Okay, before I begin I need to make an important disclaimer. In this post we’ll be talking a bit about technology. I am not an expert. I repeat, I am not an expert. In fact, with most of this stuff I know just enough to get myself confused.
But let me say this. As a pastor, you need tools to help you accomplish what you’ve been called to do. Being a pastor is a tough job and it can be even tougher if you don’t take advantage of the tools available to you. These days, we are fortunate that technology makes many things possible that simply weren’t years ago. So, here are five must-have tools for the pastor.
1. Logos. Maybe you’ve heard of Logos Bible Software. If not, I highly encourage you to do your research on this software. I have the latest Mac version and I am seriously considering an upgrade when my birthday rolls around (hint, hint). Yes, this software can be pricey, but think of its value. Thousands of books, Bibles, commentaries, references, lexicons, and other resources available at the click of a button. Powerful!
2. Evernote. Have you heard of Evernote? I learned about Evernote about a year ago and it has been incredible. If you’re interested, you can check out a quick introductory video here. Think of Evernote as a huge digital filing cabinet containing tons of information that can be accessed with a simple keyword search. I file and categorize articles that I want to use in staff meetings, illustrations to be used in sermons, ideas for new messages, to-do lists, blog post ideas…and the list goes on and on. If you haven’t tried it, you should check it out. It’s free!
3. iTunes. I know, I know. Everybody has iTunes right? Maybe so. But I’m telling you one of the greatest tools I use as a pastor is iTunes. Not because I listen to music while I prepare sermons (I have no idea how you guys can do that). But really because I download and listen to multiple podcasts. Leaders are learners. And one of the greatest ways to learn is to listen to others who have already been where you’re going. Try it. You might just be amazed.
4. Amazon. I know that this may sound simple. But believe me, I didn’t include this one just so I could write a bit more in this post and look smart. Not at all! I use Amazon for all sorts of stuff. One of the reasons I use Amazon so much is because I’m a book junkie. As a pastor, I read in order to learn and grow. Amazon usually offers incredible deals on books. Beyond that, they offer peer reviews that help you decide whether or not to buy the book in the first place. No offense to bookstore owners or LifeWay, but you guys lost me a long time ago. Amazon is the way to go.
5. Twitter. Social media is here to stay. I’m sure there will be shifts, changes, and transformations in the market for years to come. But mark it down, social media is not going away. For many reasons I am not a Facebook guy. I had an account but deleted it a couple of years ago. For me, twitter seems to be the way to go. It’s short, simple, and powerful. And by the way, does anyone use Google+ anymore? Didn’t think so.
There you go. Five must-have tools for the pastor. Not an exhaustive list at all. And believe me, no one paid me to mention any of these. I’m a pastor, not a contractor or promoter. Just trying to help my pastor friends take advantage of the tools available. We need as much help as we can get!