Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I remember the day when the only people that had cell phones were rich executives and drug dealers and you had to have some kinda suitcase with you to make it work.  I remember in ministry deciding that I needed to get a pager because I couldn’t afford a drug dealer phone, but hating the fact that I was constantly searching for a pay phone to call people back.  Pay phones! Hah!  Remember when phones only made calls?  Now it’s like my personal secretary, news source, friend updater, ministry workhorse, and file box all in one.  So much has been replaced by my iPhone that it’s fully changed how I do my daily life and much of ministry.  It’s ridiculous really on some level.

So, for what it’s worth, here are my top 9 apps I use in ministry and how I use them.  I’m skipping some of the general ones I think everyone uses like facebook, twitter, dropbox, youversion, and evernote and such.  Some are available on more than the iPhone or iPad, some have desktop versions and websites, some are free and some cost a few bucks. (I usually prefer to pay a buck to ditch the ads) Anyway, they are below in no particular order, but all are worth it:

360 PANORAMA- Fun app if you’re trying to capture an idea in one shot.  Maybe you see a restaurant that inspires a design theme for you or maybe you’re visiting a friends church and their youth room is awesome and you want to steal some ideas.  Well, just start snapping pictures and this lovely little app stitches them together into one panoramic view.  Pretty awesome and super helpful.   SIDE NOTE: I no longer take notes of white board brainstorm sessions either.  I just snap pictures with my phone and transcribe what I need to later.  

SUNRISE  If you’re planning a retreat or an outdoor movie night and you want to know when the sun will rise or set or when it will get dark, even what will be the status of the moon for your night hike, then this app is super helpful.  I use it every year for our desert trip.

POSTAGRAM  So you’re on a retreat with your students and you want to encourage parents and or your pastor for a buck.  No worries. We got you covered.  Get the free app.  Buy some credits (about $1 per postcard purchased in groups of 10).  Then you’re off the races.  Take a picture of a your group or some of your students, add a message, type in their address or grab one from your phone address book quick like, and then hit send and off goes a color photo postcard.  Bammo.   Instant hero you just became. I’m using it for our spring break events this year.  Gonna be so fun.

INSTAPAPER  Ever been skimming your twitter feed and don’t have time to read a link but want to come back to it… no worries.  Hit save and bammo, it goes to instapaper. You can forward monthly newsletter e-mails and such directly there too from your inbox using a custom e-mail address they give you.  I use it for stuff I want to read casually like a magazine article, but want out of my inbox. I use Evernote for stuff I know I want to save, like a virtual research file box, not stuff I’ve yet to decide on.  Instapaper is like a pile of stuff to read or skim later.  Super easy to use.

WUNDERLIST:  The reminders app from apple is a joke.  Wunderlist is the real deal.  It has web, iPad, iPhone, and desktop apps. It’s free. It’s amazing. Stop what you’re doing and go get it. Best list maker I’ve found yet.  You can make categories, boxes, due dates, you name it.  Super easy and super awesome.

SHAZAM: Listening to a song and think, dang… I could use this for a talk or a slideshow or I just like this, who is it by and what are the lyrics?  Or maybe you’re listening and thinking… seriously, this song is ridiculous. Who is the clown singing this?  No worries. Hit shazam, it will listen to the song and tell you song, artist, lyrics instantly.  Then you can even buy it if you want.  I use a lot of music during our annual dating series and this app is super helpful.

KIDS IN MIND: Wondering if you can show this movie in youth group?  Want to know exactly why it’s rated what it is without some kinda judgment?  Then this app is awesome.  It gives you three categories: Sex/Nudity,  Violence/Gore, and Profanity and rating from 1-10.  It then describes all kinds of stuff in those categories to justify the number it was given… it’s all matter of fact and maybe even overly detailed (like it could spoil some scenes for you). But you’ll get a very clear picture of what you are showing and what kinds of complaints you will or won’t get from parents.  Super helpful when answering the “Mom and Dad, can I go see ‘xyz’ movie?” question from my kids too. Helps me make a wise choice and at least know what I’m paying for them to see or not see.

LETS TALK and WOULD YOU CHOOSE:  Ever standing in line and need a random question?  Ever sitting with a student you’re mentoring or even your own kids and think, let’s just talk about stuff and see where this goes.  Well these two apps are awesome for that.  They have topics and questions from fun and silly to deep and inspiring.  I use these all the time with my own kids and even my small group Bible Study for students.

Ok, there’s some of my favorites…  I’d love to hear some of yours.


  1. Great list thank you so much!

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