Email Addiction Sweeps into Churches

Sam Rainer

July 31, 2008

So I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to checking email. But this latest survey got my attention.

People today check their email from the strangest of places. Where you ask?

•  In bed in their pajamas: 67%
•  From the bathroom: 59% (up from 53% last year)
•  While driving: 50% (up from 37% last year)
•  In a bar or club: 39%
•  In a business meeting: 38%
•  During happy hour: 34%
•  While on a date: 25%
•  From church: 15% (up from 12% last year)

15% from church?! Even that one shocks me a little. Ok pastors and lay leaders, time to chime in. What’s more annoying – someone sleeping in church or someone checking their email on their phone in church?

11 comments on “Email Addiction Sweeps into Churches”

  1. Jeremy Johnston says:


    I would have to say that email and text messaging are more annoying. At least when people sleep, I can rationalize it in a few ways, i.e. they suffer from a medical problem, they did not sleep well last night, they always fall asleep in services. If it is someone that normally stays awake then it is a clear sign that I bombed that particular Sunday. When people email or text, they are usually not disruptive so they lead me to beleive that they want to hear what I have to say but fail to pay attention. Just my opinion.


  2. Sam Rainer says:

    Jeremy – But what if habitual email checking is a “medical condition?”

    However, I do think I would rather hear someone snoring in service than their phone beeping or ringing.

  3. Jeremy Johnston says:


    I guess you could be right if checking email is an addiction. According to the definition an addiction is not a problem but an illness from which one never recovers. In that case do churches need to start support groups and add it to Celebrate Recovery as one of the addictions?


  4. Sam Rainer says:

    Jeremy – they do call them “Crackberries” for a reason…

  5. Pete Wilson says:

    Hey Sam. This post is convicting for me. 🙂

    Just found your blog through alltop. Love it and can’t wait to read more.

  6. Rob Lovell says:

    Actually email/internet can be a big addiction. I know of a single mom that’s visited our church a few times that lost her job due to email addiction. She definitely needs a recovery program.
    To be sure though, someone checking their mail is way more disturbing than the common church napper.

  7. I first read this blog post while at church (just kidding). I think I would be annoyed by the texter/emailer at church than the napper.

  8. Allen White says:

    What’s more annoying? Boring, irrelevant messages that don’t keep people’s attention? Just sayin’

  9. kdb1411 says:

    I do most of my emails from the bathroom. I can think most clearly there.

  10. Sam Rainer says:

    kdb – If you think most clearly there, shouldn’t you be doing your devotional instead of checking emails?

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