How #mobilephones lit up an otherwise dark church sermon

Today’s theme at Grace Bible Church (GBC), delivered by Bishop Musa Sono – the founder, was “Unlock Your Potential”. The theme could not be more apt on a Sunday like this one, where GBC Midrand’s 3/4 of the sermon was delivered during load-shedding by Eskom, South Africa’s national utility  responsible for 95% of the country’s generated electricity.
Without electric lighting, the larger part of the church looked like this inside, despite open doors that let in some of the natural light:

GBC Midrand without light
GBC Midrand during load-shedding

The pitch black environment without light inspired us to compile this post.

The multipurpose use of mobilephones was indeed unlocked when these digital gadgets were turned into electric lamps to ensure that congregants are safely ushered to empty seats, the sermon starts on time, scriptures are read, and sound engineers continue to ensure quality music is delivered by the church’s band. Let these pictures tell the story:


1. On arrival, ushers lead people to empty seats using their mobilephones as electric lamps.


2. Holy communion is served.


3. Sound engineers are in full control.


4. With a backup generator in place, electric extension cords are being connected for lighting up key areas of the church


5. Sermon starts, delivered through live streaming from Pimville, Soweto – the headquarters of GBC

At this stage, the backup generator provides the energy needed for live streaming of the sermon by Bishop Musa Sono from Pimville. Notice how dark the church is still?


6. Scriptures are accessed on mobile gadgets


7. Finally, electricity comes back, but only in the last quarter of the sermon.



Today’s experience reminded us yet again how mobile technology has changed our lives (mainly) for the better. We shot all the images in this post with iPhone 5, yet another useful use of a mobilephone.

In case you are wondering, we still fully participated in the sermon at the same time as we were taking the pictures. As proof, we picked up a new hashtag by tuned Bishop Musa – #OperationSheshisa; and a quotable quote by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, a special guest for GBC’s 2014 Matric Top Achievers Awards Ceremony – “In next 3 years, Gauteng schools will bury the chalk and the chalkboard. In the next 3 years, there will be 1 learner, 1 tablet. 1 teacher ,1 laptop. 1 classroom, 1 smartboard”. Bold vision by the MEC, and yet again digital technology will be enabling it.

We invite you to share with us things you do with your mobile phone over and above its primary functions – calling, texting and accessing the Internet – in the COMMENT section here below.


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