Preaching from an iPad
I noticed last week that David Meredith preached from an iPad. I asked him for a few tips to which I'll add one or two of my own. These are, of course, not hard and fast rules. But it's useful to hear what others have found helpful. David pointed out that the glare from the screen and the lack of uplighting in his church made his face shine…. not sure that is exactly the kind of image we preachers want to present! But it made us smile.
And if you're not a techy. Sorry. I just see an increasing number of guys with tablets; I use one myself. Therefore, some wisdom on how to use them in preaching seems apposite.
- tablets lend themselves to situations where you have a lectern or a pulpit. Frankly, if you are a note holder and wanderer, they are too heavy, too slippery, too likely to fall.
- save your notes as a pdf and read them in something like dropbox. An iPad (not sure about other tablets) does not preserve Word formatting, so if you rely on notes looking a certain way, then you need a pdf
- However, this makes the file uneditable. Personally, I am still scrawling over my notes with a few minutes to go as I think of last minute things to say (or not). I use an app called goodnotes (iPad only) which allows you to annotate pdf files with a finger or pen – so I scrawl, highlight, cross out. Wonderfully, these last minute changes are then saved as part of the pdf (whilst a computer Word document rarely contains the final version of a sermon).
- Check you're charged. Duh! A tablet has plenty of charge to last a sermon. As long as it is charged, that is!
- Shut down other apps. You don't want pop ups distracting you during the sermon
- Seriously, if uplighting is a problem, you can turn down screen intensity. Worth knowing how to do this.
- Use a case that carries the weight of the iPad. I have an Apple smart cover whose back stops the iPad slipping when it's on a slope, except very steeply raked lecterns.
- Don't use your tablet for your notes and your Bible. It's difficult to keep switching between the two and, for my money, I think it's good for people to see you with a Bible in hand. There's nothing sanctified about a paper copy, I don't think, but your weaker brothers (i.e. the congregation) may not think so.
In broad terms, don't make a big thing of using a tablet. Be discreet. Don't show off. It should be serving you and the congregation, not the other way around. At the end of the day, it's just a techy way to display notes. Don't think it's more.