How Had Bible Study Software Improved Your Preaching?
Read a tweet last night that was actually a link to a forum post at the Accordance Bible Software forums. The question in the tweet and forum post was how has Bible study software helped to improve your preaching.
The first response is one I wholeheartedly agree with. The key word was “Portability” by which he meant that using a laptop and software enabled him to port his entire library around. I would add things like the iPad or iPhone (or any other mobile device) which lets me use that fifteen minutes as I am waiting for a meal or for someone to meet me somewhere. When previously that fifteen minutes might just let me read my bible or one book, now I can search my whole library for a word, find a sermon illustration, or get some information about a passage I am preaching.
The second post makes another great point that I agree with. We’ve always been able to connect one passage to another via things like concordances, margin notes in our study Bibles, or just our memory. But with Bible software these connections are more accessible and therefore more likely to be found. The person posting gave an example of the word “ridicule” in Luke 14:28-30, the passage counting the cost and not wanting to be ridiculed for not doing so when building a tower. He said that the same word is used to describe Jesus’ treatment in passages about the crucifixion (the soldiers, the religious leaders while on the cross). The connection brings up the idea of ridicule and counting the cost. Did Jesus fail to count the cost when he came to earth and did things that led to his crucifixion? The answer of course is yes he did but felt it worth the cost to redeem our souls. GREAT POINT!
Time and Efficiency
A third way cited was the speed of Bible study software. It saves a lot of time in all three stages of preparation. It saves time in study as I don’t have to search a stack of books manually. They are there ready to go at my finger tips. The time saved allows me to go deeper. In the sermon writing phase, it saves me time in finding good illustrations, in copying and pasting texts or notes into the sermon, and if you use your Bible software to actually write your sermons you don’t have to switch between two applications.
The final point is my own. I am a tech geek and I love technology. For that reason I am more likely to play around with something if it has to do with technology. Put Bible study software on my computer or mobile device and I am more likely to do things like read my Bible more regularly and longer.