Technology aside from Children’s Ministry has always been one of my greatest interests. As the years progressed I have found myself being an advocate for proper use of the technology readily available in Children’s Ministries and have been developing a passion to see it be an effective tool for ministry that is understood as well. I have been a heavy Android user for a few years now and have it in both my smartphone and tablet. I also use iOS on my iPod Touch which I typically only use when helping a friend with an iOS issue. The following are some of my top uses for my tablet in ministry. These uses are not limited to Android either and can be done in iOS, Windows 8 RT/Phone, Blackberry and Open WebOS. Keep reading to see what they are and what I do with them!
- Reading the Bible
- Note Taking
- Reading Lessons From
- Bible Study
I have found that using the calendar apps built into Android and iOS have made my management of time extremely easy. Using the native calendar app in all of the major mobile operating systems you have the ability to sync it with an email account. Mine is synced with my Gmail by Google. When I make a change to my calendar either on my computer, tablet, or phone, the changes are instantly made to the other devices keeping me up to date constantly.
I don’t know what I would do without email access on my phone. Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, and many other email providers offer email services that now support push notifications. Push notifications simply mean that when you get an email, the email provider “pushes” the notification with the email instantly to your phone so you don’t have to re-sync/scan for email every 10 minutes. This can save or harm your battery life though depending on the coverage you have. If you have full bars it is great as your email is constantly connected, however if your phone is low on signal then you may want to turn off syncing for a little while to not kill your battery. However, when getting my emails directly to my phone I can know when somebody is trying to get in contact with me and I can reply there and then without having to pull open a computer. This is great for when you are somewhere that your laptop may not be able to connect to the internet. Quick response times are important to me and most-likely the parents and volunteers at your church will appreciate your promptness as well. If your email is not synced with your smartphone/tablet yet I strongly encourage you to do so!
Reading the Bible
I love reading the Bible! I also love being able to have the Bible on my phone! Right now the top Bible reading app for smartphones/tablets is Bible by LifeChurch.tv. And honestly, it’s a great app! It’s super simple to use and allows users to quickly access the Bible in many of the English translations available (some of which you can download for offline use when you don’t have internet access), as well as the ability to share scripture via Twitter and Facebook. If you happen to have a Logos Bible Software account I would recommend the Bible! App from them. This app gives you the ability to access all of the Bible’s you have in your collection which include many translations that you cannot find in LifeChurch.tv’s due to licensing.
One app that has transformed my productivity in ministry is Google Drive. Google Drive is great because I can create and edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel Documents online for free and share them with other leaders and volunteers. I can grant editing rights to some users while only viewing rights to others. This is great for collaboration in planning for an event or even just for this upcoming Sunday! This way you know everybody is viewing the same documents and receiving the same information.
Teaching the Lesson
I am a strong believer in memorizing the lesson you will be telling on Sunday mornings. They typically aren’t longer than 10 minutes so I don’t see a reason to have the lesson in your hand so it can be read word for word. However, I am a huge fan of notes! For my notes I also use Google Drive. I type up my notes either on my computer, tablet or phone so later I can find them on my tablet when I am ready to share the story. I make the font nice and big with just a few bullet points (typically 3 or 4) with only a few words that keep me on track. I find that this helps me focus.
The other way I use my tablet and phone for the lesson on Sunday is as my Bible. While many people still prefer the paper Bible I specifically choose to use my electronic Bible. I do this for two reasons: the first is that it is so much easier to read off of my tablet than small print Bibles, the second is to exemplify to children and volunteers that they can use their technology to honor God! Android and iOS both make it simple to switch from one app to the next, so when switching from my notes to the Bible when in Android I only have to hit the menu button then the Bible window. In iOS I would only have to hold down the home key and select the Bible app or swipe with four fingers left or right.
Lastly, I love to dig deep into the Bible and understand as much as I possibly can about what God has to say! And to do this is use the Bible app from Logos Bible Software. If you have an account with Logos and use it on your PC or Mac then you will love this app! If you do not use Logos Bible Software I highly recommend it and you can check it out here. Logos’ Bible app allows users to read the Bible in many translations, but then allows you to have a commentary directly underneath the Bible. This is great when you are a deep thinker during devotions or are preparing for a lesson and want deeper insight. In addition to the commentaries you can perform word studies, view maps, and so much more with these apps. Logos makes learning about the Bible so much more fun an exciting!