Where Faith and Life Connect

faithlife_logo_cmyk_hToday’s interview is with Mark Prim, the Southeast Michigan Coalition for Men’s Discipleship area director for Man in the Mirror ministries. Prim helps pastors and leaders establish an intentional strategy to reach and disciple men.

How does your family use Faithlife together?

My two older sons started reading the Bible when they were six and seven. They began by reading small portions of the New Testament at a time. Three years later, they’ve read through the New Testament twice and Psalms once.

About two years ago, they both bought Kindles with money they saved from Christmas. The first app I installed was Faithlife. I created a family reading plan so we could all read the Bible at the same pace, and so my wife and I could help answer questions the boys have. With the reading plan, we can be sure we’re familiar with the passages they read so we’re ready to talk about them.

We have recently begun using Faithlife for family devotions, reading the book Experiencing God at Home Day by Day. The boys read a portion of their Bible using Faithlife, then we read the devotional, and they finish with some quiet time of reading and praying.

Why do Faithlife groups work so well for Bible studies and small groups? What features does your group use together?

Faithlife works well for small groups and Bible studies because all members are able to read the same passages and follow along the same reading plan. Not only this, but when members have questions while reading, they can post the question to the group or specifically to the leader, without waiting until the next meeting. The ability to load documents for the group to read is also a great tool when there are additional resources or information for further study. The reading plan and documents tab are the two tools we use the most.

Using Faithlife for a small group can be a little tricky at first. Since not everyone has a smartphone or tablet, it can become a divider when we try to use it as our main tool. The second challenge is that we must use the first session or two just to familiarize everyone with the functionality and power of this free study tool. Not everyone learns at the same pace, so this can become a point of stress, and it takes a little more work when someone new joins our group. However, we can overcome both of these challenges. In my experience, it’s worth it to use Faithlife for small group studies.

When individuals take the time to learn and use Faithlife, studying the Bible together truly becomes a community effort. When people have questions, thoughts, or concerns, there’s no need to wait until the next weekly or monthly meeting. If the people in your small group want to study God’s Word, and they are open to doing it from a digital source, Faithlife is a free resource that’s worth using.

What’s your favorite feature in Faithlife?

I like Faithlife as a whole. It’s a great tool for the kingdom of God! That being said, I think my favorite feature is the reading plan because it reaches across all platforms. If all the features were available across all platforms, I think Faithlife would be more widely accepted and used by churches and small groups.

Many parents are afraid to let their kids create social-media accounts. What makes Faithlife different, and why do you let your sons use it?

Faithlife doesn’t have all the foul language and advertisements. It also doesn’t have the “freedom” that other social media outlets have—the parameters of use are much more controllable. I set up and maintain my kids’ accounts.

One reason I let my sons use Faithlife is because they can study the Bible together. And we are a closed group, so no one else can join unless my wife and I approve them. Another reason is because it makes a great tool for discipleship. I can create specific reading plans based on subjects we need to discuss, and then they read not just for devotional time, but also to gain knowledge and understanding. As they get older, I will teach them more and more about how to use Faithlife.

What does Faithlife do for you that other communication tools don’t?

Faithlife provides a way for us to interact with God’s Word together. Other communication tools allow you to post different verses back and forth, but with Faithlife we can highlight verses and make community notes that our whole family can see.

Why do you think churches should use Faithlife together?

Like I said before, it makes a great tool for discipleship. With our fast-paced world and our ever-increasing reliance on technology and all things digital, this is a perfect tool to study God’s Word together. If used the right way, Faithlife can also help someone quickly catch up if they miss a small group session.

To learn more about Prim’s ministry, you can head to ManintheMirror.org.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to join Faithlife, download the free Faithlife Study Bible, and start studying Scripture in community today.

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Logos helps you dig deeper into the Bible. But to take advantage of Logos’ powerful datasets and study tools, you’ll need a Logos 5 base package. And right now, you can get a custom upgrade discount during the Logos 5 upgrade sale—get yours now!

Help Others Discover the Faithlife Study Bible

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The Faithlife Study Bible app has been downloaded by more than a quarter million people. Every day, it helps thousands connect with God by unlocking the truths of Scripture with a modern English translation, layers of study notes, rich multimedia, and several included devotionals.

We want even more people to fall in love with the Word of God through the Faithlife Study Bible app. And few things are more important to that goal than honest, helpful app-store reviews.

Since you love the Faithlife Study Bible, take a moment to review it in your app store of choice. Be specific, and be honest. We’d love a positive review (Proverbs 22:1), but if we can improve on something, we want to hear about that too!

Help more people find Faithlife—take a minute to go review the Faithlife Study Bible: Google Play | iTunes App Store | Amazon Appstore

 

Understanding Prayer Lists on Faithlife.com

Prayer lists add unique functionality to Faithlife.com. Here’s a quick primer on what they can do, and how to get the most out of them.

Setting user permissions

Faithlife offers five levels of access, and empowers you to set privacy settings for each that suite your group’s unique needs. In the group settings panel, determine which members will be permitted to connect to group prayer lists, create and share new prayer lists, and remove requests.

Regarding prayer lists, you have three decisions to make:

  1. Connect to prayer lists—That is, follow prayer lists. Anyone connected to a prayer list will be able to add requests of their own, see details on other added requests, and receive notifications about prayer requests inside their Faithlife Study Bible app.
  2. Create/Share new prayer lists—New prayer lists are created from inside Logos 5 (more on that later), and shared to a Faithlife group, but you may wish to limit access to only certain people, like administrators or moderators.
  3. Remove prayer lists—Prayer lists can be deleted easily, so guard this permission a little more cautiously to prevent inadvertent deletion.

