Keep Your Group in the Loop with Faithlife Newsletters

One of the gems of Faithlife groups is a little-known feature, quietly waiting to show administrators an even better way to keep everyone on the same page—Faithlife newsletters.

Set the tone of your group

Neatly nestled in the corner of your group’s tabs, “Newsletters” is a nifty feature accessed through the drop-down menu.

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Newsletters open the door to a whole new class of communication. The tool’s intuitive design helps you put as much or as little detail into your message as you want. The basics display automatically–your headline, content section, and more. Click on the “+” symbol to open up a wealth of options to enhance your newsletter.

You can:

  • Highlight important conversations from your group’s news feed
  • Display meaningful Community Notes
  • Share prayer requests
  • Point out upcoming events
  • Send the newsletter to other affiliated groups
  • Show today’s Verse of the Day

Bring clarity to your members

Depending on the size of your group, a week, a month, or even a day can have more news, notes, and prayer requests than some of your group members can handle. In the information age, it’s all too easy to get buried with too many things to keep track of. Newsletters help you speak into the fog and showcase the things you need your group to know.

Get the word out

One of the hardest parts of communicating to large groups of people is figuring out the best method to make sure everyone sees it. Do you post it to your group? Do you send an email? When you send a newsletter, it’s visible to everyone in your Faithlife group, and it also emails the same message directly to everyone in the group, so you don’t have to create your message twice. So next time you’re trying to decide on the best way to get your message out, just remember–it’s both!

If you’re a group administrator, you have the power to provide your group with elegant, concise newsletters that are both engaging and informative. Or, if you don’t have the time yourself, find a responsible person in your group with more room in their schedule, and give them administrative privileges so they can share the load.

Once you start a newsletter, Faithlife saves it automatically. The draft can only be seen by administrators, so you’re free to take your time and send it when you’re ready to make an impression. Go to your group’s “Newsletters” tab and try it for yourself!

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The Faithlife Study Bible links Scripture passages that address the same topic, so you can make connections with just a click. Download the Faithlife Study Bible for free from your favorite app store, and take your Bible study to the next level.

The New and Improved Faithlife Calendar

We made some changes to the Faithlife calendar to make your life easier. Now, you can see and do everything you need right from the calendar tab.

Your status now appears next to each event. This field reminds you if you are hosting, attending, or undecided about an event, and you can change your status without leaving the full calendar view. Click on the highlighted text, and you can select your response to the event invitation from the drop-down menu.

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The calendar also displays more details about each event. You can see the type of event, in addition to the name of the event and any groups affiliated with the event. If you were invited as a part of a group, or if you invited an entire group, that group’s name and image appear below the event’s date and time.

You can also edit event details using this handy gear icon:

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Click on the gear icon next to the event you want to change, then alter or add anything you need. When you save, you’ll return to the calendar view. If you have a recurring event, such as a weekly Bible study, you can use this same wheel to download Outlook and iCal files to put the event into your regular calendar software.

We’ve also added the ability to filter the types of events you want to display. You can filter events by group, or choose “My events” to display events not associated with a group, like family events, personal reminders, and appointments—things that can get lost in everything else you have going on.

If you aren’t already using it, the calendar tab is more useful and dependable than ever. With these updates, it’s even easier to keep track of what’s happening in your faith community.

Introducing Faithlife Discussions

Faithlife.com just got a brand-new feature to facilitate faith-based discussions.

A healthy faith community always contains diverse opinions, experiences, and interpretations of Scripture. Navigating the differences can be spiritually enriching in a way that few other things are (Proverbs 27:17). As we’ve often said: we learn best when we learn together.

Faithlife discussions makes enriching conversation on faith and doctrine easier than ever. And it’s simple. You’ll find the discussions section of your Faithlife group on the menu bar alongside newsletters, calendar, and other important group functions. If you don’t see it, use the down arrow to reveal more features.

Inside Faithlife discussions, you can create new discussion threads, view the post count, and read and reply to existing threads. Group members can comment on a thread by either adding their own thoughts in a comment or affirming with expressions like “Agree,” “Amen,” “Praise the Lord!,” “Stand Firm,” “Like,” and “Praying.” These options create a unique middle ground between a “like” and a full written response.

