5 Steps to Prepare Bible Studies for Children’s Ministries

Children’s ministry
Today’s guest post is by Pastor Sam Luce of Redeemer Church in Utica, New York. Sam has been a pastor for 17 years—14 of which he served as a children’s pastor. He received his BA in theology from Portland Bible College, and he’s been involved in children’s ministry for 23 years. Sam writes regularly about children’s ministry and Christian parenting at SamLuce.com.

“Bonhoeffer would often say that ‘if one couldn’t communicate the most profound ideas about God and the Bible to children, something was amiss.’”—Eric Metaxas

One of the most important and most neglected disciplines for children’s ministry work is personal study. Often when it comes to children’s ministry curriculum, the Bible story is either too complicated or too simplistic. The answer is not “buy a better curriculum.” The answer is personal bible study.

Read more…

Free Online Bible Study Course

free Bible study course

Serious Bible study is hard work. But it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you read the Bible every day or you’re opening it for the first time, the right tools can help you see the Bible in powerful new ways—without taking hours of your time.

That’s why we created a free, 30 day course to help you start doing better Bible study.

Read more…

Get Your Gifts before February 2

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Logos 6 is here to stay, but after February 2, our special introductory gifts are going away.

Right now, if you get Logos 6, you’re eligible for up to $900 worth of free gifts—because something this big is worth celebrating.

Here’s how it works:

Spend: $500

Get: $50.00 promotional code

50promocodeIf you spend $500 or more when you add a new base package, we’ll send you a $50 promotional code to spend on a future order. We have over 45,000 titles to choose from, so there’s something for everyone. You can use it to get a handful of prized books for free, or apply it toward a larger collection—it’s yours to use as you please. And in Logos, the more books you own, the more valuable every book in your library becomes.

Spend: $1,000

Get: BI100 Learn to Study the Bible

bi100Spend $1,000 or more to unlock a brand-new Mobile Ed course—BI100 Learn to Study the Bible—taught by distinguished professor Dr. Darrell Bock. Dr. Bock will walk you through reading and studying Scripture, with an emphasis on using Logos 6’s powerful new tools to discover new insights. You’ll get video lessons and transcripts, along with more than a dozen Logos 6 training videos. With this course, you can start using Logos 6 and hit the ground running.

Learn how to study the Word with the world’s best Bible study tools from a renowned Bible teacher:

Spend: $2,500

Get: 2-year Pro Media subscription

promediaSpending $2,500 gets you a free two-year subscription to Pro Media—beautiful background slides for your quotes, references, and sermons. Pro Media contains media packs that help you create stress-free, pixel-perfect presentations. These packs work within Proclaim (if you don’t use Proclaim, you can try it free for 30 days), but one of these packs is specially designed for use with Logos. It gives you a wealth of new slides to use with Visual Copy, so you have even more ways to share visually appealing quotes right from your library.

Spend: $5,000

Get: Discipleship Training Bundle

mobilebundleWhen you spend $5,000 or more with your Logos 6 base-package purchase, you’ll get all of the other gifts, plus three Mobile Ed courses: ED101 Introducing Discipleship with Dr. Greg Ogden, PC151 Theology of Everyday Life with Dr. Daniel Doriani, and BI181 Introducing Bible Translations with Dr. Mark Strauss. These courses teach biblical foundations and provide practical methods for developing disciples. Learn both how to train others to live Christ-filled lives and how to teach other leaders to do the same.

Claim your gifts

To get these rewards, add a Logos 6 base package to your cart and grab everything else you want—bundles, additional base packages, etc. When your cart total hits $500, you’ll unlock your first gift. Spend $5,000 or more, and you’ll get them all. You’ll receive your rewards in an email within 45 days of your purchase. Right now with the 15% off discount on base packages and dynamic pricing, one of the best ways to get your gifts and fill your library is to grab multiple base packages. So if you want to take advantage of these great gifts, you could pick out a couple base packages with complementary resources.

Learn more about introductory offers, and get Logos 6 before these offers go away! These deals end Monday, February 2 at 11:59 p.m. (PST).

Logos 6 Is Here: The World’s Best Bible Software Just Got Better

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We’ve just released Logos 6—the most powerful Bible software on the planet. Take your place at the forefront of biblical studies: get Logos 6 now.

More than 20 years ago, Logos Bible Software revolutionized the way people study the Word of God. Today, Logos has built on over two decades of technology-based Bible study to bring you Logos 6.

Bob Pritchett, CEO of Faithlife, says, “Logos 6 is all about delivering insight. Building on the innovations in Logos 4 and 5, the new release features new tools for exploring the Bible, connecting it to ancient and modern literature, and sharing your insights with others.”

To create Logos 6, we built tools that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.

Interconnected ancient literature

With Logos 6’s new Ancient Literature tool, you can unearth powerful connections between the Bible and ancient texts, so you get a clearer picture of the Bible’s background and historical impact on various cultures.

Pritchett says, “We’ve had scholars tag every cultural concept in the Bible, then extend that tagging to other ancient literature. This is a unique new database that helps you see connections that were nearly impossible to find before.”

