Confessions of an App User

You’ve seen those people in church: Those brothers or sisters who, as soon as the evangelist starts preaching, they take out their phones and start using their thumbs to text on the small keypad. Their eyes are fixed on their small LCD screen.

With the aid of a cell phone, this church member doesn't need to flip through pages of a notebook in order to take notes. (Photo by Anna Sanborn.)

With the aid of a cell phone, this church member doesn’t need to flip through pages of a notebook in order to take notes. (Photo by Anna Sanborn.)

Or sometimes you see those “old school” people who jump on their laptops as soon as the song leader says to sit down to listen to the sermon. They try to quietly type away as the evangelist speaks, but you hear them loud and clear.

Yes, we are talking about those digital note takers, those “graduates” of traditional pen and paper and Bible. They use technological methods to access the scriptures and take notes so that they can get as much out of the evangelist’s preaching as possible. What exactly do they do on their phones and laptops? Of course, they are taking notes and reading the Bible!

Here are the testimonials of some of these people.

Marley Depew, PC laptop user.

“Microsoft OneNote is a really great program to take notes with. It makes it easy to organize your notes. It’s like a big notebook divided into sections and pages. You could have a section for Church notes, one for Midweek notes, one for Quiet Times, etc. It works with Microsoft’s cloud, SkyDrive, so you can sync your notes to all your devices. It’s in Microsoft Office, and there’s a free app for Windows 8, iPhone, Android and there’s a web app too. You can take notes with your PC in Church, and then sync them to your iPhone to review in your Quiet Time. In the Office OneNote, you can record the audio of the lesson on your note. The audio is linked to the text as you write. When you review your note, you can click one part of the text and listen to that part of the lesson. It’s pretty cool. There is another free program called Evernote that’s very similar, but I like the way OneNote works better.”

Maile Paishon, Kindle Fire user.

“I’d have to say the Kindle Fire is pretty convenient for just about everything, and it’s easy to carry around and use. Some of the things I have on my Kindle is a Bible app called Holy Bible, which is easy to use and understand. It is more convenient than carrying around a big Bible. I’ve also been able to use it for Bible studies. I use the web on my Kindle to go to, an online concordance that has commentaries and study tool helps for the Bible. I’ve found the Kindle to be very convenient with the electronic books I’ve bought off of Amazon. The books I’ve bought are easily transferred to the Kindle and are accessible right then and there. Some of the books I’ve bought are books that have given me extra help in my relationship with God and in helping others to have a relationship with Him.”

This multi-tasking disciple can listen to the sermon, look at scriptures, take notes and drink chocolate milk at the same time. (Photo by Anna Sanborn.)

This multi-tasking disciple can listen to the sermon, look at scriptures, take notes and drink chocolate milk at the same time. (Photo by Anna Sanborn.)

Trever Paschall, Mac laptop user.

“I often use and Glo Bible for my personal Bible study. I use a Mac computer, but both will work on PC as well. I prefer BibleGateway because you can search for specific verses, in different versions, even Pidgin. This is useful because if you don’t understand the verse, you are able to compare it in different versions and get a better understanding of the meaning. I usually use BibleGateway while at church because I can quickly go to each scripture talked about and take notes at the same time in Pages, which is like Word for Macs (if you are one of those PC people). Glo Bible works well for me because I often don’t have access to internet, and it is able to be used offline. Glo Bible is also available as an app for iPod Touch, which is useful because it lets you carry less stuff.”

Anna Sanborn, iPhone user.

“As a disciple, it is always important to have your sword with you. I have the tendency to lend my Bibles out to other people when I study with them, so sometimes I don’t have one handy. Since I’ve gotten my iPhone, I have discovered new ways to use my phone as my very own sword. Apps I like to use for reading the Bible are YouVersion, GloBible and Bible Gateway. These apps not only give me the ability to read my Bible but also feature Bible studies, devotionals and things like “scripture of the day,” which always encourages me. They all have access to all different types of versions of the bible, so many to choose from. They also allow you to take notes and highlight and save your favorite scriptures. I love using these because they challenges me to set goals for my reading. Best of all, they keep track of your progress through their very own web site. All you need to do is sign up and start setting your goals to being more equipped to knowing the Bible.”

Ronald Richardson, Android user.

“I know when I’m on the go and I need a quick scripture, I don’t have to worry because I have my Samsung Galaxy S3, which is an Android phone, with me at all times. The app that I use for all my spiritual needs is the free YouVersion Bible app. It is great because it has the scripture of the day, and it also has reading plans available on the app or on the widget that you can put on the screen. There is also an online community where you can share testimonies or things you have learned. It is a great one stop shop for all my scriptural needs. It is also cool because the app looks like a Bible on the phone. Did I mention it’s free?”


Listen to these people, and learn from their experiences. If you feel inclined to reach for your phone or laptop during a church service, try taking their advice to heart. Use your tech tools with confidence, and be “a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Go digital, and go God.

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