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Cell Phone Breaks

A recent decision by an NFL head coach to give players cell phone breaks gives church leaders an opportunity to think about how they can approach the rising generations.

cell phone

Choose your battle wisely

Kliff Kingsbury triggered anti-millennial outrage recently when it was announced that the Arizona Cardinals head coach gives his players cell phone breaks every 20-30 minutes during team meetings. The reaction to this announcement was predictable, with people decrying the lack of attention span in the rising generations. And while it can be easy to jump on the bandwagon full of mockers, Kingsbury may have tapped into a truth that church leaders could stand to learn from.

In the ESPN article, Kliff was quoted as saying:

"You start to see kind of hands twitching and legs shaking, and you know they need to get that social media fix, so we'll let them hop over there and then get back in the meeting and refocus," Kingsbury said.

Now, before you start to say that NFL players need to earn their paycheck by staying focused on the meeting that they are in, think about this: the millennial generation is leaving (or has left) the church in droves. They no longer show up for our 90 minute gatherings where people are expected to sit in rows, focus on the front of the room, and pay attention to someone talking for 30 minutes (or more).

We can have one of two reactions to this:

  • Blame them for not doing church right.
  • Find a way to engage them with a fresh expression of the local church.

Blame them if you must, but realize that will not bring this generation to faith in Christ. The onus is on those of us who lead the church to allow the rising generations to speak into our methods, adapt how we do things, and leverage our new reality to expand the Kingdom.

The choice is yours... choose wisely.





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Matt Steen

Matt Steen

Matt has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor. Originally from Baltimore, Matt currently lives in Orlando, with his wife Theresa, and has a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and an M.Div. and MBA from Baylor University. Certified as an Urban Church Planter Coach by Redeemer City to City and as a StratOp facilitator by the Paterson Center, Matt has made a career of helping churches thrive through intentionality, clarity, and creating healthy cultures. He is convinced that a healthy church is led by a healthy team with great chemistry, and loves partnering with Chemistry’s churches to do great things for the Kingdom.

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