Search any verse in the Passage Guide, and the Ancient Literature tool helps you see connections to the Talmud, Mishna, Judaic literature, Apostolic Fathers, Philo, and more.

This tool does all the heavy lifting for you—so you can do scholarly work, whether or not you have a degree.

Interactive Media

Logos 6 is packed with new ways to help you visualize the biblical world. Interactive infographics, one of our new lines of Interactive Media, are textbook illustrations come to life. Whether you’re studying on your own, or teaching a group, Logos 6 helps you conceptualize the armor of God, temples, altars, and more. Interactive Media combines scholarly descriptions of ancient concepts with visual representations to maximize your learning.

Smarter language tools

No matter your Greek and Hebrew background, brand-new Greek and Hebrew Alphabet Tutors will help you master the biblical languages. The Greek tutor lets you choose from three common pronunciations: Koine, Erasmian, and Modern Greek. Interactive Media helps you practice each letter and provides common lemmas associated with it.

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Don’t know Greek or Hebrew? Now you can learn it!

These same tools that help scholars and students master the biblical languages can also help you get started. Learning to read and write Greek and Hebrew has never been easier. Start from the beginning, and learn how to read and write each letter with audio and interactive visual aides.

Insightful resources for Psalms and Proverbs

Logos 6 introduces the revolutionary Psalms Explorer and Proverbs Explorer—Interactive Media that helps you visually understand and sort the Psalms and Proverbs by genre, topic, theme, and more.

Take a look at the Psalms Explorer:

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You can instantly sort and view the Psalms by form, structure, and more. The size of each Psalm in the browser corresponds to its size in the text. Genres are distinguished by color, so when you select an author like David, at a glance, you can see that a vast majority of the Psalms he wrote are laments. The Psalms Explorer helps you see connections and deliver insight in exciting new ways.

Logos 6’s new Interactive Media creates a Bible study experience unlike anything in existence.

Make Logos 6 yours

Right now, it’s easier than ever to get the base package that’s right for you. If you’re signed into your Faithlife account, we can even make a personal recommendation for you, based on the resources and tools you already own.

Get Logos 6 today, and revolutionize your Bible study.

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If you got Logos 5 in the last 6 months, we’ve got a unique, limited-time-upgrade deal just for you. Call our sales team at 888-875-9491 to see what we’ve got for you.

5 Ways to Use Community Notes

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Margin notes are great, but Community Notes are better!

Create a Faithlife Group, and start using Community Notes today.

There are a lot of ways Faithlife Groups can improve your Bible study or small group.

One of them is the revolutionary Bible study tool, Community Notes.

When you reread your favorite passages of Scripture or your favorite books, your margin notes remind you of insights, revelations, or interpretations you’ve encountered in the text. With Community Notes, you can effortlessly share those same insights with your family, your small group, or your ministry team.

Every time you create a Community Note, select which Faithlife Group you want to share it with. Whenever you open your Faithlife Study Bible, Vyrso App, or Logos Bible Software, you can toggle which groups’ Community Notes you want to see as you read along. That means you can see the Community Notes of your entire Christian community, or you can isolate it to your small group, your family, or your ministry team.

Here are five ways you can use Community Notes to get more from your Bible study:

1. Study interactively

When your Faithlife Group studies a passage together, Community Notes let you pose questions to the group, right from your Bible, directly into theirs. You can even comment on a Community Note, so you can point someone to related Scripture, or even a relevant book in your library. You can also use a particular passage as a spring board for deeper questions, and encourage your whole group to respond.

2. Follow along with your pastor

Your pastor is one of the greatest resources you have in your church. But think about how exhausting it would be for your pastor to personally invest time to study with every individual member of the congregation.

Your pastor already spends a lot of time in personal Bible study. As a member of the congregation, you are indirectly learning from your pastor’s Bible study all the time through their teaching and counsel. Creating a Faithlife Group for your pastor means you get to learn directly from their personal study as well. Every note your pastor writes on a passage can become an opportunity for your church to grow.

Encourage your pastor to help you grow, using the studies they’re already doing!

3. Hold each other accountable

Community Notes are a great way to show each other that you are reading and wrestling with Scripture. If you’re setting reading goals with your friends or family, sometimes it’s hard to know if everyone is on track—especially with young kids or people who don’t like to read. Setting goals that incorporate Community Notes provides a tangible way to hold each other accountable.

Depending on the group, you could set a goal like one Community Note per chapter, or one per paragraph. Setting goals with Community Notes asks people to not just read Scripture, but to process it.

And encouraging someone to process Scripture is like asking them to chew their food.

4. Learn what to focus on

If you’re a small group leader, Community Notes can help you prepare for your next meeting. If your group actively uses Community Notes to point to the verses or passages they struggle with, then you can prepare to spend your time on those areas, and assemble any necessary materials before you meet.

Without Community Notes, you could prepare a great lesson or discussion on a verse or passage no one had questions about. Community Notes help you invest in the areas your group needs the most help processing.