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Group administrators can moderate threads and comments with tools to edit, delete, and flag inappropriate posts.

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We hope that Faithlife discussions equip you to facilitate more meaningful conversation in your faith community.

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Faithlife.com is the digital home for your faith community. It’s free to join and invite others. Tools like prayer lists, reading plans, Community Notes, and a group newsletter make it easier than ever to communicate, collaborate, and fellowship around the Word of God. Join today at Faithlife.com.

Introducing Faithlife Group Newsletters

It just got easier for faith communities of all types and sizes to communicate important information—Faithlife.com now supports newsletters.

Group administrators, look for the “Newsletters” tab in the menu and you’ll find this new feature. It will be empty, since you haven’t sent any newsletters yet. Look for the “Send a newsletter” button on the right.

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Clicking this button will lead you to the newsletter editor, which offers a handful of style options and content pods. Choose from text, members, and events.

  • Text: The most straightfoward way to add your content. Good for devotionals and general announcements.
  • Members: Highlights the Faithlife profile of a group member. Good for introducing new members, new leaders, or indicating who’s bringing snacks to small group next week.
  • Events: Easily links all the details from a group event. No need to retype everything—two clicks and you’ll have it all loaded and ready.

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When you’ve finished building your newsletter, send it from either the group or your personal account. If someone isn’t getting your newsletters, ask them to check their account settings. If they have unchecked the newsletters box for email notifications, they won’t receive your newsletters.

Start using the newsletters feature to communicate with your group today!

 

Using Faithlife and Bible.Faithlife.com in 2013

The New Year is right around the corner and many of us are getting ready to start our Faithlife groups and read through the Bible in a year. Faithlife works seamlessly across all the Logos platforms. So as you get ready to begin your reading plans, we wanted to help you get an excellent start on using Faithlife to optimize your Bible study and keep you connected in 2013.

Stay connected and keep up with your reading plans and notes with just the web, by using Faithlife.com and Bible.Faithlife.com!

Here’s How:

1. After you login to Faithlife.com click the Faithlife group you want to join. Make sure you are connected to the Group Reading plan. Once connected, your first reading will show up.

2. Click on the verse for your first reading, which will take you to Bible.Faithlife.com. The Bible will be on your left panel and the FSB commentary notes will be on your right. On the top of left panel will be a “Start Reading” header:

3. As you scroll through the reading, you may be directed to jump to other readings if there are multiple scripture references in the day’s portion. Bible.Faithlife.com makes this easy by providing you with the reference to the next section for that day. Simply click on the reference.

4. Once you complete all your readings for the day click on the “Mark Read” link to check off the reading for the current day. When you get back to Faithlife, the next day’s reading will show up under the “Group Reading” widget.

Tips:

1. You can change your Bible translation by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the title of the Bible in the left column and choosing another translation:

2. If you own a Logos base package all of your resources will be available on bible.faithlife.com. Just click the title of the resource in the right column and search for the resource.

It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution to feed your soul. Create a Faithlife group today and dig into the Word!

 

Create Custom Reading Plans to Share with Your Faithlife Groups!

Building a custom reading plan is an easy way to connect with your Faithlife groups. Whether it’s for your church, your small group, or your Christian book club, Faithlife allows you to create a plan around your schedule and needs. Maybe you already have a Faithlife group you want to transition into a reading group, or maybe you want to form a group around a certain text. Creating a group is easy.

Once you have the group you want, it’s time to select the text. In order for everyone to participate in your group reading plan, everyone MUST own the resource you want to read. Just like in a face-to-face book club, you can’t read if you don’t own the text! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your custom reading plan:

1. Open your Logos Bible Software

2. Under File, select Reading Plan

3. Select the text you want, how often you read, when you start, when you want to finish reading, and what group you want to share with.

4. Click “Generate”

Now you’re ready to read with your group. A reading schedule will automatically appear in Faithlife’s “Today’s Readings” widget to keep you on track. You’ll be able to talk about the text, share your insight, and so much more from within your group on Faithlife. Get started today!

*Don’t have a Faithlife account yet? Sign in using your Logos account, or sign up for a free account today.