Essential Apps for Those in Ministry

Like many here, I am a pastor and a geek and my Apple gear is a key player in helping me get my work done every day. I know there are many other people who work in churches, either staff or volunteer, and wanted to know your essential tools.

I’ll share mine, and would love to know yours

Scrivener is preferred tool for creating courses. I love that everything is self contained, and that I can keep research with my writing

Keynote for slides, unless I am wanting to create them into videos for courses, in that case I use Final Cut Pro

Day One for Pomodoro tracking and daily and weekly goals and reflection

OmniOutliner for sermon outlines or notes

SongSheet Pro is the best chord chart application for worship leading on the iPad

I am in the process of putting everything on my WordPress website, so I use a bunch of tools and plugins there, too

My SkillCandy headphones combined with my focus@will lifetime subscription give me awesome concentration music

Launchbar to switch between apps and work with files

What about you?

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CCLI SongSelect for getting legal copies of chord charts and lyrics for importing into ProPresenter for projection on screen. We waited way too long trying to do this with powerpoint when we should have just gone all in with this combo.

Planning Centre to schedule all your teams for each service, down to the finest details.

Piezo to record sermons using USB audio from your sound desk. Fission to trim up the start and finish, Audacity if you need to do some processing.

Mackie DL series audio mixers controlled via iPad are amazing and can connect to a Mac for recording via USB. Mackie speakers are great too. Also you can’t go wrong with Shure mics, wired or wireless. We use QLXD series which you can monitor and manage remotely from the same iPad that you’re mixing sound from.

Squarespace for hosting a sermons podcast.

The most important ministry tools I have on my devices is my Logos.com library and my Accordance library. Those platforms are where I manage my sermon prep, reading and studying and slide creation.

Since most of my office work in the church is turning emails into tasks (and planning follow up) I’m all in with Outlook. I run windows on my desktop because there simply isn’t anything close to that in Mac OS for quickly turning emails into tasks. Mac Office does much better lately, but there are still pieces missing.

We use Office365 at our office and I’m finding that Teams is increasingly becoming a way for us to manage time, group tasks and share information. I’d really like to start using Planner (as a Trello work-alike) more commonly, but the rest of the team hasn’t bought into that yet.

I’m an Episcopal clergy person so I use eCP (The electronic Book of Common Prayer) in the App Store for iOS. Best part about that is that I can easily email Sunday readings to the lectors in advance of the service. I use an app by Forward Day by Day to help me keep my personal reading of the Daily Office on track.

I’m a youth pastor and here’s my list

DayOne-Prayer list, reflection, gratitude
Books-I’m trying to get more and more of my study tools as digital books. Some I have I also have as a pdf and store them there.

Noteability-Sermon prep. I still like hand writing my notes and ideas. I also do mechanical outlines of passages so being able to hand write them is nice.

Blue Letter Bible (iPad app)-for studying and checking words in the concordance.

Affinity Designer-desging logos for sermon series

Keynote-slides for lessons/sermons

Pages for handouts

These are some great responses! Thanks for jumping in.

@Mpacker Planning Center is a fair and glorious gift of God. Has made service management so much more streamlined! Love it! Forgot to included it because I don’t use it directly myself much, but I did introduce it

@wnknisely I can’t believe I forgot Accordance! It’s probably the most important one. That’s what I get for posting late at night. Absolutely indispensable. We also use Trello to keep track on personal connections.

@Centris650 Great list! I can’t imagine handwriting my notes, but so glad there are so many different, and awesome tools!

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I used to use accordance. Great software.

I only hand write my mechanical outlines of scripture and brainstorm series. Writing just helps me focus.

I’ve never used scrivener or bear just to write. I usually just do that in pages. Is there a benifit to doing sermons in scrivener?

The situation I forgot to mention was my use of my iPad to attend board and committee meetings. (I go to a lot of those.)

I use my iPad pro along with OneDrive or PDF Pen Pro to keep copies of all the meeting documents in front of me and use the pen and/or keyboard to make notations. Not the sort of thing I imagined I’d be doing as a seminarian, but it’s turned out to be a major part of my ministry in the community.

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I’d add Logos Bible software, but it seems like you might be in the Accordance system.

Here’s my list, some will cross over others I haven’t seen yet

  • Planning Center
  • Keynote
  • Notability for sermon prep (switch to Goodnotes 5 soon)
  • Day One
  • Drafts for quick interactions and prebuilt group text message
  • Mindnode to OmniOutliner
  • LoopCommunity.com’s app Prime for running multi tracks
  • OnSong for running my chord charts.
  • Evernote for notes

Just came across this topic when doing a search…I know it’s 2 years old…but why not.

I am a priest in the Coptic Orthodox Church and here are my apps that help me for service.

  • Good Notes 5 - Sometimes, it’s nice to write during a meeting instead of just typing. Also useful for brainstorming the sermon outline.

  • MindNode - Mind mapping a sermon and seeing all the connecting dots. An elder priest once told me, the simplest bible verse with prayer and meditation can lead into an endless plethora of topics for years.

  • DevonThink Pro - this is my research, archive, storage for all ministry items (with a backup copy of my NAS of folder/file hierarchy

  • Logos - all my bible, commentaries, patristics, etc that I will refer back to and utilize. My pet peeve is that this app crawls on my computer and the mobile interfaces aren’t amazing.

  • Omnifocus - I divided out my ministry responsibilities into projects/tasks to keep me focused

  • WhatsApp - I organize the the service with teams, we all stay in communication with WhatsApp

  • Drafts - quick notes, reminders, things that will get filed into one of the above apps, or a simple prayer list

  • Moleskin Notebook - As much as I am techie/geek, I still like the smell of paper and ink. I keep 2 small notebooks, one pocket size, and one full size. The larger one is for ideas, thoughts, random things at my desk. The pocket size is my prayer list.

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