If I have my chronology correct, it was a supposed citadel of higher learning that first banned the use of mobile phones on its campus.

First universities, now churches, banning use of mobile devices

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No iPad

If I have my chronology correct, it was a supposed citadel of higher learning that first banned the use of mobile phones on its campus. As if it wasn’t bad enough that a university environment was effectively turned into a glorified secondary school, it appears it is the turn of places of worship to give mobile devices the middle finger too.

News has it that one of the largest Christian denominations in the country has banned the use of “iPads”. I take it that “iPads” there is a blanket reference to tablets in general. Church members were supposedly using their devices “to surf the internet among other things in church”. If that is true, the church might as well ban the use of mobile phones too, because I can assure them that members use those to surf the internet, tweet and update Facebook in church as well.

Here is my take: you cannot fight progress. This new connected age is progress, and like all progress, it comes with its own unique challenges. Having students and church members browsing, tweeting and uploading the handsome pastor’s photo to Instagram during service is one of those challenges. Instead of shutting their doors to connected devices, educational and religious institutions need to find a way to use this new reality to their own benefit.

Have a look at history: no public institutions ever fought progress and won. None. Smell the coffee, guys!


  1. Mr Mo., I do understand where that church is coming from. The focus should actually be on educating the congregation on what is right and wrong. It used to be print newspaper and novels (some still do) in those days that people read during church services, now you have the whole world in your hands to distract you if you lack discipline. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome used to say years ago that if your phone cannot have a bible installed on it, it is a stone – throw it away.

    Our (I am a member of Christ Embassy and work with the same) ministry is placing very high emphasis on mobility and the internet because that is where majority of those we’re reaching out to are spending their time. Banning devices even if only during church services as I said earlier isn’t the way to go. The congregation can be counseled to switch off data if they know it could be distracting them, but enforcement? It won’t fly. I mean some can’t even write with ink and paper again!

  2. IThe banning of mobile devices in Universities, when I heard of it for the first time, struck me dumb with incredulity.

    I can understand the rationale behind disallowing secondary or primary school students from making use of calculators (possibly, during examinations), but for that kind of thinking to be extended to
    Universities / Polytechnics is beyond ridiculous.

    When some of us were schooling, we never had the opportunity the world Wide Web is now affording Students. Serious Students now have the wherewithal to be more knowledgeable than the original lecturers. They literally have the world in their palms.

    If I am in a place of worship, as an adult, and someone told me I couldn’t use my Tablet / Phablet, I am dead sure there would be some altercation from my side.

    You could direct children or possibly teenagers on certain things, but surely, not adults!

    All one can say is, thank God for choice..

    If a university, Polytechnic or Church is backward thinking enough to want to enforce that kind of rule.. well… there are many fishes in the river…

    In this modern day of technology, our lives should be better because of it.. and retrogressive company, antithetical to this moving train, is to be avoided.

    Like a plague…

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