STUDYING FOR MY SERMON ON MY IPAD
I am a huge fan of Logos Bible Software. I have a rather large library of commentaries and reference books available to me via Logos. When studying for a sermon, I find that I rarely pull my physical books off of my shelf. To make things even better, the majority of books in Logos are available via Logos’ iPad app.
First, in Logos, either on my laptop or on my iPad, I will create a note document specific to my sermon (e.g. Acts 14). I also create a similar document in Evernote. (Note: the Logos document is for my “highlights” of important points that might be helpful to look back to when preparing my sermon; the Evernote document is for very important notes/quotes that will most likely wind up in the sermon, as well as brainstorming thoughts.)
Second, with my iPad and Bamboo Stylus in hand, I begin reading/studying various commentaries, journals, and reference works.
Third, I need somewhere to take notes. The Logos document (I previously created) is for my “highlights” of important points that might be helpful to look back to when preparing my sermon. The Evernote document is for very important notes/quotes that will most likely wind up in the sermon. For further discussion on how I take notes in Logos, click here. I would also recommend that you learn to use the “four or five finger horizontal swipe” to switch back and forth between Logos and whatever note taking program you may choose.
Fourth, at this point most of my studying is done. I use Evernote on my iPhone and iPad to collect thoughts, outlines, and ideas as they come to me.
WRITING, PREPARING, & PREACHING MY SERMON ON MY IPAD
When It comes to actually writing my sermon, I still use my laptop exclusively for several reasons: 1) I can type relatively fast on my iPad, but on my laptop I can type nearly as fast as I am thinking, 2) I tend to quote scripture frequently in the sermon and the process of clipping and pasting from Logos on my laptop is much quicker, 3) I like to have the scripture/notes/Evernote opened side by side with my word processor, & 4) I have yet to find a way to format it like I like directly on the iPad.
So, how do I get my sermon from my laptop to my iPad and what do I do with it once I get it there?
PREPARING IT FOR THE IPAD
First, depending on whether it is a sermon or more of Bible Study/lecture, I have developed two Word templates. One is in landscape orientation with two columns (for my sermons), and one is in portrait orientation (for Bible Studies, etc.). These templates allow the full screen of the iPad to be used with no margins after they have been converted to PDFs. You are welcome to download these templates using the above links.
Second, I type my sermon to completion. Attempting to get it as close to the final version as possible. I use a very detailed outline format, but you should obviously use what works best for you.
Third, I convert the document to a PDF using the Adobe Acrobat plugin. You can save it directly as a PDF in Word, but I have found that some of my fonts get fuzzy. I save my PDFs to a folder in iCloud that I have all ready set up to sync with GoodReader.
I open GoodReader on my iPad, click sync, and there is my sermon. Here let me say a word about GoodReader and the reason I am using it. I don’t really have a great loyalty to the program. I have tried many of the other PDF readers but continue to use GoodReader for a couple of reasons: 1) it allows me to easily keep a folder from iCloud in sync, 2) it allows me to markup my sermon PDF (including highlighting, typing, crossing through text, and handwriting notes) as I like to and then sync my changes/updates, 3) Goodreader has a setting that will keep it from going to sleep when a document is open, 4) Goodreader has a rotation lock within the program, so you don’t have lock rotation on all iPad functionality, & 5) maybe most importantly (unlike most of the PDF apps) it allows me to view the PDF in full screen (including without the status bar that contains internet connection, time, etc.). Having said that I do long for a “prettier” solution.
After opening the sermon in Goodreader, I mark it up with highlighting, handwritten notes, etc. as I do my final preaching preparation.
PREACHING FROM THE IPAD
Now I am finally ready to preach the sermon. I preach directly from Goodreader swiping, to turn the page, as I preach. I would, though, make 4 final recommendations.
1) Get a good iPad stand. I have found that most cases with built in stands are not sturdy enough and the last thing you want to do is be fiddling with your iPad because it is falling over, etc. I would recommend the Compass Stand by Twelve South as a sturdy and easily portable stand. If portability is not an issue, I would highly recommend the @Rest Stand by Heckler Design.
2) I use my iPhone while I am preaching as a speaking timer. I have it count down from 30 minutes. When it gets to zero, it begins to count back up again. I have found it incredibly helpful in timing my sermons and keeping myself on pace. There are several out there, but I use one called Presentation Clock.
3) Make sure your iPad and iPhone are in Airplane mode.
4) Lastly, though I have not had to use it, if you are preaching, have a paper copy available to you in the pulpit in case the worst happens. In my case, when I am one hundred percent done with my preparation, I print out a color copy of my sermon. This is so easy to do and could save you from a huge catastrophe.
If you have any helpful thoughts, please leave them in the comments. I hope to keep this post updated as I make changes to my system.