Are Smartphone Apps Making Christianity Too Convenient? by Kaitlyn Schiess

When there’s an app for everything, practicing my faith doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

Jesus is taking up too much space on my phone.

I already had a Bible app, an Instagram feed full of artsy shots of my morning devotions, and a few worship music playlists. When the Proverbs 31 women’s ministry launched an app with a daily morning devotional, I downloaded it, and encouraged my Bible study and freshman mentees to do the same. A few days later, my university introduced an app for our Wednesday night services. My storage is plummeting enough that I considered deleting my email and weather apps to keep up with the onslaught of holier options.

There’s a reason “there’s an app for that” took off among the church as well as the culture at large. Through these icons on our phones, we can access helpful resources easily, quickly, and mostly for free. I downloaded Proverbs 31’s “First Five” because I knew and loved the ministry that created it, and I struggled to find ways to support the women in my Bible study that had difficulty maintaining a daily quiet time.

But with each new app to download, I began to wonder about the downside of the convenience demanded in almost every area of our lives. Innovation has come through again and again on its promise to make our lives more efficient. But with our high-tech expectations, has convenience become an idol?

On our smart phones, our devotional activity evolves just like the way we order food or stream videos. It’s quick—carefully timed and curated for us. Audio features may even read a Scripture passage to you. You don’t have to leave your bed, open a Bible, or spend more than five minutes to check your daily devotions off your to-do list (which is probably also on your phone).

We see the church pushing for convenience in other areas: online giving, church-based social networks, sermon podcasts, streaming services, and more. There are clear perks to these methods, including the ability to reach people across the globe. And perhaps the efficiency of these methods frees up Christians to go deeper into Bible study and evangelism. But I worry that our motivation at times is not ministry or mission, but convenience itself. Are we actually trying to make Christianity as painless as possible?

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Kaitlyn Schiess