I must confess, I have always been a technophile. From the old Atari my brother and I played as children, to the ubiquitous tablets and smartphones, I’ve always got my eye on the last trends and topics in gadgetry and software.
While these gizmos can easily become black holes of time, motivation, and creativity (it is disturbing to learn how many hours one spends on social media or games), they can also be convenient tools of productivity and enlightenment.
For example, just today I was having a conversation with someone about the nefarious “chigger” that likes to eat at the legs of residents of South Dakota, and a quick Google Search brought me instantly more information than I could have ever wanted (note – you really don’t want to read this at the dinner table).
I thought that I’d let you know of some of the most helpful apps that are currently on your Pastor’s smart phone. I am an iPhone/iPad user, so all of these are currently available in the Apple app store on your phone or tablet. I don’t know about their availability on Android devices – sorry.
Logos – I use the Logos Bible Study Software for my Sermon prep, daily bible reading, prayer journaling, just about everything that’s Bible study related. I have this on my laptop (a paid version), and everything I do there is instantly updated on my tablet and phone. The app provides customizable Bible reading plans, easy to use word studies, and even a version of the audio Bible, so that you can listen to the Bible while on the road or working around the house.
Vyrso/Kindle/iBooks – While I still love holding a real paper book in my hand, I cannot dismiss the convenience and volume of resources available on an e-reader. The Vyrso reader is connected to the Logos library, and anything I highlight, underline, or any resource connected to scripture, is instantly searchable and available to copy and paste (with the citation of the quote provided, too). Kindle and iBooks are great readers as well, and offer tremendous deals from time to time on great literature and scholarly works.
Fighter Verses – This is created by Desiring God ministries, and is a great tool for helping you memorize scripture. It has quizzes, games, songs, just about anything to help you hide God’s word in your heart. The app automatically brings up a new verse each week, and offers commentary, studies, and other resources to help you grow in understanding the Scriptures.
Catechisms – This is another memory tool, but specifically for learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It also offers memorization tools for the Larger Catechism, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Geneva Catechism. You can set this at your own tempo, either learning a question a day, or moving on only when you’re ready.
RefNet – This is basically Ligonier Ministry radio online. RefNet (Reformation Network) is 24-hour Christian internet radio featuring biblical preaching and teaching. Listen in for free and be enriched by the ministries of Alistair Begg, John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, and many more.
There are, of course, a lot of other apps on the phone, but these are ones that I have found particularly helpful in ministry, and just in my own Christian walk. Other notables, but not specifically ministry related are: Spotify (streaming music), Evernote (a note taking app that is great for sermon prep), and AccuWeather (for reliable updates on weather in the area). I’m sorry I haven’t included links to all of the apps, but as I mentioned they are all available in the App Store on your phone, or tablet.