These deals are so good, they won’t stay around long! Add new favorites to your library before the bargains disappear. (more…)
We’ve heard your feedback, and we’re excited to announce what we’ve created in response.
This past quarter we have been busy launching three products to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible and also enhance your ministry:
- Faithlife Giving, an electronic donation platform
- Faithlife Sites, an integrated website platform
- Faithlife Connect, a single subscription that draws together hundreds of videos, ebooks, courses, Bible study tools, and other resources to grow your faith.
We’ve built these tools with your feedback in mind and are confident you will love what you see. But we also want to hear how we can serve you better. Please follow the group at Faithlife.com and share with us today, then keep reading to learn about other ways we are working to come alongside you in ministry.
Thanks for being with us,
– Bob Pritchett
Helping you help the Church
We know churches desire to be good financial stewards. And because online giving is the future of tithing, we’ve introduced Faithlife Giving, an electronic platform for givers to gift funds to churches and nonprofit ministries.
Churches will benefit from simple, streamlined budgeting with electronic records, saving time and effort. Donors can give through their desktop or mobile device with a single or recurring donation and easily add funds to different events—or split funds between events.
And because it’s integrated with Faithlife Groups, givers can get more involved in mission while supporting their church. How can we help your church give more cheerfully? Let us know in the Faithlife Giving community.
Another new product, Faithlife Sites, helps churches easily build and maintain websites. This integrated website platform automatically updates a church’s website based on information such as the church calendar, smart photo galleries, and most recent sermon. It’s built for community and so easy you barely have to touch it.
Join the Faithlife Sites group, and learn from others who are using Faithlife Sites.
Deepening relationships in the Church
More churches and individuals are leveraging Faithlife Groups to communicate activities and build relationships across their church community. A Faithlife Group supplements individual and community experiences with faith-based books, films, and images to help you go deeper in Bible study.
Unique to Faithlife Groups are prayer requests, events, and newsletters. And the Faithlife Groups app allows you to connect with your community on the go! Groups can be public or private, and items can be shared within those groups to foster a community that’s always connected.
On the horizon . . .
We know how hard you work but also how much time administrative activities take. That’s why we are working on creating a new suite of products that will strengthen relationships across your staff and whole congregation to help you fulfill your mission—and give you back time to do what you do best: ministry. Stay tuned for when this product goes public.
Read, learn, grow
Meet the newest Logos base package: Logos 7 Fundamentals
Logos 7 Fundamentals is a brand-new Logos package that helps anybody deepen their Bible study, no matter their skill level. It offers the breadth of what a good Bible study library should have, including dictionaries and encyclopedias, commentaries, word study resources, theology resources, devotionals, and more. Purposefully lean, Logos 7 Fundamentals is perfect for anybody who wants to deepen their Bible study on a budget.
Where can you find solid biblical content that will deepen your Christian walk without overwhelming you? Meet Faithlife Connect, a single subscription to hundreds of Christian resources—videos, Bible study tools, courses, Logos, ebooks, and Bible Study Magazine—as well as exclusive discounts. Check out everything included in Faithlife Connect, and be sure to let us know what you think by posting in the Connect group.
Bible Study Magazine digital edition
It’s here! Bible Study Magazine is now available digitally in a new Logos format. You’ll enjoy the same sound advice, tools, and methods for Bible study from pastors, professors, historians, and archaeologists as in the print version. What articles have you recently enjoyed in Bible Study Magazine? Follow the group and share them in a post.
In your community
The Faithlife Ministry Relations team will be at a number of conferences in the summer months including the Young Leaders Conference in Atlanta, GA on August 2–4. Stop by our booth. We’d love to see you!
Comparably provides accurate and comprehensive compensation and culture data to understand employees’ true value and needs to make work better. Recently, Comparably awarded Faithlife three Comparably 2018 Culture Awards:
- Best CEOs for Women
- Best Professional Development
- Best Leadership Team
We’re always looking for talented, awesome, fun employees. Interested? Join our team!
Your feedback matters
Our goal is to build products that help you grow in the light of the Bible and give you back time to do what you do best: ministry. We’re hearing you like what you see—but we want to know how we can serve you better.
