Preaching off the iPad

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I had to exercise some serious self-control when I came out of my office on Saturday, the day before Easter, and found that my iPad had been delivered. My message was no where near finished and I knew that if I opened the box it would probably stay that way. So, for the rest of the day it sat next to my espresso machine, casting longing eyes at me whenever I made a coffee. It wasn’t easy, but I did not give in to the siren call of technology until I had wrestled my message to the ground and then I was able to enjoy opening it up.

In all seriousness, the iPad is a great tool, and having preached from it this weekend it fully delivered everything that was lacking from the Kindle DX in the pulpit. (see my previous post on that here) And I love that first thing I ever did with it was preach on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! I believe that technology exists for the glory of God and we should harness it to make Jesus famous, however we can.

It did take some time to figure out what would be the best way to get message notes onto the device. The best solution would be to utilize the iBooks app that is on the device which allows for a kindle-like experience and has turning digital pages built in. My creative team and I spent several hours a few weeks ago trying to figure out how to make messages into epub’s that iBooks can receive via iTunes. We were able to get my notes into that format but they lacked the color formatting that sets the iPad apart from Kindle so that wasn’t going to work.

The most straight forward solution is just to use the PDF reading capability that is built into the mail client on the iPad. I don’t love that route though because you have to constantly scroll down as you speak (like you are on the web) and it does not allow for page by page turning with one click or swipe. After some research I ended up purchasing a 99 cent app from iTunes called Good Reader that can read PDF’s and will let you swipe your way through your message notes one page at a time where you can finish a page and with one click move on to the next one. That is what I used in the pulpit on Sunday and it worked great.

A few tips:

Turn the Screen Auto-Lock (under Settings-General-Auto-Lock) to 10 minutes. During first service my iPad turned off when I spent more than 5 minutes on a page.
Turn the Wifi/Bluetooth off to save battery.
Under Sounds turn off the sounds for new emails, calendars, lock sounds etc; so that it doesn’t make itself known during your message.
If you are going with good reader like I did make your pdf the exact size of the iPad’s screen so you don’t have to move around left to right and I recommend you disable the “Double-tap for zooming” feature that is under the viewing PDF files settings so that it doesn’t blow up if your palm accidentally hits it.

Not only is the iPad one of the coolest pieces of tech I have ever owned but it is also the ultimate preaching machine. I highly recommend it.