My iPhone has made me a better pastor. Yea, verily.
Besides the fact that I love it (it’s so pretty), it has made a difference in my life and ministry in multiple ways. Let me count the ways:
1.It syncs my calendar with my desktop and MacBook, via the mobileme network. I add an appointment to one of my calendars, and the others soon sync up. I also tell the calendar to alert me on the phone, sometimes more than once. It has saved me from dropping the ball on multiple occasions.
2.It gets me to the church on time. On the opening Sunday in our new facility, The Loft, I was still out in the atrium chatting when I was supposed to be onstage welcoming people. The next Sunday, I set an alarm notification in my iPhone for five minutes before the start of the celebration, so I don’t make that mistake again.
3.It gets me out of church on time. We don’t have a clock in our auditorium and I don’t wear a watch, so I will sometimes use the free “Nighttime” application, which makes the iPhone function like a digital alarm clock, with bright red letters. It helps me gauge the time I have left in each worship celebration.
4.It gives me a Bible to take everywhere I go. I downloaded a free Bible application (http://www.youversion.com) that allows me to read from and search numerous versions.
5.I read books with it. Numerous applications (Amazon Kindle, Stanza, and Classics) allow me to download and read all kinds of books. Like In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson.
6.I pray with it. By downloading The Divine Hours Pocket Version to the Amazon Kindle application, I keep the divine office with me at all times (on a recent retreat, I used it instead of packing the hardcover version I use at home). I also subscribe to a daily prayer podcast that feeds my soul, and use a couple playlists in iPod for worship and meditation.
7.It takes great pictures. I often use my iPhone to take pictures at church or in membership classes, a huge convenience.
8.It gets me places. On multiple occasions I have set out for someone’s home or business, thinking I knew where I was going. I didn’t. The iPhone’s allowed me to find my way. I open the email or contact file and click on the address, and it opens the map app. Easy peasy.
9.It keeps me in touch. With the email, text, and Facebook applications on the iPhone, I am able to stay in touch and often can get a question or answer in a fraction of the time it would have taken me previously.
10. It pastors me. Via several churches’ and pastors’ podcasts, I get regular preaching, teaching and leadership training.
11. It keeps track of my to-do list. Just like my calendar, the “ToodleDo” application gives me an iPhone to-do list that syncs (via the web) with my desktop and MacBook.
12. I record voice reminders to myself. With a few quick taps, I can record an audio reminder for playback later. Or I can use the free Jott application to record a reminder that is then sent automatically to my email.
13. It keeps me from spending too much of my pastor’s salary. If I’m in a bookstore and find a book I think I want to buy, a free application helps me compare the price with online prices. If I need gas, I use the free Gasbag app to find the best price in the area.
14. I even sometimes use it as a phone. I have even conferenced our whole church staff via the iPhone “call merge” feature.
15. With the free “Broadcast” application, I can send a pre-recorded phone message to our staff, volunteers, or members (or any list I create). It’s been handy during winter weather to notify people about cancellations, etc.
I’m sure that’s not all. But those are many of the ways the iPhone has been a worthwhile investment for this pastor. And if you have discovered other uses or features particularly applicable to the life of a pastor, feel free to add your own in the comments.