Follow Faithlife.com today and let us know what kinds of products and tools will help you grow in the light of the Bible.
It’s that time of year when churches kick things up a notch.
We’re celebrating God’s greatest act of mercy: sending his Son to redeem the world.
And since a multitude of angels sang at his appearing, it’s right that churches celebrate with at least a little extravagance. Plus, with an uptick in visitors, it’s an excellent season for outreach.
That said, celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to drain the bank (or calendar). [Read more…]
The church in Corinth had a problem. One of their own was actively engaging in sexual sin that went beyond the immorality of non-Christian Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:1). This person was choosing to live in sin, despite being part of the body of Christ. Paul goes on to say that the best thing for both the church and the individual was for the church to remove the man from their fellowship. Then in 1 Corinthians 5:5, Paul puts it another way: “deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh . . .”
To us modern day Christians, Paul’s instruction sounds like a cliche misrepresentation of Christianity you’d see in a horror movie. But that’s not how Christians in Corinth understood it.
FaithSmiles.com brings you faith-friendly videos that help you, your family, and your friends share happiness, encouragement, and the depth of God’s love. You’ll find stories that make you laugh, stories that make you weep, and more.
One of our recent favorites is this touching story of a husband who goes on the best first date ever—with a girl you’ll never expect.
“A good father will ponder: How can I be like my heavenly Father?”
Being a husband and father isn’t meant to be easy; it’s meant to be meaningful. The love between these two leads us to a glimpse of our Father’s love for us, which in turn illuminates the important role fathers and husbands are called to play (Ephesians 5:25).
Fathers’ mission–leading their families into the love of God—leaves them with big shoes to fill. The sad truth is, many dads are so overwhelmed with the task at hand that they don’t even lace up. Or maybe they trip on their shoelaces a time or two when times get tough, and then give up because they think conflict means they aren’t good at this whole dad thing. So we end up with fewer and fewer father-daughter moments and, eventually, a fatherless culture.
Remember this: God’s love never leaves or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6). In order for dads to push through times of tension, they need constant encouragement. Which fathers can you encourage today? Thank them and refresh them: share this video with them, and tag them in the comments.
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Check out FaithSmiles.com for more faith-friendly videos that will leave you inspired, refreshed, or just plain entertained. You’ll never find inappropriate videos or advertisements, so your entire family is safe to poke around, enjoy, and share the smiles with family and friends!
Jimi Hendrix. Heath Ledger. Whitney Houston. Cory Monteith. Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And countless others.
The drug culture that so often surrounds celebrities is tragic from every angle, and too often deadly. These men and women live in the spotlight, entertain us, and then retreat to the solitude and loneliness of addiction. They shoot poison into their veins, hoping it will calm their restlessness, and for a time, entertain the entertainers. They seek a fix. As Russell Brand, famously clean for many years, admitted in an op-ed published by The Guardian, “I look to drugs and booze to fill up a hole in me.”
But substance abuse isn’t limited to celebrities. Many people within the middle-class suburban towns that so many of us call home also struggle with addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths by overdose have risen more than 100 percent nationwide since 1999. Even though no headline is made when one among them loses that fight, their loss is no less tragic. So how are we—the church, the ones with whom God has entrusted his truth—to respond? How can we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel to which we cling (Philippians 1:27)?
We must call sin, sin
Self-destructive, self-indulgent behavior like drug abuse and binge drinking is sin. There’s no way around it (1 Corinthians 6:9). It is a perversion of God’s plan, and we cannot make excuses for it. We can’t blame an addict’s environment, upbringing, or genetic predisposition. Those things may contribute, but sin is a matter of choice. Excuses don’t make the past better or the present easier.
We must extend grace and forgiveness
It was Ghandi—not Jesus or one of his disciples—who said, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” But the sentiment is no less true on his lips. We must look beyond the sin to the sinner who’s fallen victim to it. We must love without enabling, show mercy without excusing, and offer help without condescending. (Click to tweet)
Can a Christian, in good conscience, partake of the art made by a man or woman who regularly chooses to abuse controlled substances? Of course. We enjoy the art of gossips, braggarts, gluttons, and rebels all the time. Why should this specific sin be any different?
