The Five Most Valuable Tools Every Pastor Needs

I want to give you my top five tools that I use almost weekly (some daily) to accomplish what you need to get done if you are the pastor of a small to midsize church.

This post isn’t going to be overly spiritual because things like prayer, studying scripture, and worshipping God should be something that every pastor has incorporated into their life. That’s a given.

What I want to do through this post…and in future posts is find a small way to help pastors who feel like they are struggling with limited resources.

Here’s what keeps me going…I believe God can do anything in your small to midsize church that He can do in a mega church. Period. God is not limited by space, money, resources, people…anything. Usually the only thing that limits God and hinders us…is our willingness or ability to find the things we need to get he job done.

There are probably pastors, even in this age of connectedness that feel disconnected and don’t know where to begin fixing their issues and addressing their needs…so why let things slip through the cracks that can make pastoring a little easier?

With that being said…

Here’s my list of the top five tools that I think every pastor needs when they are the only full time pastor in their church:


The single most valuable tool that I use literally daily is Evernote. Hands down you will not find a better tool to help you organize not only your life…but your ministry as well. I plan to go into some specifics about this powerful tool in future posts. In fact, Evernote can be used to enhance just about every area of your ministry if you let it…and we will look at ways that it can really benefit you in later posts…so you don’t want to miss out on that! In the mean time check it out at (by the way…Evernote is available in FREE or paid versions!)


This tool is still really new to me; but already it has simplified my sermon prep, and helped me to understand the Bible better. The draw back is that it’s pretty expensive. But if you have funds available to invest in your ministry…Logos is the way to go. Every version of the Bible and every commentary plus the other resources that come with your Logos package are all tightly interconnected. It’s like no Bible software you’ve ever used. I love it and I can’t say enough good about it. Check it out for yourself at


Not only am I the lead pastor at my church…I’m also the lead singer most of the time. In any case I plan the worship sets. So my time is split between many different “desks” so to speak. When time is limited and you need to plan worship…Onsong is for you. It is a digital songbook that can be used on iPad or iPhone. I use it on my iPad on the platform at church. Every song is editable and can be quickly (very quickly) transposed to any key. This tool alone will add so much value to anyone in your church who sings or plays, including you if that’s part of your job. To find out more about them go to the app store on your iPhone or iPad and check them out. This app isn’t very expensive and it’s well worth the few dollars you invest in it.


Everyone always questions me when I tell them that I use my iPhone to record our video announcements and big events at church. People don’t seem to believe that you can produce high quality video with a phone…but the secret is you can. More than likely you have an iPhone or have access to one. If you do…and video is part of your job description…this app is a must have. Unlike the native camera on your phone, Movie Pro gives you complete control over everything that has to do with your video. You can choose the frame rate, size, exposure, focal points and many other things that have to do with your video. The best thing is you don’t have to go out and purchase an HD video camera because chances are you already have one right in your pocket! Check this out in the app store on iPhone. It costs about five dollars and it’s well worth it.


If you’re shooting video…you need a great editing package to put it all together. This is it. I’ve been editing and producing video in church settings for nearly ten years and this is the best editing software I’ve ever used. It’s user friendly. It pairs great with your iPhone. Plus, it’s industry standard. Now…the hold back for some is the price. Final Cut comes in at about $300 and it only works on a Mac…but that is a much smaller investment than other software. If you can’t swing Final Cut…iMovie on Mac has many of the same features.

There you have it…my top five ministry tools that have literally saved me time, pressure, and have helped to build our church. I hope these can help you and your church as much as they’ve helped me and mine.

I’d love to hear your feed back…consider leaving a comment or question in the comments below.

and if this has been helpful to you, would you consider sharing it with someone else?

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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