Mobile Apps & Ministry

(This is part of my Technology and Ministry series.)

Probably the two apps I use often and get lots of questions about are my Bible apps.

Olive Tree’s Bible Reader is by far the easiest to use and feature rich Bible reading and study app. I have found for my iPod Touch.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/biblereader-for-bible-study/id332615624?mt=8

With quick navigation setup, tools like highlighting, bookmarks and notes, and plenty of different versions available for purchase, this is by far my favorite Bible app. The only down side for me was the cumbersome process of syncing notes I would take on my iPod with my computer, having to go through Evernote first and then pasting those notes into my computer Bible program.

That is why now I am moving to the more basic and less feature rich Accordance app by Oak Tree Software.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/accordance/id411970514?mt=8

I use Accordance as my main powerhouse Bible software on my MacBook Pro. I have built up quite a library over the years as you can easily purchase and add on different Bibles and reference tools available for purchase individually or in sets.

The greatest strength of the Accordance app for my iPod is that I can now take all those tools with me on my handheld device! And, along with that, any notes I take will soon be a simple process of syncing directly to my desktop software. Accordance does not have many features yet because it has only recently been released. However, it’s connection with my desktop app has moved it to the top of my list.

On a side note, I now have several students in both our preteen (5th-6th grade) and middle school (7th-8th grade) ministries that are bringing in their iPod Touches and actually using these or similar Bible apps during both our large group services and programs and our small groups.

For parents who read this, I need to stress this point: If your son/daughter is using a Bible app, please make sure they have a translation of the Bible downloaded or purchased that works well for them.  Many apps come with KJV for free.  But most kids can’t read and understand this 400+ year old translation.  Here are my top Bible recommendations, in the order of how frequently I use each: New Living Translation, the Message, New English Translation, New International Version 2011, New International Version 1984.  (The New Living Translation is accurate, easy to read, and the translation we have hard copies of that we use with students in the Student Ministries Center at Mount Pleasant Christian Church.  The Message is a dynamic translation good to use alongside another Bible or great to breathe fresh life into passages that have become so familiar they may have lost their impact.  The NET is a great translation with some very good collaboration and study that has gone into it.  Many preachers will still use the NIV84 version.  I find the translation in the 2011 is better and in many ways more accurate, but still not as good or readable as the New Living Translation.)

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