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preaching article Should I Use Bible Software in My Sermon Prep?

Should I Use Bible Software in My Sermon Prep?

based on 2 ratings
May 21, 2016
Scripture: none
(Suggest Scripture)

Is software (and technology in general) a help or a hindrance? Considering I’m typing this on a laptop, and many of you will read it on your smartphones, it’s obvious that technology is an integral part of our lives.

But should we use it when preparing sermons? And does it have any additional impact on my life?

Over the years, I’ve used many different Bible Software programs. From the classic, eSword to BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos, I’ve tried them all. And that doesn’t include the various apps I’ve used to write my sermons; including everything from Microsoft Word, Evernote, OneNote, to the notes app my phone.

I believe that we should use every resource available to us, including bible software. Here are four reasons why:

1) Bible Software helps expand your knowledge base.

When I was young (and I mean young) my youth group leader would occasionally let me preach. I’m pretty sure I avoided any major heresies, in part because the only resources I had were my Thomas Nelson Study Bible, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary in one volume. And there’s nothing wrong with either of those!

But, they were limited both by size, and time-period. And since they were, so was I. Bible Software allows you to expand your knowledge base by providing vast biblical libraries at your finger tips.

“But Jonathan,” I can hear some of you saying, “don’t regular libraries do that?”

Print books can be difficult to navigate, especially when you’re looking for something specific. Which brings us to our second point.

2) Bible Software saves you time.

Let’s be honest. Your print library looks great in your study or office, but can frequently be difficult to access. How many times have you, like me, said,

“I remember reading about such and such on John 15, but which commentary was that?”

As you slowly begin thumbing through the various John commentaries on your desk, the hours slowly waste away. With bible software, your reading is easily accessible, time and time again. Additionally, it helps you find multiple positions quickly. But you’re not just saving time, you’re saving money.

3) Bible Software is good stewardship.

Good stewardship reflects wisely using the resources that we have, as well as those that have been made available to us. In this modern era, bible software has been made available to us. And so, we can apply the virtues of saving time, and saving money.

Bundles and base packages allow you and me to buy complete sets, rather than single volumes, frequently at a significant discount. The idea is that each book in a digital library reinforces each other, so that the value of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

4) Bible Software frees up space.

Finally, using bible software for your library frees up incredible space. In the past two years, I have moved from Virginia, to Washington state, to Colorado. Each time, I have packed up innumerable boxes of books, and paid to ship them. At some point, we return to the issue of stewardship.

The money I spent on shipping those print books could easily have been spent on purchasing additional electronic resources.

Conclusion

Bible software is a conscious choice that benefits your sermon prep by expanding your knowledge base and saving you time. And it comes with the added benefits of helping you be a wise steward and freeing up valuable space in your life.

  • Agree? Disagree?
  • What benefits have you discovered of having a theological library in digital form?
  • How does SermonCentral factor into your "digital library"?

Let me know in the comments below.



Jonathan J. Watson is the Editor at SermonCentral.com. When not working, Jonathan enjoys traveling and exploring God's great creation. His background is in theological studies and ministry, and is the founder of Learn with Logos, courseware to help you read and understand the Bible better. 

Talk about it...

Barbara Norfor avatar
Barbara Norfor
0 days ago
I agree with you completely!! I enjoy using technology and if I need to use the books I have them as well, however more and more I'm finding what I need and more in less than half the time.
Curtis E. Nester avatar
Curtis E. Nester
0 days ago
I remember how it was when I had just a few books and a typewriter. How wonderful when word processors, printers and Bible Software came along. I still use eSword. It makes study and preparation so much easier and saves time in research and preparation.
Eugene Shively avatar
Eugene Shively
0 days ago
If I remember correctly there was a story about Charles Spurgeon that he would give his secretary his sermon text and his secretary would go through the library and open each commentary to the correct passage to save the great man time. That is exactly what these electronic tools do for us today.
Pastor Steve Evernham avatar
Pastor Steve Evernham
0 days ago
I have a large library of books that have helped me study and prepare sermons and to grow spir itually. I must say that now I use the internet and Bible software 80 of the time. It is faster to research and study and prepare sermons. I love it and you can take it where ever you go. It has been a great help to me.
Mike Brenneman avatar
Mike Brenneman
0 days ago
Well said! The available softward is invaluable. When searching for a single specific scripture, I use one of the many free Bible websites such as Biblegateway.com. When doing in depth studies Logos really helps. In seconds you can put the original Greek just below the English translation. Then just tap on the Greek word and get an excellent translation from Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gringrich. Too many other useful tools to even mention
Hans Weston avatar
Hans Weston
0 days ago
I am actually surprised that this question is still being asked. When I was going through my internship program for my credentials, I was told that the laptop I was using would be the death of great preaching - I'm guessing that individual (whom I do respect as a preacher) is using the same tools discussed today.

So, what did you think?


Thank you.