Last week I had the opportunity to do some consulting with Pastor Darryn Scheske and the staff team at Heartland Church near Indianapolis. The church plant is about 10 years old, but they’ve experienced amazing growth and are having a huge impact in their region. I was particularly interested in hearing how the church is being intentional about multi-cultural ministry. The church is reaching their unique community.
Here’s one intriguing idea that came up in our conversations. One of the staff leaders commented that Darryn opens his messages by encouraging people to “Turn on your Bibles.” Rather than, “Open your Bibles” and turn to a specific chapter and verse, Darryn is making a subtle shift. That new language does a few things:
- It acknowledges that we live in a world that is embracing mobile technology. Rather than fighting it, Heartland Church is leveraging it to help people engage God’s Word.
- It provides coaching to people to use new technology. I’m guessing some people still bring their traditional Bibles, but it opens everyone to the possibility of reading the Bible on their phones and tablets too. That’s another way to encourage people to engage the Bible beyond Sunday morning.
- It tells new people to Heartland Church, “We’re willing to change.” That new language helps communicate to everyone, “We’re not going to get stuck doing church like we used to do it in 2002.”
By the way, YouVersion Live is a great way to incorporate mobile technology into your church services. The free service allows people to follow teaching notes, reference Bible verses and participate in online community that supports the teaching.
It’s no longer enough to make sure people have a seat in your sanctuary. Make sure they also have access to free Wi-Fi to engage God’s Word and take their next steps toward Christ.
It’s time we challenge people to turn on their Bibles.