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For a more detailed explanation of all privacy controls and user permissions on Faithlife.com, check out the post “Understanding the Privacy Settings on Faithlife.com.”

Creating new prayer lists in Logos 5

It’s easy. Select “Prayer lists” from the documents menu, give your list a title and start adding requests right away. You can set frequency and duration for each request and add tags so that your prayer requests so you can find them again later.

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Then, visit Documents.Logos.com to share it with a group. The “Collaborate” option will give a group ownership of your prayer list, so that members can add their own requests to it.

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You could, for example, create a prayer list about a missions trip that your small group plans to make together. You would create the list in Logos 5, seeding it with some general requests like “financial support” and “safe travels.” After announcing the trip, you could share the list with your group at Documents.Logos.com, and then members could connect to it and add their own more specific prayer requests.

Add a prayer list to the group’s sidebar

Though a prayer list may belong to a group, it may still not appear on the group’s page. A group administrator or moderator can add group lists to the sidebar for all to see. Tab over to the “Sidebar” section of the group settings menu, and drag a prayer-list widget to make shared prayer requests visible to all group members.

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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.

4 Faithlife Features You Forgot About

Faithlife communityFaithlife.com is a superb home for your digital faith community. We’ve been adding lots of new bells and whistles over the last few months. Some of the most useful features, though, have been around for a while.

Here are four features you might have forgotten about:

Custom URLs

Set your group’s URL so it’s easy for everyone to find. By default, the address will be your group’s name. But change it to Faithlife.com/Whatever-You-Want in group settings.

Fine-grained privacy controls

You have a lot of control over your Faithlife group’s privacy settings. You can set the overall level of visibility for your group, choosing between open, closed, and secret. And you can set permissions for each member, defining the amount of access available at each level. There are a lot of choices to make here, so I made some recommendations about privacy settings in a previous post.

Expiring groups

Limited-time groups are common in church life. Small groups often meet weekly through the fall, disband over the holidays, and then reform after the dust settles in January. New groups start up all the time. When you form a seasonal group, you can also set an expiration date for it, saving you the trouble of deactivating it later.

Duplicate this group

If you need to create a new group much like one of your existing groups, use the “duplicate this group” button to save time. You can then change the name and group photo. Think about all the time you’ll save when you don’t have to create brand-new groups for each new Bible study series or small group that pops up.

What are your favorite Faithlife.com features? Tell us in the comments.

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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 group newsletters make it easier than ever to communicate, collaborate, and fellowship around the Word of God. Join today at Faithlife.com.

The FSB Recognized for Excellence in Design

qed-logoWe’re proud to announce that last month, the Faithlife Study Bible became the first Bible to receive the QED seal of approval.

Digital Book World, a leader in the digital publishing industry, recognizes apps and ebooks that meet high standards of quality with the QED seal of approval. Standing for quality, excellence, and design, a QED seal denotes exceptional readability across multiple devices and in multiple formats. These awards are given sparingly, after an app or ebook undergoes a meticulous 13-point review by an independent panel of respected industry professionals.

Recognition like this only confirms that we’re doing the right work—building and always improving the world’s most advanced study Bible. We’re most proud of the way our app is helping believers and seekers connect with God’s Word and understand it more clearly. If you don’t yet have the FSB on your smartphone or tablet, you can download it for free from your app store of choice. It comes loaded with a modern English translation, three layers of study notes, rich multimedia, 55 done-for-you reading plans, and a number of hand-picked daily devotionals. To customize your app (and make it even more powerful), you can add on additional resources from Logos.com.

Download the QED-approved Faithlife Study Bible today!

 

A Brief History of the ESV

ESV-logoThe English Standard Version Bible (ESV) is the revised and edited version of the Revised Standard Version, which many consider to be the twentieth century’s best translation. Led by Dr. Lane T. Dennis in the early 1990s, hundreds of people assisted in translating the ESV, with oversight from the National Council of Churches.

The ESV combines the specific wording of the original text with current English grammar, syntax, and idiom, allowing you to more easily relate to the text while maintaining the fullest accuracy. Using a word-for-word translation approach instead of a thought-for-thought method, the ESV is an “essentially literal” translation that captures both the precise wording of the text and the personal style of each Bible writer (ESVBible.org).

The ESV retains several classic theological terms—including “sanctification,” “justification,” “redemption,” “regeneration,” “propitiation,” and “reconciliation”—that, due to their importance in Christian doctrine, cannot be eliminated without loss of meaning. The version includes section headings, called pericopes, which guide you toward important themes.

The ESV translators worked with a high degree of scholarly integrity, which resulted in as close to perfect work as anyone could expect.

We know that no Bible translation is perfect or final; but we also know that God uses imperfect and inadequate things to his honor and praise. So to our triune God and to his people we offer what we have done, with our prayers that it may prove useful, with gratitude for much help given, and with ongoing wonder that our God should ever have entrusted to us so momentous a task.
—ESVBible.org

A number of today’s leading Christian authors and pastors recognize the excellence and clarity of the English Standard Version.

Join some of the most prominent Christian leaders in enriching your understanding of God’s Word: download the Faithlife Study Bible and receive a free copy of the ESV. Get it now!