◼ What Bible principles apply to the use of cell phones while attending Christian meetings and sharing in the ministry?
“For Everything There Is an Appointed Time.” (Eccl. 3:1): Cell phones give people the ability to text or speak with one another at virtually any time. However, there are occasions when Christians do not want to be distracted by their phone. For instance, our meetings are a time to worship Jehovah, receive spiritual instruction, and enjoy an interchange of encouragement. (Deut. 31:12; Ps. 22:22; Rom. 1:11, 12) Could we turn off our phone when we arrive and retrieve our messages after leaving the meeting? If the possibility of an emergency requires that we leave our phone on, we should put it on a setting that will not disturb others.
“Do All Things for the Sake of the Good News.” (1 Cor. 9:23): At times, there are valid uses of a cell phone in the ministry. For example, a brother taking the lead might use it to check on those preaching in other parts of the territory. Publishers sometimes use their cell phone to call an interested person or Bible student before making a visit, especially if the person lives some distance away. If we have a phone with us, we should take precautions to prevent it from interrupting us while we are speaking with a householder. (2 Cor. 6:3) While waiting on other publishers, rather than phoning or texting a friend, would it not be better to keep our attention focused on the ministry and those with whom we are working?
Be Considerate of Others. (1 Cor. 10:24; Phil. 2:4): Never would we want to be lax about being on time for the meetings for field service with the idea that we can always phone or text someone to find out where the group is witnessing. When we arrive late, the group must often be reorganized. Of course, circumstances beyond our control may occasionally cause us to be late. However, when we make it a habit to arrive on time, we show consideration for Jehovah’s arrangement, the brother taking the lead, and our fellow publishers.