Friday, February 21, 2014

My Top 10 Free iPhone Apps For the Pastor - Updated

I am not necessarily an Apple guy.  I am typing this on my Windows PC and have always been more of a Microsoft fan, but I don't think there is any question that the Apple iPhone is an incredible invention and an amazing tool for pastors.  The concept of apps is great and as a pastor my iPhone has become an invaluable tool.  With this one phone, I can get twice as much done anywhere I am from the moment I get up to the minute I lay down.

Below is a list of my 10 must have free apps I use in ministry.  Aware that most pastors, like myself, are not wealthy, I am listening the following to apps that are available for free.Nonetheless, I hope this list is helpful especially for ministers of the gospel.  I hope it helps gain some insight into how we can utilize technology to further the Kingdom and to fulfill our calling.  Technology is not necessary in proclaiming the gospel, but they are tools that allow us to do more in less time.  As a pastor, I can't imagine doing as much as I do without some of these tools.

1.  ESV Bible, , Bible Gateway, You Bible

Every minister needs a Bible.  Although it remains best for ministers to carry a physical Bible with them to hospitals and such, it seems obvious that downloading a helpful Bible app is a must.  There are a number of good Bible apps available in the app store, but these three are the best. The ESV Bible app is easy to use and available offline. If you use the ESV a lot, this might be your best bet. However, the Bible Gateway app and the YouVersion Bible allow you to search myriads of translations.

2.  Dropbox

I have come to rely heavily on this simple app. With it I can connect various documents between our laptops, tablets, and phones. If I need to open something on another computer or on my phone/tablet, I no longer have to email myself.  Dropbox allows you to save pictures, .pdf documents, and word documents into folders that you can carry with you.  So if I need to go over my sermon, I can save it on my Dropbox and read it anywhere I want to.  This has been one of the most practical apps I use regularly. Furthermore, an increasing number of apps use Dropbox. That is to say that if you have a Dropbox account, other apps are easier to use.

3. Evernote

This is the best note taking app I've come across. There is a paid version that has a lot of nice features, but if you just want to take notes, etc. this is a great app. It is great for class, taking notes in meetings, or sermon prep. I know a number of pastors who use this app to prepare and deliver sermons.

4. Voice Record 

The best mp3 recording app I have come across is this one. Though you record in mp4, you can easily convert your recordings to mp3. I use this app to record my sermons and the quality is great and one does not need the internet to record. You can also upload each recording onto Dropbox.

5.  Twitter and Facebook

Social media is a must anymore.  I am on both Twitter and Facebook.  Both of these apps should be among the first you download.

6.  Kindle and Google Books, iBooks

I read a lot as do most pastors and one of the greatest inventions lately is the e-reader.  What makes these apps so great is that they are free on the iPhone and many books can be accessed, downloaded, and read for free.  In addition to these three I would recommend CBDReader, and Nook among others.  Each have their own advantage and I would encourage you to try each of them and figure out which one you prefer.  I enjoy Kindle the most because I think it reads the best, is from Amazon which I use a lot, and there are a lot of free books available. I like Google Books because it makes a lot of hard to find books available for free. I have found old theology books absolutely free.  The problem with Google Books is that it is slow, oftentimes frustrating and their digital copies aren't the same as what Kindle and Nook offer.

7. Sermons (Biblical Training, Covenant Theological Seminary, Grace To You, Desiring God, Ligonier, Mars Hill, Reformed Theological Seminary)

Part of my sermon prep includes listening to how other ministers I greatly respect treated the text. The iPhone provides me with a number of great resources from specific pastors, ministries, and seminaries. I can listen to lectures and sermons quickly and easily.

8.  Amazon and Ebay

Though I do and am growing to love digital books, nothing beats physical copy of a book. These two online stores are great for finding cheap books. I use Amazon the most, but if I can't find something cheap enough I'll give Ebay a try. I have ordered books for myself and the church as well as download Kindle books right from my phone.

9.  White and Yellow Pages

Do you need to call someone, find an address, locate a business, and get a map to them or it?  You can do it all with this app.  I have a lot of numbers saved in my phone, but not every number I will ever need.  This app combines both the White Pages and the Yellow Pages and you can easily switched between searching for individuals and for businesses.  You can save the number into your phone once you find what your looking for, get addresses instantly, and find where something is on a map.  An invaluable tool. 

10. Miscellaneus

Here are a few more I would recommend but won't say much about them:

Originally published August 22, 2011.

For more:
Must-Have Free iPad Apps For Pastors
Hump Day Humor: iPhone 5
Hump Day Humor: Did you hear a Click?
iFaith: The Hidden, Spiritual Side of Steve Jobs  
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