Tips for Preaching From an iPad

I’ll be honest, one of the reasons I wanted an iPad was to preach from it. Preaching from my iPad is probably the main thing I use my iPad for on a weekly basis. It seems this trend is becoming more popular and you see more and more pastors preaching from an iPad or a tablet. With this new trend comes some opposition as well as much support. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if you preach from an iPad or not. What you preach with or from is not a big deal, it’s the actual preaching itself that is important. But if you do decide to preach from an iPad, here are a few tips that I have learned along the way that may help you:

Don’t make a big deal about it. If you preach from an iPad, don’t make it a point to flash your iPad and make sure everyone in the audience knows you have an iPad. I recommend keeping it on the pulpit or podium so no one sees it while you are preaching. Your iPad is just a tool you are using to share God’s Word, keep your focus on the right thing.Try and keep it out of the audience view as much as possible. More than likely there will be people out there that will get distracted and maybe even jealous when they see you have an iPad.

Use a physical copy of the Bible. If you preach from an iPad, please DO NOT use a Bible app, such as YouVersion, instead of a physical copy of God’s Word. Call me old school, but I think it’s important to preach from an actual copy of the Bible. Use your iPad for your notes, not your Bible. Plus, switching from your notes to a Bible app will be extremely distracting to you and your audience.

Use a good app for your sermon notes. Make sure you have a reliable, easy to use app to have your sermon notes on when you preach. When I preach, I have my sermons on the Dropbox app on my iPad. For me, Dropbox works the best and is easy to get my sermon notes to. After I write my sermon manuscript as a Word doc, I simply drop that Word doc into my Dropbox on my Macbook and then open it up in the Dropbox app on my iPad right before I go up to preach. There are other apps you can use, but I recommend Dropbox.

Try not to look at your iPad too much. This doesn’t just apply to your iPad, but your notes in general. Be so familiar with your sermon content that you don’t need to look at them much as you preach. Stay engaged with your audience and don’t be glued to your notes on your iPad. I try to run through my sermon two times or more before I preach so I will be able to preach and not look down at my notes that much.

These are just a few tips I would share with anyone who is or is thinking about preaching from an iPad. Every good gift comes from God (James 1:17) so use your iPad as a good tool He has given us to expand His kingdom. Use it as a tool to help you preach His Word better and more effectively.

[Question] Do you use an iPad or a tablet when you preach?

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Published by

Austin McCann

Austin is the student ministries director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, OH. He has a BA from Piedmont International University in Christian Ministries with a student ministries focus. He also has Master of Arts in Religion with a Christian leadership focus from Liberty University School of Divinity. Austin enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball & golf, spending time with his wife, and sharing the Gospel with students and helping them live a Bible centered life.

13 thoughts on “Tips for Preaching From an iPad”

  1. Hey Austin,

    Great post! I still think it is important to only use a Bible. I would mind have a few quotes on my ipad to reference, but I don’t think you should ever have notes in front of you!

    1. I know many pastors and student pastors who would agree with you and think it’s best to only use a Bible with no notes at all. I have done this a few times, but right now I still preach and teach with notes. I usually go over my sermon 2-3 times beforehand so normally don’t even look down at my notes during my teaching. At this point, I probably could go “no notes.” Preaching without notes is a great way to be more relational with your audience.

      Austin

  2. I use my iPad but I save my notes to a PDF and use iBooks. The scrolling down feels awkward to me and I have scrolled too far before so turning the page is a better way for keep my place. Alsoi usually open up my Bible but in all actuality I cut the scripture and insert it not my notes again for me it helps me keep my place, but I know we all have different ways we preach.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment! I like what you said, “We all have different ways of preaching.” God created us all different and we share His Word in different ways!

      Austin

  3. When I preach/teach, I always use an iPad or Kindle. I type my notes in Word, convert to PDF, then open in the Kindle app. The page turning is pretty slick. One thing I do is type all of my verses into my manuscript. I will open the sermon reading from my Bible, but all of the other verses I read from my iPad. Just my preference.

    I did freak out the early service the other day because I was preaching and I didn’t tell them I was using the iPad, so when I turned it on, the glow from the screen illuminated my face. They had no idea what was going on. As a tip, it is important to make sure that you have the brightness turned down to where it is comfortable, but low enough so it doesn’t make your face glow.

  4. Jonathan,

    I have the Kindle app on my iPad and may try putting one of my sermons in it to see how it works. The page turning might be better that way. Majority of the times I do what you do, main Scripture reading from my Bible and rest of the Scriptures are in my manuscript. When I do an expositional sermon (which is about 70% of the time) I usually don’t type any of the Scriptures out and stick to just reading from my Bible. In a topical sermon that is a little more difficult. Thanks for sharing some thoughts in a comment!

    Austin

  5. Great post! ipad and all other electronic gadgets are gifts and tools from God. They really do make things easier in some ways, because we can store so much on them and take them with use conveniently. However, I TOTALLY agree that we need to have a hard copy of the Bible with us whenever we are preaching or teaching. You have some great points thanks for sharing.

    I also own an iPad and love it, I use it for recording lectures in college with “SoundNote” app, allows me to take notes while recording. I need to learn how to use the DropBox, I have heard a lot of great things about it.

  6. Lisa,

    Thank you for reading this post and leaving a few of your own thoughts. I would encourage you to learn a little bit about Dropbox and use it! You will love it! I need to check out that “SoundNote” app. I have been looking for a app to record with on my iPad. Thanks!

    Austin

  7. one helpful thing that I have learned is to convert your MS doc to a blue / black background and font convert to white and that eliminates the “glow” even with full brightness… I started using ipad to preach after several serious eye surgeries that made it much easier to see notes … there are some great apps to helps now as well…

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