach toolbelt” that they apply to their ministry.
But we all recognize that more often than not, the only thing any of us leave the house with is our keys, wallet and mobile phone.
Recognizing that this is the case I’ve taken to using a Leatherman Micra as my keychain.
Even though I don’t have a full toolbelt with me I am always equipped with most of the tools I might ever need whenever I walk out of my house.
The mobile phone can be much like that Leatherman when it comes to being equipped with ministry tools whenever you step out the door.
While most people coming from an internet ministry background look at the mobile phone and only consider internet and apps
And others coming from a media ministry background mainly look at the fact that they now have another screen on which to share their media
The mobile phone has a huge number of potential ministry modalities that need to be considered both individually as well as in various combinations!
This chart shows what percent of all 5.5 billion mobile phones have various capabilities/technologies. Notice the inverse relationship between the majority of Christian outreaches (iPhone app-centric) and the percentage of phones capable of utilizing the technology. We need to start at the other end of the spectrum when building up mobile ministry enabled outreaches!
While not many of us could necessarily create our own website most of us I’m sure can record a voice message on a phone answering machine. That simple recording can become an outreach tool (learn more at How-To #6: “Phonesite” Outreach- http://www.mobileadvance.org/index.php/how-to/131-how-to-6-qphonesiteq-outreach).
This can be developed into a full-orbed outreach using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) voice mailbox systems like FreedomFone (http://freedomfone.org/).
Just as Muslims can make the call to prayer their ringtone so, too, Christians can make worship songs, chanted verses, and other potential conversation starters their ringtone!
microSD cards are tiny and discrete and allow secret believers to be discipled in even the most difficult/closed of settings.
The Digital Bible Society (http://digitalbiblesociety.com/) has developed a Bible library on a microSD card outreach in Arabic, Chinese, and Farsi
In a pilot test, Purdue University placed a video on seven phones. A month later they found that the video had spread to 118 individuals in 50+ villages via Bluetooth phone-to-phone transmission!
When we sent the materials we had been using in the Middle East to Chad a local quranic teacher got so excited about the videos that he started selling them from his kiosk store!
The mobile phone is even more radical of a development than the invention of the Gutenberg Press. While the Gutenberg Press enabled a revolution in media for the well off and literate, the mobile phone’s media producing capabilities offers a similar revolution for the poor and illiterate masses!
The traditional missions media production paradigm
A new paradigm for how Christian media organizations should approach missions media production.
One of the best/easiest ways you can keep up with the latest and greatest in mobile ministry is to follow mentions of the subject on Twitter by either A) Searching for #mobmin on Twitter, B) Following mentions of #mobmin via http://www.twubs.com/mobmin, or C) Using the http://mobmin.herokuapp.com/ webpage which is archiving all #mobmin Tweets.
My e-mail and Twitter details
The Mobile Advance website can be found at http://www.mobileadvance.org
In addition to the blog, the Mobile Advance website also has How-To and Resource sections related to implementing mobile ministry.
A wonderful primer on mobile ministry that was produced by the International Missions Board (IMB).
The Mobile Ministry Forum is a network of Christians that share a common vision: That every unreached person have the chance to encounter Christ and His kingdom in a compelling, contextualized fashion through their personal mobile device by the end of 2020.
The Mobile Ministry Forum website is http://www.mobileministryforum.org
The Mobile Ministry Forum holds an annual “consultation” at the end of November/beginning of December each year. Contact Keith for more information.
Videos of presentations made at previous Mobile Ministry Forum Consultations are available for viewing on the Mobile Ministry Forum blog.
The Mobile Ministry Forum, through the efforts of John Edmiston of Cybermissions.org (http://www.cybermissions.org), will be providing a quarterly six week online/mentored Introduction to Mobile Ministry course. For more information contact John at digitalopportunities at gmail.com
Mobile ministry magazine is another good source of mobile ministry information and thinking and is the “granddaddy” of mobile ministry, having been launched back in 2005!!!
Mobile Ministry-Scripture Engagement Presentation
Every minute we’re together…71 babieswill be born 406 people will get a newmobile phone account
Nine Unique Benefits of Mobile1. Mobile is the first personal mass media2. Mobile is permanently carried3. Mobile is always on4. Mobile has a built-in payment mechanism5. Mobile is available at the point of creative inspiration6. Mobile has the most accurate audience measurement7. Mobile captures the social context of mediaconsumption8. Mobile allows augmented reality to be used in media9. Mobile offers a digital interface to the real world
Nine Unique Benefits of Mobile1. Mobile is the first personal mass media2.Mobile is permanently carried3.Mobile is always on4. Mobile has a built-in payment mechanism5.Mobile is available at the point of creativeinspiration [as well as questioning orneeding to explain]6. Mobile
Take HomeMessage:• We have entered a new era ofconstantly connected/mediaenabled humanity and we caneither “cry foul” or leverage the fact• The Message crosses into an verypersonal/ intimate arena when itcomes onto a mobile!