10 Tips For Preaching From an iPad

5. Use a PDF reader app for notes.

I love having an editable Pages doc in case I want to make last second changes, but hate preaching off the Pages App. One wrong tap and you deleted your notes and brought up the editing tools, keyboard, etc. It can be highly distracting. A PDF viewer eliminates distractions and keeps it simple.

You can easily convert a Pages doc to a PDF. Tap the wrench-looking Tools icon in the upper right corner. Hit Share and Print, then Open in Another App. Choose PDF as a format, then Choose App. You will then have the option to select any App that handles PDFs.

Some people like using free apps like iBooks or Kindle. However, my favorite is GoodReader, because it lets me add notes, highlight text (I color-code illustrations, scripture, videos, etc.) and crop the document to eliminate margins and make the text larger and more readable. Its worth the extra couple of bucks, in my opinion.

6. Still carry a Bible.

This is just a personal preference, but I still like to have a physical Bible on stage with me.

Yes, I read and study the Bible almost entirely online or in my iPad or iPhone, but I find that there is just something powerful about a preacher holding a physical Bible. It shows the audience that your authority comes from God, not Steve Jobs.

7. Make sure the iPad is fully charged.

Always make sure your iPad is fully charged. You do not want the battery dying mid-sermon. Have a charger with you just in case you need a last-minute power up before walking onto stage.

Fortunately, the iPad has such an incredibly long battery life that this has rarely been a problem for me.

8. Have a backup.

Always, always, always have a backup. Either a physical copy of your notes or a Dropbox/Evernote/Google Doc you can pull up with your phone. You never know when technology might fail you. The battery could die unexpectedly, you could accidentally spill coffee on it, or it might freeze up for no reason on you.

Always be prepared just in case. I have had to pull out my backup a few times (more on that in #9).

9. Don’t leave your iPad unattended.

I set my iPad down one time … just once! I forgot about it, walked away, and when I came back it was gone! Someone had the nerve to steal my iPad only two minutes before I stood up to preach!

I was upset, but not as upset as I would have been if I didn’t have a backup.

That is a $400 mistake I will never make again! Just because you are in church doesn’t mean that someone won’t give into the temptation to steal an easy target.

10. Don’t have an open beverage next to your iPad.

I am all about baptism by full immersion—just not for my iPad!

If enough liquid spills on an iPad, it is game over. You don’t want an open water bottle on your notestand. You might get excited while preaching, swing your arms around and accidentally knock it over.

Not only will you lose your iPad, you will have to explain to the elders why you cussed on stage. (Just kidding.)  

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Brandon Hilgemann
Brandon has been on a ten-year journey to become the best preacher he can possibly be. During this time, he has worked in churches of all sizes, from a church plant to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Brandon writes his thoughts and ideas from his journey at ProPreacher.com.