Smartphones and Pastors Make Strange Bedfellows…Part 1 – iPhone 3G/GS


Part One of a Series…

At 30 years old, I have seen some interesting trends in technology. For example, I remember when most of the available cell phones came in a bag. The move to text-messaging, facebook, and mobile-friendly internet has made life interesting as a web-developer and as a Youth Pastor. All this to say, change has come in technology and it will continue coming.

My Senior Pastor was in a meeting of denominational movers and shakers last month and the following statement was made – “If you’re a pastor of a church over 15o and you are not carrying a smartphone, interacting with your church members via facebook and/or twitter, then you are behind”. Wow! That’s a bold statement. I’m not encouraging every pastor to run out and get a smartphone today, but I will share a few advantages and pitfalls from experience by platform…..

Overall Smartphone Advantages/Disadvantages
In ministry there are several advantages to smartphones. Contacts, calendar, and email all being available on the go is a huge plus. There is also the ability to back up your contacts, calendar and email to a desktop/notebook. The degree of difficulty in synchronizing can vary by the platform of phone you use and what you try to synchronize it with.  You can be in touch with the needs of your Church Members almost anywhere.  Two major disadvantages are cost (both upfront and monthly data plans) and the “eletronic leash effect” that being so connected can feed.

Apple iPhone.
The iPhone seems to be the 500lb gorilla in the room as far as smartphones are concerned right now. Most new devices are  measured by the standard set by the iPhone. If you are a Mac user, the integration with a desktop/Laptop is seamless via iTunes, and only slightly more setup involved with a Windows-Based PC Notebook/Desktop. The ease of use learning curve is low, and there are a wide variety of applications to choose from.


  • Large Number of Apps
  • Ease of Use
  • Large Availability of Accessories
  • Easy Backup on iTunes
  • Initial Cost on a 3G is Low!
  • Good Web Browser
  • Decent Onscreen Keyboard


  • Forced Data Plan. No Question
  • Non User-Replaceable Battery
  • ATT Network is Pretty Taxed for Data in Some Markets
  • 3G is not as widespreadas a couple other carriers
  • App Prices can Add Up
  • Very Easy to Nuke Your Contact Book in iTunes….Be Warned…

Put in Your Two Cents, Comment Below!

Next Up: Android and Blackberry

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