Back to School Book Blow Out!

Logos Talk Square 400x400It won’t be long before Fall is in full swing. Don’t get stuck waiting for your books to ship, or crossing your fingers that your school has a couple copies left when you get there. Logos Bible Software helps you get the answers you need from the resources you want. Right now, those answers cost you less—many of the books you need for school are on sale for up to 55% off! Even if you aren’t in school, you can still take advantage of these savings.

Pouring over scholarly works is rewarding, but when school already costs you an arm and a leg, your books shouldn’t take what’s left. Logos resources maximize the value of your budget and each book it buys.

Don’t waste shelf space

When you finish a class and start a new semester, even the best books spend too much time on the shelf. A new batch of courses, texts, and studies leaves your old books behind to collect dust. With Logos, your books stay relevant to your current studies. Logos finds the ways the content connects, so you can keep bringing fresh insight to the discussion.

Build the smartest library

The more books you have in Logos, the more sources you have to draw from. Producing sound biblical exegesis takes less time when all the tools you need are at your fingertips. Powerful Bible dictionaries stand at the ready while you pick apart your favorite commentaries, and Greek and Hebrew resources help you get to the roots of Scripture. Logos identifies all the ways your resources intersect, so you can search passages, terms, topics, people, and more, and Logos picks out every section of every resource that mentions what you searched for. It’s like having a personal research assistant put in hours of work—instantly.

You can buy the textbooks you need right now to start building your Logos library, but to get the most from Logos (and your books), you’ll want to get your hands on a base package. Base packages provide you with an unparalleled digital library, built to provide you with the best possible Bible study tools. When you get a base package, you don’t just get books. You get datasets. No where else in the world can you get these unique tools designed to simplify your studies and help you see the Bible from every angle. As you study, you can click any person, place, or thing in the Bible to access tools like Bible Facts, which pulls up every mention of that person, place, or thing in the Bible, as well as your other texts. If you want to know about a person, Bible Facts also displays their family tree, transforming genealogies into visual representations of familial relationships.

The Bible is a limitless pool of knowledge and wisdom. Logos Bible Software gives you the best tools in the world to plunge into that pool and emerge with the insight you need. Get a Logos base package today, or, check out the Back to School sale and get the resources you need at prices you can’t afford to miss.

Over 95 Audiobooks by Tozer, Piper, Keller, and More

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Recently, Logos Bible Software stepped into a new realm of digital publishing: audiobooks. They’ve added over 95 audio resources from popular authors and pastors like John Piper, A.W. Tozer, Timothy Keller, Matt Chandler, and many more.

Check out all the audiobook resources Logos offers and pre-order your favorites today!

Listen on the go

Finding time to read can be difficult, but now reading is as easy as listening while you run, shop, work, or travel. Every audiobook is mobile-enhanced, so you can take your books with you anywhere your phone goes. What’s more, these resources are available on any app in the Logos ecosystem. This means you can download your audiobook from Logos.com/audiobooks and it will be available on the Logos Bible! app, the Faithlife Study Bible app, or the Vyrso app—for both Andriod and iOS devices.

Use the cross-format sync to listen across devices

Logos has engineered your audiobooks to pick up where you left off, so you won’t spend time searching for your stopping point—even across devices. Listen at home on your iPad or tablet while you drink your coffee, catch up on the morning news, and scroll through your social feeds. Then, leave for work, plug your headphones into a mobile device, and pick up right where you left off. The cross-format sync even works if you listen from a mobile device and then open the book in the desktop version of Logos 5.

Save your notes

Another notable edge to Logos audiobook bundles is the ability to pause and add a note to the text version of the book. You can share your inspirational note with your community on Faithlife, and when you’re done, simply press play and continue listening through your favorite books.

Listen at your own speed

Many audiobooks can feel like they’re read at the wrong speed. These audiobooks put you in control—customize your reading speed with four different options on your iOS device: 1x, 1.2x, 1.5x, and 2x. The Logos 5 desktop software also gives you the ability to customize your speed.

Save on titles from your favorite authors

Don’t wait—pre-order now to secure the lowest price on your favorite audiobooks from Logos.

