I am a nerd (sorry, not sorry), and I enjoy learning and understanding new technologies how they impact us. At least once a year, leading companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, share their plans on how they can improve their on-device software. This excites me based both on my personal and business benefits but also makes me imagine: What would happen if my church, the Seventh-day Adventist church, were to utilise some of the newly announced features. How would that impact other members at a local church and conference level? So here we go, starting with Apple and iOS 14, how would this new operating system benefit my church and me.
- Widgets. With iOS14, you can now have widgets or mini-apps that load on your home screen rather than its current place being available with a swipe to the right. Imagine if the Sabbath School app team were to add a key message from the lesson that day. While prayer is so easy to do consistently, maintaining a consistent study life has its challenges. Every small step can help create a better habit, and a widget reminding you to study your lesson would help with that mission. There would also be a line or encouraging message that even at a glance, gives you insight into that days study.
- Siri. Siri is your digital assistant who once again has come with a myriad of updates, including its UI. But Siri is something that as a church we have seldom utilised. Imagine we created responses for Siri such as “When does my local Seventh-day Adventist church service start?” or “Who is the Pastor at Holloway SDA church?”. Those questions and so many others could be answered by Siri. Imagine during visitations, outreach or other evangelism where we interact with anyone unfamiliar with our faith. We can help them to do their own research by saying, Just ask Siri!
- App Clips. Brace yourself, we have something extraordinary here. App Clips allow individuals to have quick interactions with a product or service only by tapping your iPhone on a stand or device. Using NFC, that will launch a little window almost immediately that allows you to purchase or find out more about what you just tap or scanning a QR code. My challenge to you is, where can you not use this. Imagine you have a booth at Camp Meeting. With all the will in the world, you cannot get to everyone. But instead, you had this device connected to your booth. A visitor can be taking a look, and while they are waiting for help, encourage them to visit your App Clip. They could browse your products and even make a purchase that you can confirm and provide their merchandise. There are so many other applications that App Clips could open up for us.
New software gives us new opportunities to share God’s eternal love in so many different ways. What opportunities are we taking even now, with what we have, to be witnesses to others?