Should Pastors Preach From an iPad?

Every year, churches wrestle with this question: “what is the right use of technology in the church?” Too much and you’ve gone overboard. Too little and you are left in the dust. A large number of pastors are now preaching from iPads and other tablets. Is this good or bad?

source: davidsantistevan.com

In Nehemiah 8:5 we read:

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.

There are a few things to note about this event.

First, Ezra used the Word of God as a visual for the people. It’s easy for us to just read the verses off the screen nowadays, but it says something when you open the physical book.

Second, Ezra was standing in a place of prominence, so everyone could see the book. The Bible should have prominence in our church services. Does this mean a pulpit? A table? You decide. The point is, it should be clear where your authority comes from (hint: it isn’t you).

Third, the people had a reverence for the book. When we honor God’s Word, people respond to that. Crafting a sense of reverence around the Word is not a charlatan’s affair, it is giving people an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of the Bible. Give your people the opportunity every Sunday to reverence God’s Word.

Using the physical Bible as a visual does two things:

1 – It creates an awareness of authority. People begin to understand that it is not you speaking to them, but God through you.

2- It creates corporate respect. Want your church to respect the Bible? Use it in front of them in a prominent way.

So should you preach from an iPad? I do. I have my notes on it, and reference them throughout the sermon. But I don’t use it as a substitute for my Bible. I still preach from a physical Bible. Holding up the physical Word of God still says something in our digital culture. Don’t take that experience from your people.

What do you think? If you are a pastor, do you preach from a physical Bible or use a tablet?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “Should Pastors Preach From an iPad?

  1. Something else to consider regarding using the iPad (or any other tablet) in the pulpit: The technology allows for larger words on the screen, and for those of us with aging eyes this is truly liberating. Often the pulpit face itself isn’t lit very well, and reading from the printed Word had become a real struggle for me, even with large print. The iPad changed that.

  2. I love what you said about making the Bible a big deal, making it prominent, showing it’s where truth and authority originates. Should you speak from iPad? I think IF it actually makes you a better speaker than yes. IF it helps you comunicate the message God has given you then yes. If not then no it’s just a distraction. In youth group I use my iPad and I put the word of God on a screen so I can point to the words. I can point to a word from the text and say “This word Jesus said demands a response. It demands a life change. ” They can then see scripture the way I see it and learn how to let scripture speak to them just like it does to the “pastor”. Sometimes I mirror my bible app so they can see that they have the same Bible right in their pocket and God can speak to them as easily as twitter or facebook if they will just choose to engage with him. I want my students to hear loud and clear the medium they use doesn’t matter. They have no excuse. They must engage with Gods word. Great post. Lots of thought provoking stuff.

  3. For me…I think it best to use the Bible rather than an iPad. I want the people I share the Word with to know exactly where I got my message from and who’s Word it really is.

  4. IPAD?! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

    It’s Android Samsung tablets or nothin’!! 😉

    I use both. The iPad mini controls the ProPresenter software that the congregation sees as y’all are saying. I use the Galaxy 10.1 for my own notes and a great big ol’ leather bound Bible in my hand. It’s the best of both the digital and analog worlds. However, I don’t let the digital stuff become a distraction for either me or the congregation. The focus is on “thus sayeth the Lord”, not fancy cutesy graphics.

  5. Great article, i always use my phone, i have it all there, when i preach i use the presentation to post the verses, so is easier for the people watching, and God and I for sure know i have always asked to my self if this was right, now this verses in Nehemiah tells me how what we see is important, is our testimony, is telling people is not us, as a christian i always searched a base biblical reason to do everything, and this article helped me, thanks Marc, God bless you…