The advent of YouVersion (no pun intended on the use of â€œadventâ€) has always , since first hearing of it and hearing users talk about it, raised some interesting Sociological/Ecclesial questions for me. Itâ€™s very similar to what I was thinking about when the Web and before that, Computer Mediated Communications, first hit. It was thinking about what online communications made different from Face to face (FTF). Positive and negative.
I can anticipate that there are going to be concerns about attention, even re: those whose attention IS indeed on the â€œeventâ€ which is the gathering, but also on the online components, which may be considered â€œcompetingâ€ forces to the traditional singular and/or communal worshipper. I am certainly an evangelist for online tools in their role of â€œextensionsâ€ to ftf church. But what happens when the online user LEAVES the ftf behind in following some other â€œrelatedâ€ item, intrusion, tweet, whatever? How close are we to actually encouraging a sanctuary increasingly filled with bodies whose social attention is directed completely elsewhere? None of us can say that this would not happen. But when do the â€œcoolâ€ things about it (even â€œcool AND helpful AND enhancing) fail to overcome the degree to which the user is pulled out of the communal event (especially worship)? I will be writing on this more often in the upcoming days, weeks, months, even YEARS I think.