devozine

For Youth Workers Post

FAITH APPS

Darren Wright

MAKING THE CONNECTION

“When I first started this session, I had a quick look at my iPhone and thought I’d have no problem at all finding apps that are faith-based, encourage sharing faith, help with growing faith and discipleship, and assist communities of faith to learn together.

“Unfortunately, when I hit the app stores, I realized that many of the apps I had in mind are no longer available. The FaithTalk app which was an extension of the fantastic FaithTalk cards, by Vibrant Faith, is no longer available, neither are many of my favorite go-to apps.

“With that in mind, I thought I’d allow for some dreaming and creativeness in this session and ask:

  1. If you were to create an app for your phone, tablet, or desktop that would help you develop, grow, and shape your faith and the faith of others, what would it look like? The task would be to design a faith app (perhaps one for devozine) and to discuss what features would be helpful, useful, or necessary.
  1. If you were to adapt a series of apps (not necessarily faith-apps) to use in developing and shaping your faith, what apps would you adapt and how would you encourage people to use them in exploring their faith and living as disciples?” —Darren

MEET THE WRITER

darrenDarren Wright is a Uniting Church Youth Worker serving in the Riverina Presbytery in New South Wales, Australia, as the Presbytery Education and Discipleship Worker. Darren has previously worked in congregational ministry, high school chaplaincy, and in local government as a youth worker. His interests include music (Radiohead, Ben Harper, The National, Of Monsters and Men, Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, All India Radio, Florence and The Machine); film (Avengers, MegaMind, Harry Potter, How to Train your Dragon, Scott Pilgrim, Big Hero 6), TV (Chuck, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Community, Agents of SHIELD), theology, pop-culture, young people in at-risk areas, and particularly the juncture of church and theology with pop culture. Find Darren’s website at digitalorthodoxy.com.

STUFF YOU WILL NEED

  • paper
  • markers
  • crayons
  • pens
  • a computer
  • a Bible
  • phones
  • tablets
  • Internet access
  • Print-Friendly Version of this session

PLUGGED IN

Here are some useful apps for tablets and phones. Some of them are no longer available in the stores, but they may come back.

[NOTE: If you have an app that you would like to add to the collection, perhaps you can email me at digitalorthodoxy@gmail.com or Sandy Miller at smiller@upperroom.org, and we can add them to the list.]

  • Faith Talk Four Keys, by Vibrant Faith Ministries
    I love these cards; they have been a part of my bag of tricks for many years. The app included a great collection of conversation starters on matters of faith, family, and life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available in the app stores any longer.
  • Bible Apps
    A lot of Bible apps are available. These are my top three:
    > Oremus Bible Browser — While not an app, it’s a great online Bible for phone or tablet. As it’s primarily text based, it doesn’t suck up a lot of data and can often be faster than the phone- or tablet-based apps.
    > Olive Tree Bible Study — This is a pay-to-use app that allows you to purchase a variety of different Bible translations and resources. I have added the NRSV and The Message translations and carry them around everywhere. It’s well-designed and managed, and it’s handy if you have no 3G or Internet service around.
    > Glo Bible — A lot of people find the Glo Bible helpful, which is why I have added it here. I have found that it requires a lot of memory, and the cost makes it less accessible.
  • Common Prayer — This is a beautifully designed app that acts as a daily devotional. Designed by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, the app allows you to interact with the book of the same name and also operates as a stand-alone app. The only drawback for this app is it’s cost.
  • Smiling Mind — This is a well-designed mindfulness and meditation app designed for people of all ages. While not being a faith-based app, it definitely offers a lot of resources for people to explore their faith and spirituality.
  • Conversation Starters
    These are some great conversation starters:
    > Table Talk, by The Ugly Duckling Company is a great and simply-designed app with many different themes to choose from. The list of themes is growing and now includes Easter and Christmas. I’m waiting for the one called “Table Talk for Messy All-Age Moments.”
    > The Art of Conversation (TAOC) offers a number of different themes to choose from and is another great collection of conversation starters. One theme, called “The Art of Christian Conversation,” invites people to enter into a more focused, faith-based conversation.
    > 50 Ways to Share Your Faith is a simple app that invites participants to join in a 50-week journey to stretch and grow their faith.
  • devozinemag.org is the new digital version of devozine, the daily devotional magazine for teens published by The Upper Room.

CHECKING IN

Make the meeting space welcoming and warm.

As people gather, invite them to show and tell about the apps they use on a regular basis on their phones, computers, or tablets. If members of your group don’t have these, suggest they talk about ways they could help one another develop and stretch their faith.

Invite the group to do one of the following two options:

OPTION 1: Create a Faith App

Design an app for your phone, tablet, or desktop that will help to develop, grow, and shape your faith and the faith of others.
       What would it look like?
       What features would be helpful? necessary?
       How would it function?
       What would be its purpose? For example: Would your faith be for conversation or devotions? Would it help people think about mission opportunities or ways to help people care for one another? Would it help people study the Bible or learn theology or bring their faith to their daily experience? Would it help people deal with hard questions?
       Who would use it?

Use the materials provided (paper, markers, pens) to describe and design your Faith App. If someone in the group or in your congregation has the skills, ask him or her to help you create the app using the technology.

Share your design with the devozine community. You can email me at digitalorthodoxy@gmail.com or Sandy Miller at smiller@upperroom.org, and we can add them to the gallery.

OPTION 2: Adapt Apps

Discuss:
       If you were to adapt a series of apps (not necessarily faith apps) and to use them to help you develop and shape your faith, what apps would you adapt?
       How would you encourage people to use them to explore their faith and to live as disciples?
       How could the people in your community use Facebook or Instagram to explore their faith or prayer?
       What apps would they be able to use in worship?
       What would help them to explore scripture?
       How could they use a series of apps in their faith life?
       How could a journal app be used to help them reflect on their discipleship?
       What apps could you use to stretch and grow your faith?

If you like, invite group members to design and describe the app they would design by adapting other apps and to consider whether they would like to try to create the app (with help, if necessary). If they do, email me at digitalorthodoxy@gmail.com and Sandy Miller at smiller@upperroom.org and tell us about your adapted app.

EXPLORING THE WORD

Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16

Read aloud 2 Timothy 3:16 (NRSV): “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

The same cannot always be said of technology.
       How does technology inspire you in your faith and discipleship?
       How does technology harm or work against your faith and discipleship?
       How can we use technology, especially our phones, to help our community’s faith?

SHARING IN PRAYER

If you have the Common Prayer app on your phone, choose the prayer for this day and invite group members to pray it together.

If you don’t have access to the Common Prayer app, invite the group to use their phones to write a prayer for one another and then to recite their prayers together. Invite them to send prayers to each other during the week using their phones either via sms/text/iMessage or using an app such as Viber.

TAKING IT FURTHER

Why just design an app? Why not create it? Invite someone who is good with technology to help the group design and build a faith app.

 

—from devozine In the Habit (July/August 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

Back To Home

To Order Devozine Magazine, call 1.800.972.0433.