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Featured Should Churches Restrict Mobile-Cell Phone Use During Services?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Shadowlands, May 11, 2017.

  1. Shadowlands

    Shadowlands Member
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    Physician's on call notwithstanding, should Pastor's and/or church boards
    restrict or prohibit altogether the monitoring, texting and game apps, so forth,
    during services?

    I attended church twice this month, and during each service, there were not
    only young people texting back and forth with their friends across the auditorium,
    (I know this because I overheard about it afterwards) but at least one young adult,
    I estimated as approximately 25 years old, seated by himself playing a game (with
    sounds shut off, thankfully!).

    Friend's of mine also witnessed in their congregations, parents sitting by trying
    to listen to the message as their school-age children are tapping away on their
    mobile-texts. No attempt is made by the parents to put a stop to this.

    I heard one preacher mention back in the day (1980's) when people only had
    pager's, the devil would always use that and prompt someone outside the church,
    to page someone in the service that interrupts the point of the message or when
    the Lord is moving on someone's soul to heed to the call for salvation. This is
    particularly irritating when it's someone who is hesitant to accept the Lord, just
    about does so and the devil makes his move, and the person is scared off.
     
    #1 Shadowlands, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  2. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan Well-Known Member
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    I have a serious issue with children having electronic devices, anyway. Children are not learning how to socialize. They're not learning to have empathy for others. They're not learning basic manners. They're not learning how to be "present in the moment" (hate that phrase but it fits here). And it also deprives small children of the tactile exercise they need.

    When our children started to drive, we bought them the most basic phones just so they could call in case of an emergency. Now, I've seen children as young as six or seven with their own cell phone. Honestly do not understand that at all.

    The argument is "Church is boring. The children get restless". Yeah, that's called childhood. And the way you get them past that is to teach them to behave and to listen. Not to distract them from the very thing they're supposed to be learning.

    And then there's the issue that the corporate worship service is where God's Word is proclaimed. Children need to be taught reverence for God's Word, rather than that God's Word is so boring they have to have something to distract themselves with.

    Church was boring for people of my generation, too. We were kids and anything that involved sitting and listening to adults is boring to a child. But we learned to sit and listen. When I squirmed in my seat, my mother would pinch my behind and tell me to sit still. When the preacher used a big word I didn't understand, she explained it to me. Simple as that.

    If I were the preacher, I would have to come down to whoever is on their phone and call them out.
     
    #2 JohnDeereFan, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  3. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Parents should control their kids. Having said that, I find myself reading away on my phone during service. I use my phone as my Bible, I look at a commentary, run a cross reference, etc. Etc. and next thing I know service is over. If my pastor was half as interesting as my study references, maybe he could hold my attention. Maybe one day he will figure out that none of the under 60 crowd cares about all his stories, and rabbit trails that go nowhere.
     
  4. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    It's easy to limit cell phone use - make the room such that cell signals don't reach in there and 2 minutes before the service starts shut off the wifi and turn it back on immediately after the service ends. :D

    I have used my phone at times for my Bible but I prefer a paper Bible because I am a visual person and love to write in my Bible. I don't know that there will be a good solution but I'd suggest the pastor actually address it from the pulpit - give instructions and strongly suggest that phones be put on airplane mode in the service.
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    You going to take away coloring books for kids and coffee for adults as well? They're distracting. Leave babies outside too.

    Sent from my Motorola Droid Turbo.
     
  6. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Yep, got to get rid of those kids and babies. Those older people who cough a lot are distractions too, ban them all.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I remember when parents gave children puzzles and drawing paper to keep them occupied. As they grew into teens crayons matured into notes and daydreaming. I'm not sure there is very much difference.
     
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  8. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I hear that illegal cell phone jamming devices from China are fairly easy to order online...

    We have more powerfult tools at work: AN/VLQ-12 CREW Duke Electronic Warfare System | SRC, Inc.
     
  9. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    LOL We just use the metal building our sanctuary is housed in. NO cell service gets through there. :D
     
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  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Unless you are looking up Scripture, using a phone is just plain rude.
    When I preach, I tell folks I am NOT interested in your undivided attention
    (eg- 20% thinking about your boyfriend, 10% thinking about that school test tomorrow, 30 % about that spring trip coming up next month, 15 % about what you will have for Sun dinner - so that leaves an undivided % of 25-!
    And now another 15 % for your phone - so now I only have 10% left for that individual to listen me.)

    I inform the congregation - I want their FULL attention! ALL 100%


    I also work in a C-Store - I hate it when a customer comes in gabbing on the phone - throws a 20 on the counter and says pump 5, in between sentences of his phone conversation.
     
  11. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Ugh, you're giving me flashbacks. When I worked in a c-store, the Nextel walkie talkie things were still popular, so you had those loud, annoying beeps to go along with it.
     
  12. RGVBaptist

    RGVBaptist New Member

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    As a pastor I have had to address phone usage only on a small handful of occasions. That's partly because our church is already very small and partly because I've made it known that they are not welcome during services. I'm generally a very easy-going guy, but there are some things that are unacceptable. Distracting others during a preaching service is one of those things. Fortunately, our building and location don't lend well to cell signals either and we don't offer wifi in the church, so that limits things even further. But, as to the OP's question, yes, the pastor should address it, the church should have a policy and parents should be expected to control their children.
     
  13. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    That's a wonderful idea, Churches violate Federal law for no reason justifiable by scripture. As Christians, we only break laws which would cause us to sin if we abided by them. We don't violate laws for convenience.
     
  14. The American Dream

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    There is an easy answer to that question that does not require one to write a thesis. Each Baptist Church is autonomous, therefore each church decides the policy for that church. Ours is turn them off.
     
  15. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
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    It's nice to say "this is our policy." What's usually missing is, "how do we enforce it?"

    Are you gonna have ushers policing during the church service, and asking folks to stop playing games--and disrupting the service by doing so?

    Are you gonna ask everyone to drop off their cell phone in a box outside the sanctuary?

    In my experience, 100% of the people whose phones go off during a service because they forgot to silence them are visibly embarassed. That usually suffices to keep that particular person from forgetting again.

    Put up a message on your screen, or make an announcement before the service starts to silence and/or put away all electronic devices that could disrupt the service. The pastor should then address any disruptions.

    And if the game-playing is bothering you, talk to the parents. You might find out the kid was actually taking notes about the sermon, or is autistic and needs to be doing certain things to placate them. As for teens, get the youth pastor on board to talk about it in his classes with the kids.
     
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  16. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Very simple - during the message - if you see someone's attention on the phone - stop preaching and say "Brother Joe, would you say that it was Peter or John who was more loyal to Jesus........"

    That happened in one church I visited. If a phone goes off - the congeration looks towards the offender and in unison says "You, you,you, you......."
    Problem is I thought I had turned off my phone.:eek:
     
  17. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Please report to the calibration shop, and bring your sarcasm meter. :Thumbsup
     
  18. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I would honestly say, pastor, in my opinion, Peter was more loyal looking at the entirety of both their ministries. Are you preaching about Peter and John? I thought you were preaching about your wife and grandkids.
     
  19. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Think about it - lets say I was preaching on Jonah and the whale- and then asked "Brother Joe" what Peter thought about for the seven days that he was in the belly of the great fish!!!
     
  20. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Pastor, you don't know Peter from Jonah, and you need to learn how long Jonah was in that fish.
     
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