(Sponsored): BGG Attends Blogging While Brown Conference + AT&T ‘Inspired Mobility’ iPad Mini GIVEAWAY!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend my very first Blogging While Brown conference.

Thanks to AT&T, who sponsored my attendance, I was able to convene with fellow bloggers at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Since I’ve been blogging consistently since 2007, I’m not sure why I had never gone to the conference prior to this year. But, as the saying goes, “better late than never!”

Throughout the two-day event there were various sessions customized to address the needs of us African-American bloggers. From learning how to earn six figures as a professional blogger to the importance of building relationships with like-minded bloggers, I sat in on several informative sessions. Surprisingly, a couple of the seminars were quite interactive, which helped facilitate networking. I’m always a bit shy when introducing myself, so I felt that having attendees talk and work together was an excellent idea on behalf of the organizers. I even got the opportunity to meet media personality, Jacque Reid, whose career I’ve admired since her days at BET.

Jacque-Reid-KBP-BWBJacque Reid and I at the Blogging While Brown Conference in NYC on Saturday, June 28, 2014.

While I enjoyed hearing about effective tactics on building traffic, ways to monetize my blog, as well as how to get invited to speak at conferences, I was mostly anticipating AT&T’s panel discussion on “Inspired Mobilitya national conversation about the cultural shift in how people use mobile and Internet technology to enhance their faith experience.

As a blogging partner with the popular telecommunications company, I knew about the “ministry meets mobile” initiative, but was excited to hear their team share it publicly at the conference. Plus, I wanted to learn about the findings from the survey that AT&T conducted in collaboration with Ebony magazine on this subject. Prior to being approached by AT&T for this campaign, I honestly had never thought about how faith and mobile technology could be merged.

AT&T U.S. Diversity Corporate Communications Executive L. Michelle Smith, Technology and Social Media Director, T.D. Jakes Ministries/ AT&T consultant Jason Caston, Digital and Social Media Expert Tiffani Robinson, and Ministry Multimedia Expert Chip Dizard led the engaging discussion. They talked about how using mobile technology apps such as Twitter are a great way to share the spiritual and faith-based conversation beyond places of worship. In fact, Robinson stated that using these easy online tools could ultimately reach a generation that would probably not hear certain scriptures and inspiring words outside of social media. According to Caston, “We’re witnessing a cultural shift. Mobility allows churches to expand their reach and connect with more people.”


Pictured L to R: L. Michelle Smith, Tiffani Robinson, Chip Dizard and Jason Caston during the AT&T “Inspired Mobility” panel discussion during the Blogging While Brown conference on Saturday, June 28, 2014 in New York City.

After the discussion from the experts, the floor was open for questions from the Blogging While Brown audience. The conversation got interesting with inquiries such as the appropriate ways to use social media while in church. Caston provided a few tips during the panel discussion and he also has compiled a list of guidelines here.

Throughout the conference I interviewed a few people and asked them their opinions about the church using mobile technology. Not surprisingly, I found that all of them embraced the concept. No one really feels like using iPads and cell phones during church is taboo anymore.

Check out the clips below:

Sarah, the founder of the Colorism Healing blog, shares her thoughts on bridging the gap between mobile technology and the church during the Blogging While Brown conference.

Blogging While Brown attendee, Leah of Washington, D.C., shares her thoughts on bridging the gap between mobile technology and the church.

Blogging While Brown attendee, Nancy of Brooklyn, shares her thoughts on bridging the gap between mobile technology and the church.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend full of learning, networking and being a part of a special initiative. Thanks again to AT&T for giving me the opportunity to attend the conference and be a part of the “Inspired Mobility” campaign.

*Disclosure: I received an iPad Mini and other accessories from AT&T.

UPDATE: Winner Announced!! Congratulations, Netta! You’re the winner of the iPad Mini Giveaway! Please send me your mailing address for shipment. Thanks to EVERYONE who participated and left a comment. Be sure to check out BGG daily for more giveaway opportunities!

**GIVEAWAY: In celebration of AT&T’s “Inspired Mobility” campaign, I’m giving away a Gift Pack which includes: (1) iPad Mini and AT& T accessories. Simply leave a comment telling me your thoughts on using mobile technology at church. Do you use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram during service? One lucky reader will be randomly selected and announced Tuesday, August 5th. This giveaway is only open to U.S residents.


  1. For sure social media is here to stay. I love Twitter and Facebook!

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      You’re right, social media is here to stay so churches and other places of worship might as well get onboard! Thanks for sharing your comment!

  2. Twitter is amazing!!!

  3. Kelly Latimer says:

    At the risk of sounding old and out dated, I have to tell the truth! I love my devices as much as the next person, however, I do believe there are times when we need to put them away and church is one of them. It’s rude. It’s disrespectful and it just means you’re not devoting your full attention to the present moment. That’s the truth! Carry on 🙂

    • I understand what you are saying, but let me give you a story. A friend who is a pastor had prayer and he said I want you to pull out your phone and text 3 people and tell them you are praying for them. That was powerful in my opinion and that is one way to use mobile phones in church for good. We are just starting this conversation so there will be varying opinions on this, but in the end, devices are here to stay so we are going to have to create opportunities to use them in house of worship.

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      Thanks for your honest feedback! If your pastor encourages it then I think you would be in the clear to share scriptures, etc. during service without being disrespectful.

  4. I actually do use mobile technology in church. I’m one of the founding members of our newest Social Media Ministry so I am in a rotation of others who tweet out excerpts from the sermon and Pastor and bible verses we’re referring to for that particular Sunday service. Sometimes my Pastor even says, “Now tweet THAT!” in the middle of a sermon lol. It’s just our way to keep people engaged as well as to keep our members who are out of the country and our overseas in the loop. I love being a part of it and love that I am helping my church move forward with the times in a great way.

