Antoine RJ Wright; Founder and Primary Voice behind Mobile Ministry Magazine (MMM for short). In terms of family, it’s just me but I've got some amazing God children that really keep my mind and heart piqued towards life outside of tech. Since you mentioned favorite cartoon - that's hard! I watched and loved them all. A few that I really enjoyed, Pole Position, Thundercats, Tranzor-Z, and the Smurfs.
2. How and why did you become involved with mobile ministry?
It was probably by accident more than anything. After Poetry Poon stopped the development of Bible Reader for PalmOS, I became hooked on the forked version of the application, Bible+. The website was in need of some help, even though the application was one of the fastest iterating and most downloaded Bible apps for Palm OS PDAs. I got frustrated and redesigned the website then packaged it to Yi-Chun as a gift. He ended up asking if I'd be the webmaster of the site, and that kind of brought me to the knowledge of how mobiles are being used in ministry settings.
3. What excites you about mobile ministry?
I love listening to the stories that people have when they realize that their faith walk has intersected with their use of the tech. When they talk about an application or service, or how some kind of communication came their way that just kind of turned things around for them, that kind of stuff excites me most.
4. What aspects of your background/training, books, websites, tools, etc. have been most helpful to you as you’ve moved forward in mobile ministry?
Gosh. Everything :P I've been a tutor coordinator, website designer, peer mentor, Subway sandwich artist... I've taken a little from all of my experiences in some way, shape, or form. I do like to read a ton, so between my list of websites (300ish per day), various friends and contacts, and the playtime on many devices (I used to review mobiles for BargainPDA and Brighthand), I've gotten a bit of a workflow that constantly challenges and feeds me in respect to mobile ministry.
5. What are some of the biggest obstacles to implementing effective mobile ministry? For you/your ministry? For the Christian world in general?
Mobile is still very new for many ministries. Some have just figured out how to get on the Internet train consistently, and mobile adds a layer of knowledge and engagement that should be familiar, but has unique challenges many aren't ready to answer. For MMM, our challenge is getting people to talk about their challenges and successes with mobile. We'd be just fine if there was an easier way to get folks to document what they are attempting. For the Christian world, mobile is just big. And its unique in every instance. Many don't focus on discipleship as much as they do activity and teaching, and so they miss that personalized level of life that mobile and discipleship tend to sit on. Mobile requires that kind of on-the-ground relationship.
6. What is one recommendation you could make that would help an individual or ministry be better able to move forward in mobile ministry?
Have a goal and a flexible plan to get there. You aren't going to always be able to make your goal exactly the way you dreamed, but having a plan, or at least reachable small goals along the way, helps you to better realize how mobile fits into your toolset for ministry.
7. What is one hard earned lesson in ministry you would want to pass on to others here?
Technology is only relevant when its personal (credit, Jay Noggle). Mobile and Internet are participatory media channels and technologies. It literally speaks to a personal level much better than broadcast media channels and technologies that came before. When mobile ministry is successful, its because its personal, not (just) because its got the right information in its pipe.
8. What part of mobile ministry does the Church need to bring more effort and focus to?
Education and health. We'd preach a better gospel, live a better gospel when we can do those things that heal bodies and minds, as well as spirit.
9. What aspect of mobile is overrated in your mind? Why?
Applications (smartphones are a close second in my opinion). Much of what people want to do with applications is no different than early attempts to make brochures out of websites (late 1990s, early 2000s). Applications are a way to bring people to a message, or engage them into a specific activity, but there's just too much attention being placed on drawing people to them, rather than cultivating healthy/contemplative behaviors.
10. Is there anyone else you’d like to see interviewed regarding mobile ministry?
Bob Pritchett from Logos; Drew Harringer (sp?) from Olive Tree; Craig Laridian from Laridian
- Published: 25 October 2011