Preaching with an iPad
Back in October 2010, the awesome people of LifePointe Church gave me an iPad for Pastor Appreciation. Yep, they are a great bunch of Jesus followers!
I immediately set about finding a way to work the iPad into my sermon prep and preaching. I’ve always used sermon notes. Over the years, I’ve refined how I prepare and use them, but generally, I type them into WordPerfect (yeah, I know!). The notes have to fit on the front and back of one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. I don’t like more than that because (a) the sermon will be too long, and (b) I will probably lose one of the pages. After printing, I review and mark them up using different colored highlighters. I usually add extra notes in the margins. Then I’m ready for Sunday.
The challenge is to incorporate the iPad into that workflow.
As of now, I haven’t found an iPad text editor I’m really comfortable with. So I’m still hanging on to WordPerfect and it’s 1990s technology. I type up my notes, still trying to keep them to the size limit of one page, front and back. When the notes are complete, I step up all font sizes to 18 pt. This destroys my page limit but is needed for the next step. I save the notes as a pdf file.
Next, I send the pdf to the iPad using the app GoodReader. I can upload from my PC to the iPad with GoodReader’s wifi transfer. (I also upload my notes to DropBox, which GoodReader connects to, as well.) Once I have the notes on my iPad, I use GoodReader to review and mark them up. This is where the larger font size helps. With a 10-12 point font, the text is just a little too small on the iPad screen. I’ve experimented and found 18 pt to be a good fit for my eyes. With GoodReader you can highlight pdf’s, underline words, and add notes, all in different colors. So my marked up notes are all there as they were with paper notes.
I take the iPad on stage with me, of course. On our stage, the iPad is much easier to read from than paper. Since I’m no longer concerned about the number of pages, I’ve started adding the Scripture passages to my notes. With GoodReader, you simply turn the page by touching either side of the screen.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this setup, with the exception of a text editor. I’ve got a few on my iPad but they’re all text only; no formatting. I may try Apple’s Pages and see how that works.
Do you use an iPad while preaching? How do you use it?
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Yes! I use google drive – documents. Best editor on the fly, when preaching put in offline mode and airplane mode so nothing comes in, plus turn sleep time off.
Greg, I’m moving more and more to Google Drive, as well. Airplane mode is a must. I’ve had guys who have sent stuff to me on purpose while on stage just to see my reaction! Airplane mode takes care of them.
We’ve started using Proclaim as our presentation software. There’s an iPad app available so I could run that from stage. But I don’t want to deal with that so we’re leaving that to our media team. Good software, though. For people who have the app on their iPhone or Android, the Scriptures are sent to them and they see it as I see it.
I feel your pain! I’ve been working with a startup designing the next generation of iPad told for speakers. Podium Cue is our latest creation. I think you’ll like it. PodiumCue.com I’m a pastor I speak 2x or more a week using podium cue. It’s made me a better speaker. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Rob…thanks for sharing! I have been thinking about getting an iPad, and attempting to do the same thing… This helps me practically see how it might work. And the really amazingly funny thing is, I still use WordPerfect too! Didn’t think there was anybody else out there using it…lol
Glad the article helped you out. The iPad really is a nice tool for pastors. I’m using it for almost everything during sermon prep. I use Logos a lot for prep. Logos has an app for the iPad where I can access all my Logos books and commentary. So that’s another good iPad sermon prep tool.
My WordPerfect is ancient, but it still works and I know it like the back of my hand. It’s still rock- solid. If there was just WordPerfect iPad app!