Wouldn’t it be great if finding answers to our problems was as simple as downloading an app?
Dudley Rutherford, senior pastor of the 10,000-member Shepherd of the Hills Church, which the mayor of Los Angeles has called “the most racially diverse church in Los Angeles,” addresses that very subject.
In the introduction to God Has an App for That!, Dudley identifies two things everyone who wants real answers should know: God cares about our problems and God offers life-changing solutions. Dudley writes that no matter the issue, God has an answer, whether it be greed, provision, lust, wisdom, addiction, relationships, love, raising children, learning how to forgive or facing temptation of any kind.
In a recent phone interview, Phil Boatwright from Preview On Line asked a few questions concerning Pastor Rutherford’s book.
P.B.: For the technologically challenged such as myself, exactly what is an app?
D.R.: App is short for application.
D.R.: It’s really a program that you download onto your phone or IPad or computer. Some are for entertainment, such as games. But a lot of people download apps such as a Bible app, where your Bible appears on your phone. There are financial apps that help you control your finances or manage your budget. There are apps that help keep you connected to your bank or your church or whatever topic or issue you need. It’s basically a program you can use anytime you want.
P.B.: What drew you to this subject?
D.R.: Every day I hear the phrase, there’s an app for this and an app for that. And the latest statistics there are some 25 billion apps that have been downloaded. People are looking for things that will help them. So I started to think, why not apply this to your spiritual life. Why not get help from God. If you’re looking for something to help you, God has an app for whatever it is that you’re facing.
The book itself goes to James, which is the most practical book in the Bible. It almost sounds app-y. It’s constituted of short little verses that are easy to read and very applicable. And so the book God Has an App for That actually takes the reader through the book of James.
P.B.: Is there a particular demographic you’re aiming the book at?
D.R.: I’m really trying to reach people who don’t know a lot about church, or the Bible. Some I’m reaching out to are tech-y, but they’re not the only ones. I’m reaching out to those who are downloading these apps. My prayer is that they’ll hear that phrase, “God Has an App” and that it will ring a bell and pique their interest. As they go through the book, they’ll see that there is a lot of wisdom in the Bible and hopefully realize they need to seek God’s wisdom for my life.
So, I’m hoping that from reading God Has an App for That, they’ll want to read the Bible.
P.B.: The world is now governed by technology. People seem to need it even when there is no real need, i.e., Twitter. They’ve sold themselves on the newness of everything, but the teachings of God’s Word are centuries old. So, my question is, do you think that today’s technological marvels as a whole are aiding the Christian in his spiritual walk, or interfering?
D.R.: Well, I think the Internet is like a lot of things, in that it has potential to do good and potential to do bad. I love that you and I and your readers can do a blog or a Facebook page and use it for the glory of God.
I hope this won’t sound sacrilegious in any way, but I’m convinced that if the Apostle Paul were here today, he would have a facebook page. He would be blogging. Because I can write a blog and I have a little chart that shows where people log on from around the world, it’s like a hundred different countries. Hundreds of thousands of people log on, people I will never have a chance to preach to in my local church. I can take that message and put it on the Internet and it goes around the world.
Of course, tweeting and blogging can be a little self-centered, but I think, I know, if you use it correctly, it can truly further the Kingdom of God. The Bible talks in Matthew that the Gospel will be preached around the world and then the end will come. I think technology is that tool. The Gospel is being preached around the world right now through technology.
I think the key is, you’ve got to use technology, not let it use you. We need to use it to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
P. B.: What are some of the apps in your book, God Has an App for That?
D. R.: I have several. The first one is God has an app to turn stress into joy. God has an app to overcome temptation. God has an app to help curb your problems or to help heal with your affliction. God has an app to break down the walls that divide.
God Has an App for That will give readers relevant, biblical guidance (drawn from the book of James) on:
Turning Stress Into Joy
Breaking Down the Walls that Divide
Resuscitating a Dying Faith
Restoring a Broken Heart
Founder of CallonJesus.com, an evangelistic Internet ministry, Pastor Rutherford is author of 5 books: God Has an App for That!, Unleashed: The Church Turning the World Upside Down, Romancing Royalty, Proverbs in a Haystack, and Keeping a Smile on Your Faith.
“If you read the Bible every day, looking for God’s apps within the Scriptures, you will develop a spiritual mindset and you will actually begin to adopt the mind of Christ.”
From God Has an App for That