“So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” Acts 17:22-23


Fail Whale illustration“A picture is worth a thousand words.” While this saying might be trite, it is certainly true. The right visual at the right moment can transform your sermon from forgettable to unforgettable for many in the audience.

As a child growing up in the church, I listened to well over a thousand of sermons before I grew into adulthood. How many of those sermons can I recall today? About a dozen.

What was it about those few sermons that made them memorable? They all had powerful, visual illustrations that clearly underscored the spiritual point the preacher was attempting to communicate.

In one of those few sermons that I can actually remember the preacher left the pulpit to take a hymnbook from the first row of pews. Returning to the platform he intentionally dropped the hymnbook. It dropped to the floor with a loud noise, BAM! He picked the book up and dropped it again, BAM! And again, and again, and again! BAM! BAM! BAM!

I thought he was nuts. My parents whispered something to each other about church property being damaged. Then the preacher looked at the audience and said, “No matter how many times I pick this book up and then let it go it will ALWAYS fall to the floor. The law of gravity cannot be broken~~ AND just like God’s physical laws cannot be broken, God’s spiritual laws cannot be broken either. ‘The person who sins will die’ Ezekiel 18:20 NASB”

Wow… that REALLY drove home his point. Since then I have never forgotten the illustration, but more importantly I have never forgotten the truth he was illustrating. From that experience I have also learned of the immense value of appropriate sermon illustrations to not only illustrate the point being made, but to also make it memorable.

In this post we are going to look at the best iPad apps for illustrating sermons.

  • Keynote is Apple’s own app for creating and presenting presentations to audiences. Keynote is essentially Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s PowerPoint. If you operate primarily in the world of Apple products, Keynote is the natural choice. Keynote is easy to use and works seamlessly across the Mac and iOS environments. The app also supports PowerPoint files.
  • Prezi for iPad – Prezi is perhaps the most popular PowerPoint alternative. Both PowerPoint and Keynote both built around the concept of a traditional slide show, where slides are displayed sequentially in a linear format. Prezi, however, is built around a completely different premise: a ‘virtual canvas’ that allows the user to ‘pan & zoom’ into portions of the presentation. When used to its full potential a ‘prezi’ will delivers a considerably more engaging experience for the audience then a ‘slide show’ based presentation could ever produce.
  • Quickoffice Pro HD – If you are accustom to working with Microsoft Office AND you would like to continue to operate in the Microsoft environment, this app is perhaps your best choice. Microsoft has not embraced the iPad. They have not released their own iPad app for either Office or PowerPoint. Therefore you will need to rely on a third party app to use your PowerPoint files on the iPad. BEWARE: none are ideal and each have their own flaws. My personal advice is to move beyond PowerPoint and use Keynote or Prezi.
  • Proclaim Remote – Proclaim is Logos Bible Software’s church presentation platform. It is probably best suited for medium to large size churches that has a dedicated IT person or staff. This powerful multimedia platform is probably overkill for small congregations.

That wraps up my choices for the best iPad presentation apps. However, if you have another app that you love to use please let us know about it in the comments.


Preaching with an iPad series topic guide:


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