iPad Preacher, Part 2

post date: July 30, 2011

Time for an update.

Just before I started this two-week ministry trip, I mentioned that I would be using my iPad for both my Scripture and my sermon notes for the first time ever. I also said that I was a little nervous about it because like most preachers, I’m a creature of habit. After nearly 40 years of preaching, I have my own way of doing things. 

Plus I wondered if anyone would notice. After 27 sermons the results are in. 

My experiment was a big success. It’s certainly much easier to carry my iPad into the pulpit than trying to handle the large print Bible I had been using for the last 12 years along with my pages of sermon notes–creased, folded, marked up, crossed out, sometimes stained and occasionally illegible.

Since several people have asked, here is the process I followed:

1. Type the sermon notes in Word, using liberal doses of varying fonts, colors, highlighting, underlining, and a neat little feature I discovered called “Word Art.”

2. Save the notes as a PDF file.

3. Transfer the PDF file to my iPad using DocsToGo or Dropbox or send it to my iPad as an email attachment (I did all three).

4. Open the PDF file in iBooks.

5. Preach from that PDF file.

I had no trouble transferring the files to my iPad at Cannon Beach. For some reason the DocsToGo app wouldn’t work at Word of Life. Never could figure out why. But if I used Dropbox or sent the PDF via email, it showed up on my iPad just fine.

I found that if I didn’t convert the Word file into a PDF file, if I touched the screen after transferring it to my iPad, the keyboard would come up. That would mess things up if that happened while I was preaching. You could preach from the PDF file in DocsToGo if you didn’t mind the pages pulling down vertically. I prefer to go horizontally, which is I used iBooks. That way the PDF acts just like a book. As I slid my finger along the bottom of the iPad screen, the next page instantly came up.

One other all-important note. If you are doing a lot of preaching in a short time (as I was the last two weeks), you need to keep the iPad charged up. One night I forgot to plug it in and the iPad was down to 8% charge in the morning. I found that the charge dropped about 10% for each hour of service time and since I was preaching two services back to back that morning, I had to scramble to get the charge back up to 42%. 

I wondered if anyone would be bothered that I had an iPad in the pulpit instead of a traditional printed Bible but no one seemed to mind. All in all, it was a good success and I plan to keep using the iPad when I preach.

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