A few Sundays ago my daughter and I were running a little late for early church. We slipped in the door and scooted up the back steps, deciding to make less of an interruption for the approximately thirty folks in the main pews by choosing to sit in the balcony that morning. It's nice to be the only person in the balcony at church when you have a restless six year old with you. It's also pretty neat to have that bird's eye view of the sanctuary and all that's happening during the service.
I cannot remember whether it was during the opening prayer or maybe during the news and announcements, but I spotted a man in the middle of the left side of the church who was scrolling through an app on his phone. Now I don't know this man's situation at all: maybe he's a doctor or some other profession where he's on call and needs to check his messages.
Or maybe he heard something that he needed to record or something that triggered a thought that he needed to write down to remember. I often write down verses or parts of the sermon that speak to me, usually scribbling them on the church bulletin or in my itty bitty notepad that lives in the recesses of my purse. Whatever he was doing with his phone got me to thinking about technology at church.
Is it appropriate to tweet during the sermon? Is it okay to make a note on an electronic device during the Lord's Prayer? Is it alright to pass along words of wisdom and great lines from a sermon on Facebook during that sacred hour? Is it okay to use our technology during church?