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      Thanks so much, Dee Dee for sharing your comment! I love that your pastor will say, “Now tweet THAT!” during his sermon. LOL I agree with you, it’s all about keeping people engaged and connected. The internet as a whole has changed our lives in so many ways and I believe bridging mobile technology with ministry reflects the that innovation.

  5. During service, I use a Bible app I downloaded on my phone. My church has a Facebook page, but we only recently got someone to volunteer as “Facebook coordinator. ” I’m interested to see what they do with it! But definitely, I can see how social media can go hand in hand with service, and possibly get the younger people involved!

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      Thanks, Jeri for your feedback! I downloaded The Daily Bread app so that my mom can save some trees and stop sending them to me via snail mail! I actually need to download the Bible app to my phone. I definitely agree with you that social media and service can really get young people involved.

  6. So good meeting you at the BWB Conference. I think this is so important for our churches to use this technology to get the message out.

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      Hey Chip! It was so great meeting you too! Wish we had more time so that you could show me some video tricks. As you can see, I didn’t even realize that I was holding the iPad wrong during all THREE of my interviews! LOL Anyway, I’m with you—churches need to step into this Information Age and share, Tweet, Instagram and FB share the message!

  7. At the church I currently attend, they integrate media very well. It’s one of the things I love about my church. At a different church I attended, the pastor did encourage people to tweet about the week’s message, which I thought was cool. As long as people don’t get caught up in tweeting/Facebook-ing more than the sermon, I think it’s acceptable.

  8. If your church is using mobile tech in some way, sure. It’s great if it’s social media or another way to interact with the service. If you’re just playing some game then thats just not paying attention and rude.

  9. Chanelle says:

    I definitely use my mobile device in church-the bible app and tweeting gems from the sermon.

  10. Christine M says:

    I am not a church goer but I do use tech to stay ‘with it’ as they say 🙂 Or used to anyway, in the 70’s. lol. That is how updated I am!
    I am sure hubby would use it there if we went. He always has his phone in his hand reading something.

  11. I enjoy modern technology. Eveyday there’s something new & something new to use it for.

    • Brown Girl Gumbo says:

      Congratulations, Netta! You’re the winner of the iPad Mini!! Please email me your mailing address for the giveaway shipment.

  12. I’m on the fence. I’m old school and prefer electronics stay out of church. It blew my mind one time when I was visiting a church and folks lined up to pay their tithes via debit card on a cc reader. But I also understand times are a’changing and its time to embrace technology. An iPad is certainly lighter than a Bible. But the Good Book don’t need recharging or wifi. See? I’m on the fence…

  13. I don’t have a problem using technology in a place of worship but I kind of like the old school approach. I don’t personally use technology when I am physically there but I do use apps on my phone to stay connected and for daily inspiration so in a way, I definitely support it. Thanks for this amazing giveaway chance!

  14. I am actually pretty old school and don’t use technology when it comes to faith really at all as of now but I’d definitely like to feel more connected and tap into all the inspirational potential out there for those that use technology.

  15. I don’t use social media during church service but I do “check-in” on Facebook. When I check in, I always invite family & friends to join us at church. There are times, usually when I am particularly moved by the sermon, that I will tweet the sermon title and scripture to share it with others, hoping that it will inspire/move them as much as it did me.

    Our church has a Facebook & Twitter page and the “web master” does use it during services. It comes in handy for those who for whatever reason were unable to attend.

  16. I am in favor of using mobile technology at church. I don’t use twitter or facebook at church but I do use Bible Gateway (bible app)

  17. I feel like one side, church shouldn’t have all of the distractions with all the apps. On the other hand, if you want to tweet or Facebook scriptures, I guess it’s ok but to not keep doing it maybe because it can be a huge distraction and you might miss something that the Pastor was talking about. I guess I’m on the fence with this one! I do love my apps too but I guess all in moderation! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win! Hope, hoping! My birthday is August 4th….this would be an awesome b-day prezzie! 😉


  18. Tabathia B says:

    I don’t really like using mobile devices during church service when I attend, but I do take my cell phone and leave on vibrate for text alerts from my children only and they know to text during service only if important. But I wouldn’t tweet or post on facebook during service. I have streamed live service at home when electing not to attend service

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  19. Meena R says:

    I think as the world changes around us, we have to learn to adapt. That being said, I feel as if using technology, especially social media during a religious ceremony seems like you’re not really paying attention. Maybe it’s just me, but I know I would get distracted if I were on facebook or twitter.

  20. I go to pretty progressive churches, so I don’t think my pastors mind me Tweeting in church. I have the Bible app on my phone, so that’s where I read my scripture in church. And since my phone is already out, if the preacher says something that I’d like to share, I Tweet it right then and there. Twitter is so immediate, if I don’t Tweet it from church, I’d forget. I also add things from the church calendar to my electronic calendar in church and finally, I take sermon notes in Evernote. I have my phone strapped to my hand at all times, so it just makes sense that it’s out and being useful in church (to God’s glory, of course). Great topic!

  21. I use technology to stay spiritually connected and inspired daily and to connect and interact with others but I am not really into using technological devices at places of worship during services. I feel like it’s a bit of a distraction and I prefer just being there in the moment with absolute focus.

  22. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I don’t usually use my phone when I do go to church but I don’t have a problem with anyone doing it.

  23. Thomas Murphy says:

    I don’t use mobile technology or social media at church but I don’t mind if someone does.

  24. I am in favor of using mobile technology for religious purposes – there are some great apps, but I prefer not to use it myself during service but it doesn’t bother me if others do.

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