What Do You Think: Can Christians Watch Game of Thrones?

GoTThe TV series Game of Thrones is breaking records, winning awards, and captivating millions of people worldwide. But you don’t have to be a Christian to be uncomfortably aware that Game of Thrones pushes moral boundaries as well.

Film and literature containing vivid depictions of sin is nothing new. For years, subscription channels like HBO and Showtime have blurred the line between literature and pornography.

The question remains—can Christians, in good conscience, watch shows like Game of Thrones? The issue is arguably contained within the larger question, are things themselves inherently sinful? Are we entering into sin ourselves by being surrounded by sin? And even if we can watch shows like Game of Thrones, should we? (1 Corinthians 10:23). John Piper weighed in on Game of Thrones, and for him, the answer to the question involved twelve more questions.

Blogs are a great place for one person to share their thoughts on an issue independently of others. But issues like this are not necessarily black and white, and sometimes it takes a conversation to really formulate and arrive at your own conclusions. ChristianDiscourse.com is the perfect place to turn for open, honest discussions within Christian community.

It just so happens that Christian Discourse is already hosting a conversation on this very topic. See what other’s have said about Christians watching Game of Thrones:

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Check out the forum to see what other people are saying, and if you have thoughts, opinions, or comments, share them! Christian Discourse is a different kind of message board—it’s designed to foster healthy, authentic conversations about God, culture, life, and the places they connect.

Join the conversation.

Just Released: Bible Screen on DVD!

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Infuse the Word into your day with Bible Screen on DVD. Bible Screen gives you and your loved ones non-stop, biblical inspiration by continually streaming stunning, ad-free Bible verse art and animation—turning your blank screen into a catalyst for insight.

With artwork created by the talented Logos Design Team, the applications for Bible Screen are endless! You can welcome your friends and family into your home with encouragement. You can add joy to your work day by refreshing yourself in the faithfulness of God. You can sharpen your church, or youth ministry, with consistent wisdom from Scripture. Instead of leaving your church’s screen in the dark all week—light it up with God’s Word.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll get:

Share the living Word wherever you are—get Bible Screen on DVD for just $14.95 today!

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Want to take Bible Screen with you everywhere? The Bible Screen mobile app streams Bible verse images and videos straight to your device. You can even save images and send them as your home or lock screen.

Download the app today at BibleScreen.com!

 

 

10 Things Every Youth Leader Should Know

set_apartA lot of Christians think they aren’t cut out for youth ministry. But if you love Jesus and you care about kids, everything else falls into place.

In my five years working with middle school students I’ve met multiple 80 year olds who are incredible youth leaders—and it’s not for their spunky personalities and crazy dance skills. They love Jesus and they love kids. When you boil it down, that’s what really matters.

If you start with Jesus, all of the intricacies of youth leading should align conceptually, biblically, and practically. You should be able to trace everything back to Jesus.

Here are ten things every youth leader should know:

1. Have a purpose for everything

Let’s be honest. From the outside looking in, there’s a lot of weird stuff that happens at youth groups. Beach ball ballet, cricket-spitting contests, fruit baseball, and an endless list of games, skits, and programs that don’t seem to make any sense at all. But if you know the purpose behind each component, then even the goofy and weird parts make sense.

Some games give lonely, left out, or neglected kids the chance to be noticed, cheered, and celebrated. Other games force kids to work together—regardless of who they’re friends with at school. Wacky leader skits can create laughter, break down walls, and show kids that there is a childlike joy in everyone. For leaders, those same activities can offer an opportunity to step out of their own comfort zone and put kids before themselves.

I’ve worked with leaders who refused to put themselves in front of kids and be goofy alongside them because “it wasn’t their gifting.” It’s definitely important to recognize what you’re good at and what you’re not good at (so you know how you’re best suited to serve your team), but if we understand the why behind each aspect of youth group, it becomes a lot less about us and a lot more about the kids, Jesus, and the ways we let God use us.

