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Leadership

Josh and Kurt shared some great apps for us to check out in the previous two days. I am a big technophile and am always on the lookout for new apps to download. I’ve owned an iPhone for nearly five years and just got myself an iPad mini. I’ve downloaded hundreds of apps over the years. I’ve even written several articles on my personal blog about apps for youth ministry. So believe me when I say I love all things technological—especially my beloved iOS devices.

I thought about giving you my own list of apps I use in youth ministry. Evernote, Flipboard, Fantastical, Spotify, Skydrive, and Opus Domini are some of the ones I use almost daily. But instead I want to share something a little different. I want to encourage you to remember this: Technology makes a great servant, but is a terrible master.

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Help Teenagers Filter Their Media Choices
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We’ve all seen it: people at sporting events, concerts, out to dinner with friends, or any other place where they should be having a great time. Yet, heads are down looking at the little 4-inch glowing screen. They might share an Instagram photo or a Tweet declaring how much fun they are having, but the truth is they spend more time looking down at the phone and not out at the world.

We’re becoming enslaved to our constantly connected, retina-screened, touch-enabled, there’s-an-app-for-that bundles of technological “joy.”

Make your phone or tablet your servant, not your master. Find the apps that help to do your job more efficiently and minimize the time you stare at a screen. Use them to build relationships offline. Place limits on your screen time, and be willing to shut the phone off and fight the urge to constantly check it. Turn off those ever-present notifications, delete the time-sucking apps that we all have on our devices, and streamline your digital life.

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Help Teenagers Filter Their Media Choices
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There is nothing wrong with smartphones, tablets, or the apps that go with them. We run into problems when they take our time away from what matters most. Be wise in the use of your digital devices, and make them serve you and your ministry. Don’t be a slave to your smartphone.

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