This week I am looking at the use of technology in sermon preparation. Yesterday I shared three online research tools that I find helpful, but there’s more to “connected” technology than accessing articles and notes. Here are a few more possibilities to consider:
Social Media – I see some real advantages and disadvantages to the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (if you are on any of these, please click the link and let’s connect there). Sometimes asking a question on one of these sites can get a helpful response from folks in your network, which may be useful in sermon preparation. I certainly don’t use this as much as some do. I have seen the Facebook page associated with this site used a bit along these lines, and the LinkedIn group for Biblical Preachers is certainly growing as a helpful venue for pre-sermon discussion. But if I’m honest, I see the main pro and con on a fairly simplistic level: good connections tend to post helpful links to resources that may be useful, but the noise generated by all social media can very easily become a significant distraction and time waster.
Quick Book Access – I don’t have a kindle or equivalent e-reader, but I do see one big advantage (apart from the benefits in travel) . . . instant access to a book. Generally, of course, it is better to be planning ahead and have what you need. But I’m sure I’m not alone in getting into situations where I suddenly realise a specific book would be really helpful and the clock is ticking. A couple of times I have bought a book for access on a free Kindle app, just so that I can have instant access. Luxury? Absolutely. But at the same time it is good to give our very best in sermon prep.
Note Taking – Smart phones can be just another source of noise and distraction, but they can be helpful too. I’ve taken audio notes while out and about. And I know some preachers delight in the free app Evernote, for example. I think this does have good potential in terms of logging observations and illustration ideas, as well as capturing research information.
Telephone – Don’t miss the obvious! Sometimes there’s nothing like getting on the phone to someone you trust and talking through your prep with them. What can be achieved in twenty minutes in conversation with someone on your wavelength can sometimes break open a log jam in your thinking and save hours of low productivity preparation.
What other connectional technology do you find useful?