2. Humble yourself

The more cool, holy, or amazing you present yourself, the more distant kids will feel from you. And if you’re also the person who happens to be proclaiming the gospel and sharing about Jesus, do the math. Leaders should show kids that Jesus meets them right where they are, loves them as they are, and desires to be a part of their lives right now—not once they become as cool, holy, and amazing as their leaders.

You were a kid once. If you’re made of flesh and blood, you probably sinned once, too. It’s not always best to share all the details of your sin without a relational foundation, but the more vulnerable you are with kids, the more likely they are to share the sin in their lives too. If we hide, so do they.

Humility isn’t just important for our relationships with kids. If you serve in a youth ministry, chances are good that you work with a team of volunteers.

Serving in ministry together is a surprisingly dangerous opportunity for selfishness to creep into our lives. It’s easy to feel like by being on the team we are fulfilling our duties, checking the box, or doing our time. But if you’ve committed to being a part of the team, share the load. Don’t dump everything onto one person—especially not the person giving the message. If someone else on your team is directly communicating the gospel, help that leader give kids their best by allowing them to focus on preparing their message.

3. Seek the kids in the corners

No matter how awesome your youth group is, there will always be kids in the corners. The ones who show up because their parents made them come, or a cute boy or girl is there too. They think the games are dumb and the leaders are weird. Or maybe they just want everyone else to think they’re too cool to be there. Either way, God has brought them to your youth group, and he’s entrusted them to you for an hour or two each week.

Sometimes kids genuinely aren’t interested in what’s going on, and you can’t and shouldn’t force them to join in. But sometimes kids stand in the corners to see if anyone will notice. If a kid without friends comes to youth group, where he/she doesn’t have friends, how do you make the body of Christ look different than school? Involve them. Love them. Imitate God’s relentless pursuit of their hearts.

4. Share the joy of the gospel

The gospel isn’t boring. A lot of kids think it is, because their only exposure to it is from reading a translation of a 2,000-year-old book, or listening to messages crafted for adults. Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life (a youth ministry designed for kids who don’t go to church), once said “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” Whether or not you agree with Rayburn, Christians can’t overlook the potential damage of presenting the most exciting truth in the history of the world as stale, old, and irrelevant. The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and there are countless ways to show kids that the life and truth it contains is applicable to their lives today.

5. Know your kids

Knowing your kids means more than just knowing who they are. It means knowing how they will respond to different situations, and preparing your events with them in mind. Some kids love being the center of attention, and some kids fall apart when you put them in front of a group. It’s important to give kids equal opportunity to shine, but the risk of humiliating a kid or making them feel alone and outcast is not worth the potential reward of making them feel adored. If a kid is checking out your youth group for the first time and you’ve never had any interaction with them, you might want to be careful about throwing them into a game that requires them to be outgoing and comfortable in front of everyone.

It’s also important to know where your kids are at spiritually. This doesn’t mean you should ask every kid who comes through the door, “Do you believe in Jesus?” Those conversations should happen, but not before you develop a relationship with them and earn the right to ask those deeply intimate questions. There are countless reasons why a kid might walk in through the doors of your youth ministry, and a lot of them aren’t Jesus (at least, not from the kid’s perspective). Over-spiritualizing a kid’s experience can actually prevent them from having a spiritual experience. St. Francis of Assisi is often attributed with saying, “Preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” Youth ministry is an excellent context to practice reflecting Christ through the way you love and live.

6. Don’t embarrass kids*

Kids live in constant fear of humiliation. The last place they should have to live out their worst nightmares is at youth group—where they are also learning that they are loved and valued by God.

*See #5 and #1. If you know a kid well enough and you’re confident that their class-clown spirit will allow them to embrace and appreciate the experience, and the embarrassment serves a purpose, mild embarrassment may be acceptable.

7. Meet parents

You could be the nicest, most caring and trustworthy person on the planet, but if parents don’t know you, how can you expect them to trust you with their kids? Building a relationship with parents is especially important for middle school and elementary school ministries, where kids are fully dependent on their parents to even be able to show up at your events. Sometimes meeting parents is effortless because they actively seek out the leaders who work with their kids. Other times, meeting parents takes work. Even if they don’t care who you are or who their kids hang out with, it will always be worth it to you in your ministry to get to know the people who have raised the kids God has placed at your feet. When kids leave, walk them out to whoever picks them up. Better yet, offer to give them a ride, and use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself to their parents. Don’t let the inside of the church be the only place your life overlaps with your kids’.

