I’m in the middle of delivering my sermon from my shiny new iPad. I’m focused on making the point and communicating God’s truth from His Word to His people. Then my preaching device sings a loud “ding!” Up pops a notification badge: “Want to get away from it all? Cruises for as low as $399!” It took every ounce of self-control not to break out laughing. The funniest part was watching some of my older parishioners looking around to see which kid in the congregation was playing a game. I never told them the kid was me.
For the past 15 months I’ve been preaching from my first-generation iPad. It truly has been a gift from God, a tool that helps me be even more effective as a communicator. I use my iPad rather than paper notes for 3 reasons. First, it saves me time and money. Connecting the word processor from my laptop to my iPad through iCloud means no more printing and cutting. Second, it provides me the opportunity to make last minute edits right on my iPad.
Third, and this is the most important reason, it gives my parishioners permission to use their smart phones and tablets to follow the sermon, published in their YouVersion Bible apps. When they see their pastor opening his Bible on his iPad, they know it really is ok. Just yesterday Pastors.com reminded us how much Apple is changing the church. As a pastor I can choose to lead these changes rather than react to them.
Here are 5 power tips I have learned in the last 15 months for how to preach with an iPad.
1. Use the power of the iCloud. I’ve read that many pastors preaching from an iPad write their sermons on their computer’s word processor, save their document as a PDF file, then email it to themselves, then open their email app on their iPad, and then open their sermon document with a PDF reader app like GoodReader. There is an easier way! I write my sermons using Pages on my MacBook, then drag the file over to the iCloud in Safari. When I open Pages on my iPad, voila! My sermon is waiting and ready to go.
2. Use the power of Pages. One huge advantage for pastors using Pages on the iPad is that it is a fully functioning word processor. I have the ability to make last-minute edits right on my iPad. In the photo above from my sermon on June 24th, you’ll notice that the first paragraph begins with, “Dismiss the children…” I wrote this note to myself in the tech meeting an hour before our worship service began.