Office Hours: Ministry Calling & iPad Preaching

Office Hours: Ministry Calling & iPad Preaching

June 8, 2011 by

We’re starting a twice-monthly feature here on Church Marketing Sucks that looks at the questions I get in my online office. We explained what online office hours are and how you can be a part of them last week, so check out that post if you missed it.

That said, let’s take a look at some questions. This week, I answer an inquiry about ministry calling as well as how to preach from your iPad. Take a look and be sure to join me every Wednesday from 2-4 pm CST for online office hours!

I am a junior in college studying student ministries what advice would you give me as I look to graduate in the next year?

My answer: I will give you the same piece of advice that my mentor gave me in college: “Do everything you can to not go into ministry. Take another job if you have to. Try working elsewhere for a season. At the end of all this, if you still feel the call the ministry, you need to obey the voice of the Lord.” I took his advice and tried every job I could think of: house painter, waiter, food service worker, courier at a law firm. You name it, I tried it.

But, as I think he knew would be the case, I ended up going into ministry. The call was still there. I was bit by the bug. That is my advice to you. If you do the above, figuring out what you want to do in ministry will be the least of your worries.

I wanted to know how easy it is to use your iPad for teaching a sermon and what’s your fav app for teaching? This is one of the main reasons for me buying one.

My answer: Very, very easy. I use Pages mainly, but there are PLENTY of other apps you can use. I like Pages because I can write a message on my desktop and send it to the iPad, ready to roll. It’s also super easy to make changes on the fly if I need to between services.

Another option I’ve used and like a little better is using Dropbox. I can write the message on my desktop, send it to my dropbox folder, and use the iPad app to open it up. The benefit of using Dropbox is that the document isn’t editable, i.e. no mistaken changes during the message, etc. If I need to, I can open up the document from Dropbox in Pages, etc.

It really is the way to go. I’m not sure it’s for everyone, but for me it’s rock-solid. It keeps me from having to take a gang of paper notes up there, reduces clutter, waste, etc. Highly recommended! Give ‘er a go.

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Justin Wise

Justin Wise lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and son. He likes coffee, reading, running and blogging.
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8 Responses to “Office Hours: Ministry Calling & iPad Preaching”

  • Marc
    June 8, 2011

    re; preaching with an ipad. Have you run into any issues with people thinking you’re “flashy” or “too good” for regular old paper, possibly from older generations? I only ask because I work at a more traditional church where I think preaching from an ipad might elicit some furrowed brows.

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    • Ryan Scott @39Blogger
      June 10, 2011

      Actually I feel less “flashy” than I did plunking my Macbook Pro on the pulpit. I always felt like everyone was staring at the glowing apple the whole service. Half the congregation were saying, “I wish I could afford that.” The other half were saying, “ugh, another apple guy.” Okay maybe it was more like 80/20.

      As far as preaching from the iPad, I like using Keynote much better. I also use my mac to fashion the message Dropbox to get it to the iPad.

      The thing I find works best with Keynote compared to Pages is that you can put your thoughts into slides rather than pages. I have a hard time following my notes scrolling because I lose my place and have to scan the page to find out where I left off.

      With Keynote I can go thought by thought. If I chase too many rabbits and finish the thought away from the pulpit, one swipe takes me on to the next point without scrolling around.

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      • Mark Vernik
        June 12, 2011

        I didn’t have an iPad but instead had the iPod touch. The congregation had recently installed a monitor on the back wall of the congregation for the song leader and choir. We also had a big screen TV up front. Nice situation considering we are medium size church of about 150.

        The Keynote app allowed me to control the slideshow and also see what the congregation was seeing. I found I required my condensed notes less and also that any key ideas could be displayed on the iPod through the Presenter Notes display option.

        I felt at first that few wondered what I was doing. Perhaps some thought I was checking my email at first. ALL the young people knew exactly what it was and figured it out almost instantly. It seemed like most people grew comfortable with it.

        I like being mobile. So the iPad would be nice for the pulpit (if you use one) or a speaker stand. However, if you are mobile the ipod is easy to carry with you as you walk and not look out of place. Either way I’m all for using as it best fits. Pages is a great way to display notes.

        So if you really want to go totally digital use the iPad on the stand and the iPod for controlling the slides.

        Great Post by the way. Really enjoyed the article and replies.

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  • Buzz
    June 8, 2011

    My rather small flock (25-30 in worship, believe it or not) gave me an iPad for Christmas after I made a comment that I could probably save a ton of paper if I preached from one. Mind you, given that my other job is at a newspaper and I pretty much have to live in the midst of technology, I never would have bought one for myself. But, lo and behold, my wife handed the package to me on Christmas Day with the words, “You need to know that NO-ONE in this house bought this for you.”

    I use the Goodreader app ($6, if I recall), which makes it really simple and I love the fact that I’m not burning a bunch of trees ever Sunday. If I make a change before worship, I merely resave the PDF.

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  • Tom
    June 8, 2011

    Preaching with the iPad: I use it regularly and absolutely love it. I personally use Goodreader synced to my dropbox account. When using my iPad I love how when it comes to turning a page you simply touch the screen and you’re done, barely looks like you have notes at all to everyone else.
    I’ve never had anyone stick their nose up about it, regardless of age. Matter of fact, older people seem to be in favor since they think it will help attract younger people. I still believe the Spirit and love will actually do that.

    My struggle: do I use a real physical Bible or youversion during a sermon…

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  • Scott
    June 9, 2011

    I use the uPad app when I preach. (I think I paid $4.99) You can upload a PDF into the app and then make notes and highlights on the PDF. Once you turn off the edit mode, the page can be turned just by touching an arrow.

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  • Steve Newcomb
    June 13, 2011

    there are many great apps for the church. Take a look at our site to see how others are using it in study, music, youth, children, preaching and more.

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  • Steve Swisher
    April 10, 2012

    After complaining about the problems with using Pages and Goodreader for sermon notes, a guy in my church told me he’d make me an app. It’s called PodiumPro and will be in the App store this summer. It allows you to both edit a message just before the sermon and then lock the message so that you don’t make accidental changes while you preach. He added a bunch of other bells and whistles to it too. I can’t wait till it’s finished.

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