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Texting Questions to the Preacher While He is Preaching?

21 December 2008

It has been suggested by a couple of people that we encourage/allow people to text questions to me while I preach.  Some have even suggested that the text  imagemessage be projected onto the screen behind me (I can see a smaller screen in the back of the sanctuary).  I have thought it was an idea  that I would not necessarily want to do every Sunday, but might be interesting to try.  It would take a lot more technological savvy than I possess to project it on the screen than just to have the text messages handed to me at appropriate times.  It probably would take a video splitter (or whatever that machine is called). I’m not really sure where in the flow of the sermon a Q&A like this would work. I wouldn’t want to keep stopping to answer questions and I  certainly wouldn’t want a constant barrage of comments…applicable or not…flashing up on the screen distracting me. But just because I don’t see how the flow would work doesn’t mean that it should/could never happen.

Therefore, I found the following statistics interesting.  

Messaging Preferences by Age Group (% of Age Group)

Age

Instant Messaging

SMS (Texting)

Email

15-17

16%

42%

27%

18-24

19

34

34

25-34

8

21

58

35-44

5

10

78

45-54

5

6

80

55-64

2

3

87

65+

0

0

88

(ExactTarget 10/08)

It shows the great disparity between listeners aged 34 and under and 35 and above when it comes to texting.  I am frankly surprised at how few IM-ers there are in each of the age groups.  I am equally surprised at the percentage of seniors who use e-mail.  That statistic is not really consistent with my experience, but my experience may be rather slanted.  If I were preaching in a predominantly young church or we had one service that was predominantly made up of people 35 & under, I think I would at least give it a shot.  Given where I am and how long I will still be here at this church, I don’t think it is going to happen. 

But interesting stats none the less. 

Is this something you would try?  Is this something you have done?  What do you think?

Audio-Visuals, Technology, Youth

3 Comments to “Texting Questions to the Preacher While He is Preaching?”

  1. Hey Cal. I have seen this done @ Marshill with Mark Driscol. You can check it out on one of his messages in his Song of Soloman series. Basically, he teaches for a period of time, and then he takes Q & A via text @ the end of his message. I am pretty sure that he has his MM team filter the questions vs. taking any text that comes his way. Overall, I thought it was a neat way to use technology & a great way to get people invovled. spt

  2. Does he do it on all of them, or is there a specific one I should check out? Thanks for the input.
    cal.

  3. Pretty sure Driscoll does it every week after his talk. They actually featured him one night on the news here in Seattle a few months back for this very reason…kind of a "look at this guy's unconventional approach to church" type of feature.

    Matt hasn't tried this approach (texting during a sermon) at our church yet, but once or twice a year he devotes an entire Sunday morning sermon time to Q & A. People can either write their questions down and pass them in or text them in (filtered by a moderator). You can view the one he did back on June 29 on our website.

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