Personally—and it is a very personal choice—I choose to abstain from art, music, or cinema that openly glorifies sin. At least, I make an effort to do so. Like most forms of abstinence, it’s much easier to say than to practice.
How do you think Christians ought to respond to the rising tide of drug addiction, and drug related death? Tell us in comments.
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Learn what the Bible says about this and other issues with the free Faithlife Study Bible app. Download it today from your app store of choice.
Who would dare criticize the Charles Spurgeon, the great prince of preachers? Maybe more people than you think. The Spurgeon Commentary: Galatians opens with a brief biography of his ministry.
This passage might surprise you:
When 19-year-old Charles Spurgeon was called to the New Park Street Pulpit in 1854, London newspapers derided him as a brash upstart. Critics complained that his plainspoken, direct speaking style was too edgy—and dangerously innovative. A secular magazine referred to his colloquial speech as “slang.” A newspaper editorial categorized his preaching as “ginger-pop sermonizing.” One particularly harsh critic wrote:
He is nothing unless he is an actor—unless exhibiting that matchless impudence which is his great characteristic, indulging in coarse familiarity with holy things, declaiming in a ranting and colloquial style, strutting up and down the platform as though he were at the Surrey Theatre, and boasting of his own intimacy with Heaven with nauseating frequency. His fluency, self-possession, oratorical tricks, and daring utterances, seem to fascinate his less-thoughtful hearers, who love excitement more than devotion.
During that first year, pundits regularly predicted an early end to Spurgeon’s ministry in London: “He is a nine days’ wonder—a comet that has suddenly shot across the religious atmosphere. He has gone up like a rocket, and ere long will come down like a stick.”
Spurgeon’s critics were wrong, but they weren’t silent. They attacked him, slandered him, and fiercely opposed his ministry. They called his successes flukes and his failures proof of his character.
What did Spurgeon do? He just kept preaching. He kept writing. He kept sharing the truth of Scripture as plainly and directly as he could for 30 years of faithful ministry.
Though he only wrote commentaries on two books—Matthew and Psalms—he wrote and spoke extensively enough that a team here at Logos is compiling a commentary from his preaching ministry. The first volume, Galatians, is available right now. The rest of the New Testament letters are available for pre-order. Get Spurgeon’s insights in your Faithlife Study Bible—pre-order the Spurgeon Commentary Collection today.
Faithlife.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:
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.
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.
In Matthew 7:13, Jesus describes the Christian life—the path to spiritual freedom—as being a narrow road that’s difficult to find and follow. He said that most people take a different road—a road that is wide and flat, a road that is easy to find and follow. Though it is difficult, the narrow road is the only way to a fulfilling life of freedom. But unfortunately, many people settle for less than what God intends for them because they mistake it for bondage.
The biggest trophy on Satan’s wall is from the day he made freedom look like slavery. (Click to tweet)
Think about it like this:
Am I free to practice medicine? No. I am very much not.
Why? I don’t have a license, and I don’t have the knowledge required to get one.
If I decided I wanted to become a doctor, how would I go about that?
I’d go to medical school, where I would experience serious restrictions on how I could spend my time and money. I would submit myself to deadlines, fees, and a dress code—a series of restrictions (a narrow road) that would result in a degree of freedom unavailable to me otherwise.
That’s why James 1:25 refers to the Scripture as “the law of liberty.” The Word of God, though full of prohibitions and commands, directs us to the life of freedom and fulfillment God intended for us.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can look back on seasons in my life and clearly see how my commitment to or abandonment of Scripture’s truth influenced my decision making and my temperament. Seasons when I regularly made time to look to the Scriptures are seasons I lived as a person free from selfishness and full of gentleness and wisdom, because I was close to the heart of God. And I can look back on seasons when I ignored the Word of God and see how pride crept into my life. I can see how I became distant from the heart of God, how temptation became harder to resist, and how I became cold. All my regrets are from seasons when I confused freedom and slavery, neglecting the truth I knew.
One of the best ways to remind yourself of truth is to spend a few minutes each day reading God’s Word. With a modern English translation, rich study notes, and a huge variety of reading plans, the Faithlife Study Bible makes it easier than ever. Download it today from your app store of choice.