Most of your cell phones or tablets are probably sitting within arms reach of you right now. And the list of different applications you can download on them seems to never stop growing. It’s all about convenience and different organizations tailoring their message to your needs. One Sioux Falls Church takes that message to heart.
It’s a normal Sunday at Embrace Church in Sioux Falls. Not too long ago the pastors decided to give their listeners a new tool to use to tune in to the weekly message.
“We’ve had the app now probably for around 6 months. We were just looking for, I think one of the things were constantly trying to do is look for ways to go to the people and speak their language. And so more and more, obviously apps are just coming alive and just, we just saw it as another way we could do it as church,” Lead pastor, Adam Weber, said.
So yes, there is now even an app for church. Lead pastor, Adam Weber, says it’s all about giving people options, and putting the message directly into their hands.
“It’s an absolutely amazing tool for ministry. People being able to listen to the message again once they get home, we have traveling salesmen who come to the church who are not able to be here Sunday mornings, or nurses who later that day or later in the week can pick it up and watch it,” Weber said.
He says he even had a person come up to him in a coffee shop that had never been to his church but was watching services through the app.
“It’s just exciting to see how the Lord is able to use these different tools, they’re simple things. But again, I think the church in the past hasn’t been very good, or its been scared to use, or whatever but I think it’s just amazing how powerful they can be,” Weber said.
And for the people on the other side of the pulpit, it’s also a great way to take the message home or tune in to a favorite from long ago.
“A lot of times something will resonate with you from the message and then by Monday you’ve already forgot it but with this app, with three clicks on your phone, you know I’m at work and I can put in ear buds and I can totally listen to the message again,” Seth Peterson said.
“I listen to the messages; I like to listen to them when I’m traveling or when I’m running sometimes, too. And it’s also really neat because it’s really easy to share through the app. You can share through Twitter or Facebook or send a link through e-mail. So it makes it so easy to share the message with other people, too,” Katie Hendrickson said.
The app may be a great way to take the message home or share it with friends, but it’s not the only technology being used during the service.
“They encourage you to get you’re phones out during the service and bring up the You Version App, the Bible App, and so they just encourage up you’re Bible however that is. Whether you open up an actual bible or you get out your phone and open your You Version and then you tweet about it, you know,” Hendrickson said.
Pastor Weber encourages people to use whatever they have in their lap or their pocket to open a Bible and follow along.
“I had a gal with that say that she had never brought her Bible to church because she felt so insecure that she didn’t know how to find her way around it because of the different app that she had on her iPad, she was able to find it really easily,” Weber said.
Whether it’s an app or opening a digital Bible, some people are just glad Embrace is taking a technological step forward.
“They’ve kind of hit the ground running with the technology end of it. and they’re reaching a whole other perspective of people that just, you know, probably wouldn’t be as excited about it if it wasn’t full of technology,” Peterson said.
Pastor Weber says it all comes down to preaching where the people are. Something Jesus did thousands of years ago.
“Church has never meant to be about us, it’s meant to be about the lord and so any way that we can share about him whether it’s through an app or Instagram or Facebook, that’s just exciting to see the lord use it,” Weber said.
The Embrace App is free to download and also offers information about the church and alerts.