by Allen Ratta (@allenratta)
Recently I observed two parents with their pre-teen children at a restaurant. They had just ordered their food and then sat in perfect silence as they each busily worked their iPhones. It doesn’t take a degree in social engineering to realize the world is a far different place than it was just five years ago.
Consider the following realities:
- The proliferation of mobile apps is staggering. ABI predicted that there would be 29 billion apps downloaded in 2011, up from 9 billion in 2010. By January of 2011, that number had already reached 10 billion. That's 30 million per day. (Apple alone hit 30 billion by June 2012).
- Follow the money if you want to understand societal trends. Juniper Research recently released a report that predicts companies will spend $7.1 billion on advertising within mobile apps by 2015 and that number is expected to triple by 2017.
- Strategy Analytics (February 2012): Total shipments of smart phones in 2011 were 488.5 million units up 63.1 percent from 2010.
- IDC (March 2012): 68.7 million media tablets were sold in 2011, predicted to rise to 106.1 million units in 2012.
The sales pace of mobile hardware and software speaks a loud message about the scope of ongoing societal change. How can the church respond and increase the effectiveness of its ministry capabilities in the face of such a massive social upheaval? Doing nothing would be the social equivalent of when the Church took a stand against Galileo’s observations that the sun does not revolve around the earth. We have to face the reality that the world is a different place and that people do not rotate around their church campuses.
Progressive leaders will see the mobile revolution as an opportunity to expand their influence and the scope of their outreach. For the first time in history, the church has the power to reach people wherever they are with meaningful data, without waiting for a request for information.
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