I think that there are some really good things and some bad things about smartphones in relation to faith. The good news is that we can avoid most of the bad things, but we have to have a lot of discipline to do that!
One of the biggest ways that my phone helps me in my walk with the Lord is that it makes it easy for me to listen to Christian music and sermons wherever I am. So many times, I’ll be at the gym or somewhere totally ordinary, and a song comes on that God speaks to me through and uses to encourage or challenge me. Another way it helps is it makes it easy to connect with other people – we can exchange contact information easily. I have Godly relationships established after only a week of in-person contact that have been maintained because of technology. Finally, I can use my Bible app to read anywhere!
However, the easy accessibility of the entire Internet can also be distracting. I’ve been praying and then my phone rings or dings or vibrates or lights up or an alarm goes off or Siri thinks I’ve asked her a question. I’m just not mature enough to not look at it, so I’ve had to come up with solutions: airplane mode, turning it off, putting it in another room. Also, being so tuned into texting, social media, maintaining those long-distance relationships can make me not spend time in person with other people, or, worse, be with someone, but not really present.
Indeed, the constant bombardment of things, including Christian radio and even the best sermons, can actually make me more distant from God. I may have been hearing about him all day, but I haven’t actually talked to him. Worse, it can make quietness seem alien. A lot of my Christian walk is being still before God. I think that if we don’t manage them, our cell phones can make us miss out on the joy of being with Him. The problem comes when listening to music and sermons, etc., becomes an end in itself, instead of something that leads us to God. When we don’t turn off the cellphone and ultimately come before God ourselves, then that’s a problem.
That said – I don’t know if they enable or discourage an evangelistic lifestyle. I think that when one lives with an evangelistic lifestyle, the cellphone will enable it greatly. However, it can also very easily hinder it if we do not manage it well.
Looking forward to hearing other ideas!!