It’s been more than a year since I’ve seen a minister preach from paper. Virtually everyone is preaching from an iPad, Android tablet, or Microsoft Surface. Personally, I’ve been preaching from an iPad for 7 years and have learned some lessons I’d like to share with you.
Always have a backup.
Technology is great but it isn’t 100% reliable. Always have a backup plan. For me, that means placing my sermon in an application like Evernote that I can access on my tablet, phone, or laptop. There are other applications that have this functionality such as the new Microsoft Office with OneDrive, Google Docs, DocsToGo, and Pages for iOS. Because of this precaution, if my tablet fails I can still preach from another device.
Before you preach, make sure your sermon is accessible offline. I say this because any number of things can happen to disconnect your tablet from online services. You may be preaching at a location that doesn’t have WiFi, or has poor cellular service. In those cases you wouldn’t be able to download your message. Save your sermon file to your tablet ahead of time.
Stay sufficiently charged.
The last thing you want is your tablet dying in the middle of a sermon. Be mindful to charge your device and always keep a wall charger and car charger with you. Also, close any background apps that you’re not using because they can drain your battery.
Set your display timer to “never”.
Most tablets are automatically set up to time out and darken the screen to save battery life. However, while you’re preaching is not a good time for your screen to go dark. Go into the settings on your tablet and find the display settings. Change your time out or sleep setting to “never”. If your tablet doesn’t have a “never” setting, select the longest time available.
Adjust your font size.
If you’re having trouble seeing your sermon text, go ahead and increase your font size within the app you’re using. My sermons are usually set at 22 point font. That way, I can see where I am in the sermon at a glance or even if I step away from the tablet.
Use an adjustable case.
Every podium is different. Some are taller, shorter, wider, or have unique surface angles. There are also times when you may preach using a high table or small stand. Put your tablet in a case that is adjustable. By adjustable, I mean a case that allows you to stand your tablet in more than one position. That way, you can find the position that enables you to see your sermon easily.
Take advantage of formatting.
Formatting elements can be a big help for staying on track with your sermon. Use the formatting options in the app on your tablet to make your sermon easier to follow. For example, in my sermons, the headings for introduction, conclusion, and the sermon points are all bold text. Elements such as font sizes, underlining, Italic text, numbering and bullet points can be employed on your tablet to help you better communicate your messages.
Finally, take some time to practice preaching with a tablet. Each tablet and app has various levels of sensitivity that you will need to master. For example, depending on how you touch your screen, you could scroll, highlight text, delete, or make the keyboard pop up unexpectedly. Also, practicing can help you learn to manage the screen in a more normal fashion that doesn’t draw attention to the tablet.
I hope this has been helpful for you. If you have questions or comments feel free to write them in the comments section. I will respond.