The Phone’s For You

Much talk going on about phones. (Sorry for the insider joke – “The Phone’s For You’ was a Lutheran phone-blitzing evangelism strategy from the 80’s)
Heres the skinny on phone talk.
* Mobile MUDding (whoever said images have replaced words has not been watching the MultiUserDungeon culture)
* DVD to Mobile
* Moblogging (blogging from your mobile phone),
* Nokia’s Lifeblog system and collaboration with Six Apart.
* Website to Mobile and again on Wired.
* and the one that caught my attention this morning . . . Mobile to Screen technology.
Phone messages can now appear in your church meeting. Imagine a prayer meeting in a room with people around the world texting in short prayers from their phones, the prayers (or praise points, or bible verses, or requests) appear on the big screen, where the VJ adds them in real time
(with effects) to whatever video is happening at the time. I have actually envisioned this for some time, but didn’t know how to do it. Until today. Until Arkaos VJ Remote.

Uh huh . . oh yeah baby … uh huh. Read it and weep!

At an event this week in London called Plasa, “Vidicom will demonstrate its TXT-2-Screen System which, combined with ArKaos VJ, allows participants from events, concerts, presentations etc.. to use their mobile phones to send text messages that will be instantly displayed on the screens. These text messages will be processed through the ArKaos Flash Text module and will appear on the screens mixed with the effects and visuals from ArKaos VJ or other sources”. Fuller description here.

And if they offer MMS to screen, people can send photos directly into our presentations. Imagine allowing interactivity in your presentations or sermons. People in the pews can add their 2 cents to the message through their phones and it gets shown on the screen . .

Most common SMS’s to make the big screen will probably be:
* “Amen, preacher” (Baptist SMS)
* “Help him, Jesus!” (Pentecostal SMS)
* “More, Lord” (Toronto Vineyard SMS)
* ” The Hebrew text says otherwise” (Seminary Geek SMS)
* “Grey BMW – your lights are on” (Willow Creek SMS)
* “Little Jonny just crapped his pants” (Sunday School Teacher SMS)

The possibilities are endless. BTW – Did you ever read my post The WiFi Enabled Church?


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • I don’t know exactly what tech was used but at Easter People at Southport this year we had an sms to video link. It was used in all the sessions in the main theatre so people could text their responses to questions in.
    There was an interactive bible study where it was vey effective, it enabled a full theatre to have a joint discussion.
    I think it’s a great idea. It’s a fantastic way of getting feedback.

  • thats cool, lou. thanks. i am guessing that the advantage of running the texts through a VJ program like Arkaos is that each text message can be treated as an image file, and have flash effects added to it on the fly. could be lots of fun, and could be effective for text based art.
    good to hear Easter People are on the ball.

  • Yesterday after I read this post, I was in my car listening to a tape of the sermon [from my church] from a couple of weeks ago. Quite a few times, I heard the pastor say, “Are you out there?”, “Are you following?”, “Anybody there?”, “Still with me?”, etc. I wonder if integrating this use of technology into service would not only foster and encourage interaction among the congregation, but also provide encouragement to the pastor as well. Perhaps my quiet suburban Baptist brothers and sisters would be more likely to “politely” send a text message as an “Amen!” rather than open their mouth and “interrupt.”

  • Ideas

    A couple of ideas for visual communcations, interactivity and just plain being engaged while in the midst of a fellowship of believers: Enable Text-Message-To-Screen in Church Service Enable WiFi at Church Both ideas found on Andrew Jones’ blog (TallSk…

  • lol, the phrases “Easter People” and “on the ball” are not ones you usually find in close proximity!
    It would be great to have txt interruptions during sermons. I’m a preacher and it is really helpful when people heckle, mumble, say “Amen” or even just “Mmmm, yes Lord”. I’ve never had a “Preach it sister” but I’m holding out hope!
    Unfortunately most of the middle class churches I preach in are too polite and hold the preacher in too high an esteem to interrupt.
    It could also be great for prayers. Concerns and thanks could be texted in anonymously during the service, mixed and ‘played with’ with all those flash effects and things and then used to lead everyone in a prayer that everyone has contributed to.
    I’m getting rather interested in the possibilities, I think I need to talk to our church’s techie guys.

  • Silence is a Israeli-made cellphone jamming device

    The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Mexico churches find way to jam cellphones MEXICO CITY — Fed up with cellphones ringing during Mass, four Catholic churches in Monterrey, Mexico, are taking extreme measures to silence them. They are illegally ja…

  • Ideas

    A couple of ideas for visual communcations, interactivity and just plain being engaged while in the midst of a fellowship of believers: Enable Text-Message-To-Screen in Church Service Enable WiFi at Church Both ideas found on Andrew Jones’ blog (TallSk…

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