Why I Don't Use The Bible On My Phone At Church

I love my Bible App. YouVersion is fabulous for my on-the-go Bible needs. I use the devotional plans and “verse of the day.” If I need to look up a verse, but can’t remember the reference, the search tool is great. I can even take notes and underline verses in the version of my choice. What an age we live in to have the entire Word at our fingertips.

But I discovered that it is not a good idea to use the Bible app on my phone  at church. Now let me be clear- this is an operator issue, not a problem with the app.  

There are particular reasons I use my old-fashioned, leather and paper, bulky, last-century Bible as opposed to my virtual Bible in church and my quiet time.

Distraction reasons:

Ok, this is the big one. I can’t use the Bible on my phone because I am weak, and easily distracted, and possibly attention deficit.  There are way too many diversions on my phone.

-I will just check Facebook real quick.

-Was that a notification from Instagram?

-Oh, what a great quote from my pastor- I should put that on Twitter.

-An email just came through, and I need to read and answer it. Now. Right away. This second.

I am not that good at resisting temptations, so it is just better for me to be phone-less!

Obedience reasons:

How can I keep the Sabbath holy when I can’t stay off email for an hour?

How am I honoring the teaching of the Word, when I look at Facebook during a Biblical teaching?

I am not a strict Sabbath keeper, but the Lord has been challenging me about some of the reasons for some physical issues and weariness I have been experiencing. Maybe if I rested one day out of seven, like He designed and COMMANDED (sorry for any toes besides mine I just stepped on), I would feel better. 

So with the goal of resting my weary brain, I need to rest in the Lord and His Word. Block all the incoming information. For just a short time, only focus on Him. And I find this impossible to accomplish with a phone in my hand.

Practical reasons:

It is important to have a Bible that is not dependent on the power grid or on me remembering to plug my phone in the night before! 

Also, I want to KNOW my Bible. If the Pastor is teaching in Romans and asks us to turn to Daniel, or even Obadiah, I need to be able to flip there without having to look at the Table of Contents.

I am a note-taker. When I find one verse that reminds me of another, or explains a passage, I write the cross-reference in the margin. I underline verses. I also record notes or insights and they are visible every time I turn to that page. While I can take notes in an electronic Bible, I have to hit a link to find them. In my handy-dandy paper version, the notes are there to see every time I open up.


Since I have confessed my weak nature and lack of self-control on the phone, it should be obvious, I am not to be trusted with that device in my hand when I should be reveling in the Word being taught at church.

The same holds true during my quiet time. If I have my phone handy, along with my Bible and journal, I am in trouble. It needs to be on the other side of the room, possible hidden and certainly on mute.

God asks me to give my first fruits to Him. He deserves my best, including my best attention. In this day of every distraction on the planet available in my hand held device at the touch of a button, I have found it best to keep the temptation tucked away and silent.

What about you? How do you keep your mind where it should be in church? Please share any brilliant, or sort-of-brilliant, strategies below. We are in this together!