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Should a Pastor Use an iPad, iPhone or Print Bible to Minister Scripture to People?

4)  Guard from legalism.

As many pastors possess their own “soap boxes” on this matter, each of us need to guard from being legalistic about this issue. God’s word is no less God’s word in printed form inside a really snazzy colored cover with a giant cross on the front, or on the really tiny print on your smart phone. Let’s keep this from becoming the next “King James only” controversy and just call it what it is: a preference. As long it is a credible translation of the Bible and a credible, untampered printed or electronic copy of that translation (of which there are many) … it is God’s word. Don’t make more of an issue of this than it should be.

5)  Trust the source. 

Our effectiveness to minister to our people ultimately has nothing to do with the means from which we read it, as long as it is the inerrant, infallible, powerful Word of the living God. God, by his Spirit and through his living and active word, is what changes and effects people. Minister that word and do not rely much at all on the “mechanics” of what you read from, but do so in a discerning way that avoids any distractions from God doing what he does through his word in the lives of his people when his shepherds faithfully bring it to bear on souls.

Lately, I find myself doing regular Bible reading off my iPad mini, yet you will always find me with a hard copy of God’s word when entering a funeral home, hospital room or home of an elderly saint. At this point, you will not find me using my iPod when I preach, not out of any theological principle, but because of my fear of trusting technology that much. Each pastor needs to determine his own comfort level to embrace the blessings of technology as we should, yet be mindful of any unhelpful perception that might exist that could hinder your efforts to care for souls.  

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Brian Croft is senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the author of "Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness (foreword by Mark Dever) and "Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church’s Responsibility to the External Call" (foreword by R. Albert Mohler Jr.). Brian blogs regularly at Practical Shepherding.