8. Put your relationship with Jesus first

This may seem selfish in a way, but the reality is, the more we put Jesus first, the more we love those around us. When you put your relationship with Jesus first, the purpose and significance of everything you do and say to others is amplified, not reduced.

Phrases like, “You can only lead someone as far as you’ve gone” may be cliché, but they still carry weight. If you aren’t pursuing your own relationship with Jesus, how can you honestly encourage kids that it’s important to their faith? If you aren’t reading your Bible, praying, and surrounding yourself with Christians who are wiser than yourself, you aren’t offering your best to your ministry, your kids, or God. These are your tools of the trade, and if you aren’t using your tools, how can you do your job?

9. Honor your commitment

Hopefully getting involved with a youth group wasn’t just a passing fancy you had in church one day. Stepping into ministry of any kind is something that should be prayerfully considered, discussed with God and with wise people in your life, and surrounded with spiritual preparation. If you’ve committed to leading kids at your church or through another ministry, honor God, your kids, and the leaders on your team by being trustworthy, accountable, and invested in the work you are doing together.

Today’s kids have been dubbed “the fatherless generation.” Youth leaders can’t abandon them too. Leaving ministry should be considered just as carefully and prayerfully as entering it.

10. Get a mentor

One of the biggest dangers facing people in ministry is burnout. It’s easy to be excited about something when you first get going, but after a couple years, or a decade, how do you stay excited? And more importantly, how do you draw from your experience while still treating each experience and each kid as something entirely new and wonderful? The key is having a mentor.

If you are constantly pouring into the lives of kids and nobody is pouring into you, sooner or later you’re going to feel empty. Whether that mentor is a pastor, a more experienced leader, or a wise friend from church, you need somebody who can offer you fresh perspective, hold you accountable, pray for you, love you, and inspire you to keep going (Hebrews 10:24).

What else do you think youth leaders should know? Tell us in the comments!

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Faithlife makes it easy to stay connected to your ministry team. Stay organized with a convenient calendar. Create and share prayer lists, documents, newsletters, and more. Bring your community with you using an intuitive mobile app. Study the Word together with over 50 reading plans and interactive community notes. You can even tell Faithlife to email your team when someone shares something important. Join Faithlife today, and experience a better church communication tool.

Now Introducing: Christian Discourse

CD_SocialShare_600x600Want to have honest conversations about the things that matter most? Check out ChristianDiscourse.com. The Internet is full of places to have discussions about anything you can imagine. If you have an opinion about something, there’s a place for you to share it.

But sometimes it’s hard to decide where it’s appropriate to share your thoughts. Discussions related to religion often attract hateful, personal attacks when people can hide behind anonymity. Christian Discourse is creating a healthy environment for Christians to share thoughts, collect opinions, and have conversations about theology, culture, the Bible, and life.

When you want to know what other Christians think, post a question and see what thoughts arise from within the body of Christ. Or, jump into a conversation that’s already taking place. You can even find food for thought as you engage in conversations with your friends and family. Explore controversial topics without creating controversy. Whatever your conversational needs, Christian Discourse is a great place to gather perspectives.

Healthy conversations with real people

Creating Christian community with strangers on the Internet is tough. You are communicating with real people. It’s easy to forget that they’re real when their online ID is fake. Anonymous profiles don’t foster authentic, healthy conversations. That’s why people who post to Christian Discourse create profiles that include their names, and the community can determine if a post is appropriate for a conversation between believers.

Christian Discourse also allows you to interact with others on a more personal level. Say you find someone who’s theology particularly aligns with yours, or, someone who provides exactly the answers you need. If you like the way someone thinks, you can keep learning from them! Click their profile, and see what other discussions they’ve contributed to. Christian Discourse is neatly organized and easy to navigate, so you can journey between conversations in the way that makes the most sense to you.

Join the conversation today.