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Preaching with an iPad

  • Alex Crain Alex Crain is editor of Christianity.com
  • 2012 1 Jan
  • COMMENTS
Preaching with an iPad

Clint Archer is a solid pastor who loves the church, expository preaching, biblical counseling, elder leadership, and on down the line with other time-tested priorities that I share. Clint and I went to seminary together and I enjoy keeping up  through his frequent posts at a blog called "The Cripplegate."

In one of his posts he describes his method for using an i-Pad as he preaches. (Yes, you read that correctly.) No, he's not a wanna-be hipster or part of the emergent church movement. If I HAD an i-Pad (hint, hint), I would probably be his disciple in this...

"Yes, I preach from an iPad. I could say it’s to save trees. Twelve half-sheets per sermon add up over a planned 40 year career of 2 sermons per Sunday. I could say I appreciate the convenience of having an arsenal of dozens of sermons, an ESV Bible, and a library of commentaries with me when I travel. Or I could even say that I only own it because one was given as a gift. But the naked truth is that I simply love preaching from my iPad. Specifically the simple, silent swipe of the page, the use of variegated font colors, and the safeguard against getting my notes out of order or blown away by wind or a poorly positioned fan (yes, I have forgiven that deacon). I realize these are tiny, inconsequential luxuries which no one needs. But like Paul, I have learned to be content in plenty and in want.

When I spot a fellow iPadian at a pastors conference, I sidle up to them and ask, “Hey, what apps do you run for preaching?” If they have a system better than mine, I poach it. But if their MO is a few keystrokes more cumbersome than my honed routine, I graciously take them under my wing. I confess that I may have done a disservice to one, (at most two) of my close friends by talking them into using it, but not giving them the prerequisite instructions. Like a buzz saw, the iPad can be detrimental to your dexterity unless used wisely. But if you master the fundamentals before ascending the pulpit, the iPad sermon notes require no period of adjustment. You’ll recognize immediately that your paper notes will forever be shelved with your erstwhile Grace to You cassettes—still there in case you need them, but mainly just office décor with antique charm.

Here is how I do it. If you have a better system, please share:

Step 1: Be the right person.

All good books on preaching start with a section on the character of the preacher. I tip my hat at this noble practice by reminding you that if you brandish your iPad to complement the trendy hipster image you are carefully cultivating like a hidden hydroponic hemp garden, know this: God knows your heart, and your people will soon smell the stale odor of your pretentiousness. Your iPad, like a ninja, should be undetectable to your congregation. If you pace the platform like a techno-peacock, toting your e-notes into plain sight, then you need to go back to your paper library and read the first chapter of all your preaching books. Be the right person."

Read the rest of Clint's post "Adam's Apple: Preaching from an iPad" here.