PREACHING WITH AN iPAD

In June Mrs. Greenbean gave me a wonderful Father’s Day present–the new HD iPad.  It was my first iPad and I’m still learning all the wonderful things it will do.  My wife, on the other hand, is an old pro.  I think she has an app on hers that will vacuum the floor and clean the toilets.  I haven’t found that app yet.

THIS IS NOT MY ACTUAL iPAD, MINE HAS WAY COOLER APPS ON IT THAN THIS ONE

Right after we got it, we left on vacation, so I didn’t have much time to play with it in my work environment.  The past few weeks, however, I have been toying with it more and more.  I find it much easier than my old Kindle reader, however, to be fair, I loved my old Kindle and I bet that the new Fire works a lot like my iPad, so this review probably easily applies to both.

There are four positives to taking the iPad into the pulpit.  [of course, I do not preach with a pulpit so that is just a metaphor for me]

The first positive is the light weight.  My iPad weighs less than my preaching Bible.  The second positive is the absolutely wonderful finger movement of the text.  Moving the text along with a finger is so much better than flipping pages.  The third positive is that, with the ESV app I use, I am able to highlight and then mark as favorite any text for instant recall.  Yesterday I moved three different sections with gaps in between each and had no problems.  A fourth positive is that since the screen is back lit (unlike my old Amazon Kindle), it overcomes the poor lighting on our platform.  The image is so much clearer to the eye.

Now, lest you think the iPad is all joy and no sadness, there are a couple of negatives.  The first one is that the case is cumbersome.  I have even pondered removing the case from the device while preaching . It doesn’t feel pleasing when opened and when folded open and being held, it does not fold flatly behind the device.  So, I don’t like the case.  The second negative is the sound.  If you are using the iPad to preach, turn the volume off or it might tell everyone in your audience that it is your turn in Words With Friends or that you now have a new Twitter follower.

As I told you, I’ve been playing with it and yesterday I made another jump with my iPad usage.  This was not in the act of preaching, but in the preparation for preaching.  About five years ago I made the decision to preach every sermon without notes.  I write the sermon out, word for word in a manuscript during the week, and then on Sunday morning I spend about an hour internalizing the sermon.  My usual methodology has been, early on Sunday morning, to lay out the 9 to 11 pages of manuscript on my desk in individual sheets, covering the entire top of my desk, and then slowly work to internalize each movement, illustration, statistic, etc…  During the act of preaching, if I got stuck, my mind would easily recall the actual sheet of paper sitting on my desk and thus bail me out.

This week, though, I dumped the paper.  I have an app on the iPad that reads the documents uploaded from Word.  I did the same work as always, but instead of paper i scrolled through the iPad and internalized it that way.  There seemed to be no glitch in the delivery; so, my intention is to continue working it that way.  Perhaps I’ll be completely paperless by Thanksgiving.