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.
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.