The world of mobile apps continues to revolutionize how we do just about everything. For the church leader, there are several must-have apps that will harness the power of this revolution for every aspect of worship.
1. Planning Center (iOS, Android, Online)
Planning worship services is at the heart of this app. You can create a worship flowchart by listing the elements of your worship service, complete with time allotments, making sure your creativity doesn't cause you to exceed your allotted time. Musicians will appreciate the fact that each song in the order of worship can have the sheet music, chord sheets and even mp3s attached.
One of the most powerful aspects of the app is the volunteer scheduling. Volunteers can go in and block out the days they are unavailable. Then, you can use the tool to schedule and auto-remind volunteers of their upcoming serving date.
In addition to the worship-planning app, Planning Center offers many other features. If you keep your list of users to five or fewer, the app is free. The cost increases incrementally depending on the number of users.
2. GarageBand (iOS)
One of the greatest values in the app world is Apple's GarageBand, a multitrack audio recording and editing app. What once cost thousands of dollars for complicated hardware and a lot of space in the church sound room is consolidated into a power-packed app that will fit into any iPad or iPhone. It is the perfect place to start when recording sermon audio (to start a podcast), and can expand to record and edit full-length albums of your praise band or choir's favorite pieces. The app has everything you need to start recording for $4.99.
An alternative to GarageBand that offers a robust audio recording suite is the free open source program called Audacity. If you want advanced editing features, learn to edit sermon or podcast audio with Audacity.
3. Paper by 53 (iOS)
Do you ever wish you could turn your video projector into a giant whiteboard? Look no further than this elegant app. Designed as a creative drawing app, the tools empower you to draw live on screen through a video projector. Connecting your device to the projector through the appropriate dongle allows you to show what you see on the iPad on the screen. At that point, all that's left is to launch the app and begin sketching away! Paper by 53 is not only the leading app in the category; it's also free.
4. Presentation Clock (iOS, Android)
This is a simple but essential app. Formatted like the countdown clock for TED with a red digital display that fills the screen, this app lets you see quickly how much time you have left to finish your lesson or sermon. Set the amount of time available by sliding your finger back and forth across the clock face, then tap to begin the countdown. Once started, the app keeps your screen on and sends any notifications that may come across while you are teaching. At 99 cents, it's a no-brainer purchase.
Harnessing the power of the mobile computing revolution will not only buy you time, but it will also allow you to use the time you have more effectively. Want more apps? Check out these must-have mobile apps for church leaders.
When Jeremy and his wife are not playing with their four children, he oversees youth and college ministries and leads the evening worship service at Christ UMC in Mobile, Al. Jeremy is an author of several books and resources that you can find at JeremyWords.com or follow him on Twitter!