Youth Ministry tech: The Kindle Fire

I wanted to try something a little different.  Since this is a tech site and a ministry site, I thought I’d delve into the tech side for a post.

Now, I’ve established in earlier posts that I’m not your typical trendy youth pastor.

kindle fireAs such, I do not own an Apple iPad.  I am not anti-Apple.  I’m not making a statement.  It has nothing to do with me eschewing technology.

For me it comes down to one thing:  money.  iPads cost over $300 for a bare-minimum model.  I live on a youth pastor’s salary.  Those two things don’t mix.

So as much as I’d love to have one, it simply doesn’t work for my budget.  I can’t afford an iPad, so unlike a lot of other youth pastors, I don’t have one.

But, I have found an alternative.  It may not be as chic or fancy as an iPad.  It certainly doesn’t have all the features or the vast amount of apps for download.  But it serves my purposes just fine.

You see, I have a Kindle Fire.

Yes, I know, not exactly fashionable.  I won’t win technologically hip youth pastor of the year.  I may even get sneers from the more integrated youth pastors, but I don’t care.  I love using the Kindle Fire.  It’s great for my youth ministry.  It’s even better for my wallet.

At half the cost of an iPad, I get a tablet which not only allows me to read e-books (including tons of free ministry books) and surf the web, but I can transfer youth lessons and sermons to the device.  I haven’t printed out lesson or sermon notes in over a year.

I also like its portability.  It’s the size of a paperback book.  It fits snuggly into my briefcase or a string bag or even just resting in my hand next to my Bible.  I usually keep a sermon or two on the device, just in case something happens and I need to sub in on short notice (and it’s happened before).

As a note of caution, the Kindle Fire does not have all the apps of the iPad, but it has plenty enough for me.  (To be honest, I don’t buy many apps – for Kindle or iPhone.)  For a youth pastor on a budget, it fits my purposes just fine.

So if you’re looking to upgrade to a tablet, and you just don’t have the money for an iPad, consider getting a Kindle Fire.  At $160, it’s half the price of an iPad and functional enough that you may not miss one.  In my rural context, it’s the perfect fit for ministry.

Maybe it will be yours too.

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Wayne Yeager is the pastor at Glasford Baptist Church in the small town of Glasford, Il. As a 12-year veteran of ministry, his experience comes from small, rural churches and congregations. Wayne is married to Sara and they have two children. Wayne attends Liberty Seminary, studying for a Masters of Divinity in Christian Counseling. You can follow Wayne's blog at http://wyeager.blogspot.com.

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