Looking back on technology in 2013, tablets were a pretty important item. The first Apple iPad was released in 2010, so the tablets have been around a while now, but it seems to me that they were still quite newsworthy throughout 2013. If not newsworthy, they were at least penetrating more and more into our lives, including our work lives.
Have you found this to be true? Are you or your co-workers using tablets at work? Are you and your friends and families using them at home? It’s kind of amazing to me to remember that when I first heard about the iPad I had a hard time coming up with any reason it would be useful. They sounded interesting and all, but I didn’t see the necessity for them. And at first, they were touted more as a device for consumption than for production. Now, though, they are approaching a level where you could consider having only a tablet instead of a computer. I’m sure some people are already at that level with them.
How about at church? Are you, your minister, your church staff members, your church family members, using tablets in your church life? I’d love to hear how you are using them. So far at my church it’s fairly minimal. Some of us have used a tablet or smartphone to read from rather than a printed piece of paper. There are lots of possibilities, though. Some churches are using tablets to take offerings. They can use an app like Square to accept payments with credit or debit cards. Some pastors are using them for reading their sermon.
There’s an article here about a church trying out tablets to make the service more accessible for those with failing eyesight. Another article talks about the use of tablets and smartphones for reading along with the Scripture, using Twitter to discuss a topic with others, and reviewing their worship materials before a service. Of course, there are multitudes of apps out there for church use - Bible apps, music, mobile websites, and so on.
I was thinking about this topic today and wondered if anyone is using tablets for running their audio-visual projections. With a device such as the Apple TV, you can mirror what’s on your tablet onto a flat panel. I wrote last time about our trials and tribulations of purchasing a projector at my church. I wonder if we could move to flat panels and an Apple TV and maybe not even need someone to be in a booth at the back of the church. Perhaps someone could sit in the pews and run the projection. Or maybe the worship leaders or pastor could run it from the front, or the pulpit. Are any of you doing something like that in your church?
Lots of possibilities. What are you doing? What ideas do you have for the future use of tablets or other mobile devices in church?