Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Church Asks Parishioners to Turn on Mobile Devices during Sunday Services

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Church Asks Parishioners to Turn on Mobile Devices during Sunday Services

Article excerpt

B.C. pastor encourages screen time at church

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CAMPBELL RIVER, Canada - It's no sin to use a mobile device during Sunday service at the Campbell River Baptist Church.

Pastor Jeff Germo calls it a blessing when he sees parishioners in the pews staring down at their mobile device screens rather than up at him at the pulpit.

It means the congregation is engaged with the topic he's discussing, such as a recent sermon on failure. Have you failed? Have you dealt with failure and moved on or is it holding you back?

Germo is among the first pastors in the world to use a Swedish developed communications technology, Mentimeter, to make online, real-time spiritual connections with his flock while preaching. Mentimeter, used widely in corporate board rooms and academic lecture settings, is an interactive survey tool that posts instant answers and results to the mobile devices of those connected to the event.

At the church auditorium in Campbell River, Germo started his sermon by asking parishioners to take out their smartphones and tablets, click on a Mentimeter link and punch in a code.

Moments later an email arrived asking parishioners if they had ever failed terribly.

Just two per cent replied: "No, I'm a winner."

Germo expressed amazement that any member of the congregation said they had never experienced failure.

"If you are more than a year old, you probably would have failed at something," said Germo as a man at the back of the auditorium of about 250 people raised his hand to acknowledge he chose the no failure answer.

"That's beautiful. That's delusional," joked Germo.

But as the sermon continued, large display screens showed the majority of the survey participants replied they have experienced failure and are trying to get over it.

"When you look at the right side of the graph, most people are experiencing some difficult things and have a hard time getting over failure," Germo said. …

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