Preaching With An iPad — There’s An App For That


In a recent post, 5 Thoughts: Preaching with an iPad, I lamented the difficulty of simultaneously using the iPad as a Bible and a notebook. Switching between a Bible app and an app with my notes is much too distracting– not only for me but also for the audience who can probably see me fiddling with the iPad.

As mentioned in the article, preaching is about Christ not the tools we are using. The objective of preaching is not to impress or “wow” a crowd with the tools or the technology being used, the object is to proclaim the Word of God and to proclaim the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Since writing that post, someone was kind enough to tell me about a Bible app that allows you to simultaneously view the scripture text and your notes on a split screen. The app is Bible Reader 5 from Olive Tree Bible Software.

The app is fairly simple to set up and use, both for preaching and study. While viewing your notes the app automatically recognizes scripture references– by taping on the reference the app displays the verse(s) in a popup window. Another tap to the screen will remove the popup window. This, of course, is a very handy feature allowing you to quickly jump to the exact verse(s) you need with the fewest possible interactions. Another key feature is the ability to sync your notes and other content across all of your devices through the cloud. The Olive Tree Bible Reader is available on most major platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

The following video (produced by Olive Tree) explains how how the split screen feature works on their iPad app.




August 8, 2012 update- See Digital Sojourner’s new blog post on this topic: Preaching With An iPad – There’s A NEW App For That



  1. Or the ultimate solution: TWO iPads, in a leather case that emulates a book, one on either side. =)

  2. Two iPads?! Sounds nice, but I’m going to have a hard time justifying that!

  3. Hello Scott. You mentioned fiddling between a Bible app and notes app. Assuming you’re up-to-date on your iOS software, you can swipe right or left with four fingers to quickly move through apps. My recent approach has been to go through all the prep steps you described in your previous article, and then make sure only my iBooks/PDF reader and Bible apps are open. I open the Bible app, back out to the home page, and then open the notes app. This way they’re ordered to where the Bible app one simple four-finger swipe to the right. Makes the transition cake. Of course, if you want both up at the same time, this doesn’t help much. 🙂

    • Wow.. thanks for the helpful tip. I was unaware of the ability to swipe through active apps as you describe. Very, very slick.

      Thanks again!

  4. Hi Scott, The Apple app Keynote for iPad is available from the App Store. If it works on the iPad as it does on the MacBook Pro, there is a means do show the notes for preaching at the bottom of the screen while the graphic is displayed on the connected screen. I have not purchased Keynote for the iPad, but am assuming that it works as it does on the MB Pro.