We have a message for Gen M(obile)
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the total number of mobile subscriptions in the Middle East topped 990 million in 2012. The Middle East has some of the highest penetration rates of mobile telephones in the world. Some 40 per cent of those phones are smart phones.1 According to an Iranian online research panel (called Chimigi, which means “What’s up?” in Farsi), 58 per cent of Iranians use Facebook, despite blocks and censorship.2 Some 25 million Saudi mobile customers in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait can now access Wikipedia free of charge – with zero data fees. Jordan will spend more on mobile advertising than any other form of advertising in the country. WhatsApp messaging service, which clocks some 10 billion messages per day, is available in Arabic.3
That’s how life is in our incredibly wired world. Whether the news is about Israel announcing military action on Twitter or new smart-phone apps for Muslim students, it is clear that more and more of the world is getting mobile. Some very interesting statistics suggest that many young people in Africa will never learn to use a computer but will do almost anything to own a mobile phone and use it till it falls apart. And while most of that use is texting messages between friends, a lot of information is also being shared like never before. The average Facebook user will certainly spend some time chatting, but they will also spend a great deal of time following links shared by their friends.
So it is that several Christian ministries have tried various methods of reaching out to Generation M(obile). The idea is to start discussions and engage Muslims in meaningful dialogue that will lead to a personal testimony or at least the offer of praying when the need arises. Although no one thinks that using technology replaces personal contact, studies do indicate that seeds are sown and hard ground broken up through mobile efforts, especially through social media.
* Pray that Christians can make contact with Muslim peoples via mobile devices and sow seeds of the gospel. Long-term friendships are needed to get beyond the contact stage and actually reach Muslims with Christ’s message of faith, hope and love. “… my prayer is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1; 1 Timothy 2:1–6). Pray about your role.
Posted on Tue, August 6, 2013
by Donna Shiflett