5. Grow with your whole church

Faithlife Groups aren’t limited to small groups. Thousands of churches across the globe have Faithlife Groups that are open to their entire church.

Your church is full of wise, intelligent people that you can learn and grow with.

Community Notes help you tap into your church’s collective wisdom.

Start small, and invite church members you know, or go big, and approach your congregation or leadership team. When you share your wisdom with others you help build up the body of Christ.

Start using Community Notes today! Learn more here.

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If your small group isn’t using a Faithlife Group yet, you’re missing out on prayer lists, shared reading plans, Community Notes, and more. Faithlife Groups are the ultimate church communication tool. The best part is, they’re absolutely free.

Get 20 Free Books by R.C. Sproul!

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Right now, you can get R.C. Sproul’s 20-volume Crucial Questions series for free!

Logos Bible Software has partnered with Ligonier Ministries to help the church answer some of the biggest questions people ask about Christianity. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries’ founder, has taught countless classes and seminars and written over 70 books. Now he’s offering you 20 of them for free. The Crucial Questions Series explores essential Christian theology to help you arrive at a modern, biblical understanding of some of life’s toughest questions—questions that lie at the foundation of the Christian faith. Sproul gives you the tools to address them head-on, equipping you with a biblical perspective and sound doctrine. And these tools are free of charge, because every Christian should have them.

Each of these 20 books addresses a different question that both Christians and non-Christians ask about Christianity. You’ll get books like Does Prayer Change Things?, Does God Control Everything?, What Is the Trinity?, and How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience?

When you download these books with Logos, free means more. These 20 volumes automatically integrate with your entire Logos library, helping you find answers when you need them. Using the Topic Guide, you can pull Sproul’s answers up side by side with parallel commentaries, maintaining the essential balance between the in-depth exploration of Scripture and the practical presentation of its truths.

Start answering these crucial questions for yourself. Start sharing what you learn. When you can get all these books for free, “I don’t know” doesn’t need to be the end of the conversation anymore.

Get your free books right now!

 

Equip Yourself to Dive into the Bible

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In the information age, it’s hard to spend as much time as you want in Scripture. You’re constantly bombarded with more information than you can handle, so you have to constantly prioritize and filter the things that matter and the things that don’t. And that’s what makes Bible study feel like a paradox. You know you’re supposed to see all Scripture as valuable (2 Timothy 3:16). But when you’re dragging yourself through lists of names and types of sacrifices, the treasure of Scripture can feel like it’s slipping through your fingers. That’s because jumping into the Bible without any understanding of context is like diving into the ocean from a helicopter with no equipment. If you don’t really know what you’re doing, it won’t be pleasant. Equip yourself for the dive with Logos 5.

Of course, with the right translation, you can find parts of the Bible that you can read without difficulty. Maybe you enjoy the powerful stories of the Old Testament, or the beautiful picture of love in the Gospels, or the challenging representations of faith in the early church. There are always parts of the ocean that you can swim in, but without the right knowledge and tools at your disposal, there’s still a whole ocean you’ll never see.

In Bible study, these tools are commentaries, key theological texts, Bible dictionaries, and works by popular pastors and Bible teachers. On their own, each of these resources has something to offer your Bible study. For the casual reader and the average Christian, however, the walls of text that often accompany these valuable tools makes them too intimidating. Even if you own one, a Bible dictionary or commentary can make Bible study feel like more work, and you don’t end up reading as much of the Bible. With Logos, that all changes. Logos links all of your texts together, and every verse is linked to every resource you own that references it.

One of the most important parts of reading Scripture is taking the time to reflect on it. Whether you set a goal to read one chapter a day or five chapters a day, what do you gain from it if you don’t take a moment to reflect on what you’ve read? The truths of individual verses can get lost if they don’t stand out to you right away. Important contextual information is easiest to skim over, but it’s some of the most important content when interpreting what that Scripture means for your life thousands of years later. When you read Scripture with Logos, you can spend as much time as you want reflecting on a single verse. Right now, your library could have hundreds, even thousands of references to the verses you read today in your personal devotions. If you wanted to track them down, you’d have to spend hours flipping through books to find what you’re looking for. Even if you’re organized and you’ve carefully sorted your library, you have better things to do than scanning sticky notes, underlines, and margin notes. Logos is more organized than any physical library could ever be. A single search in Logos can save you hours—and that adds up.

When talking about Logos 5, Mark A. Kellner from Washington Times said, “If studying the Bible is something of professional or personal interest, there is, right now, nothing else that comes close.” Logos 5’s datasets add a whole new dimension to your Bible study and bring lists of names, places, and dates to life. You can’t get these datasets anywhere else. Here’s how Sean Boisen, Logos’ director of content innovation explains it:

Don’t let yourself feel like the Bible is too deep or difficult to navigate. Get Logos 5, and you’ll have all the tools you need to plunge into Scripture. Turn every verse into a diving board and see what depths your Bible study can take you. If you already have Logos, but you don’t have Logos 5, upgrade today and take advantage of your very own custom upgrade discount!

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!