I want to back down a little from my previous post. The phone isn’t really the problem. The problem runs much deeper. Relationships are the key to effective ministry, and that is why the phone can be such a powerful tool. I love to connect with someone by phone. You can accomplish a lot more in a two-minute phone call sometimes than you can in a series of emails. It’s not as good as face-to-face, but it’s not bad. The problem is when the phone is used for non-relational purposes. The phone calls that bother me are the ones that are trying to sell me on something, or that want me to give something that they need. I’d much rather respond to an email if that’s your purpose. Don’t make me return your call or listen to your pitch. Take that away, and there is only one type of phone call I dread: benevolent requests. But that is a subject for another post.