THE era of technology has well and truly arrived in churches – the hard copy Bible is slowly being replaced by iPads and smartphones.
Doing so allows them to download all the versions of the holy book.
Some say they like using their gadgets because they are portable, but others say nothing beats using the hard copy.
Tazlin Vosloo, who attends Hillside Family Church, said she preferred using her iPad, citing convenience and portability.
“The biggest benefit is that I have access to different translations at the tap of a button.
“I can follow the pastor no matter which Bible he reads from,” she said.
She said the different versions include the New International Version, the Message and the New Living Translation.
Though she uses her iPad, Vosloo said using it was not better than using a normal Bible. “Although I use my hard copy a lot less, I would not replace it with my iPad,” Vosloo added.
Stirling Baptist Church youth pastor Dane Mith said only a few members of the church used iPads at his church and most still rely on the hard copy.
“Within the next five years technology will definitely increase in churches,” he said.
Mith said people could also use their smartphones to access their Bibles at work or school, and could share it with others.
Bikers Church pastor Paul Wright said several people at his church used their iPads and smartphones to take notes.
“I don’t mind people using their smartphones as long as they listen. We show the scripture on a big screen so people only need to take notes on the commentary,” he said.
Wright said he preferred using his hard copy and notepad when preparing for services.
“I understand that the younger generation loves these smartphones, but I do things the old-fashioned way,” Wright said.
Dispatch reader Cindilee Bester said an iPad, or tablet, was more compact and one could type notes during a service.
“One does need to make sure it’s on silent if it’s a cellphone,” Bester said.
Daphne McLoughin said it was a good move for churches to keep up with technology, but people needed to use their gadgets in a considerate manner.
“As long as it is used for taking notes and references and not used to check e-mails or play games during a service,” McLoughin said.
Xolani Mandi said there was nothing wrong with using smartphones at church as long as it was for a good cause. “It gives you the benefit of having as many versions of the Bible as you want rather than carrying three or five versions to church,” he said.
Congregations and leaders agree that technology is the way to go, but they also believe people should not forsake their hard copy Bibles. — firstname.lastname@example.org