Sometimes I get to do video chats with pastors as part of my job, and I love it. Their heart for service beams out from the screen, and I walk away blessed.
One thing we talk about is Faithlife’s integrated ministry platform. I ask questions like “What was going on that made you decide to give it a look? How are things different now? Has it been worth it for your church?”
Since so many good bits had to be left out for space, I’ll share some here.
Even though Pastor Chris Sansom, Rev. Dr. Brian Carmichael, and Pastor Kevin Brown serve in different denominations thousands of miles from each other, recurring themes became easy to spot—a desire to save time, save money, trade disconnection for connection, and disciple people.
Where they started
How’d these pastors find out about Faithlife Equip, the bundle of everything the integrated ministry platform includes?
They used Logos Bible Software from Faithlife, and that led them to try Faithlife’s church presentation software, Proclaim.
Pastor Sansom said, “I was drawn to this [Faithlife Equip] partially because I’ve been using Logos Bible software for 12–13 years now. Originally we decided to venture out by using Proclaim to enhance our presentations. The biggest improvement for us has definitely been Proclaim. It has helped us leaps and bounds.”
Pastor Brown agreed. Since Proclaim has been so easy to use (even for older volunteers) and saved his church so much time, he frequently whips out his phone to tell other pastors about it. And he’s even found somewhat of a “nontraditional” way to use it—in ministry training.
Brown told me, “I love it that I can use it as training tools for my teachers and have them put their lessons in there, and we can talk about the lessons.”
Proclaim has even traveled with him around the world. He said, “Even when I was in Nigeria, I used Proclaim to build out everything I was going to do.”
Here’s a look inside Proclaim so you can see why pastors and volunteers give it two thumbs up.
Entering the time machine
“Equip is really about continuing what we’ve been doing with Logos Bible Software all these years. We used to joke that we’d built a time machine for pastors, right? Logos Bible Software was a tool to help pastors do more and better Bible study in less time. We took out all the overhead,” says Bob Pritchett, Faithlife’s CEO. (Full interview below.)
Just like Logos, Equip helps take out the overhead. The busywork. The needless back-and-forth and manual entry.
Pastor Brian Carmichael estimates that the software included in Equip has helped him save six or more hours every week. Pastor Brown says, “I don’t even know how to qualify the time that I’m saving because I don’t remember how I did it before.” Pastor Sansom didn’t hazard a guess as to time savings, but he did say, “Before this, we were piecemealing it. I couldn’t imagine trying to do half the stuff I did with the tools I used before.”
These pastors love the time savings and ease of Proclaim and Logos, but what else? Here are the highlights.
What drew me [to Faithlife] was software to help me do what I really needed to do.
I want people to use the technology and be more integrated. We don’t want to have to update phone numbers every five days. We want that integrated so the secretary isn’t saddled with that burden.
The biggest benefit of the social platform [groups on Faithlife] has been integrating the whole element of the worship life into the rest of our congregant’s lives. Social media is a big deal, and it’s refreshing to have social media that’s dedicated to our worship life, our prayers, reading, and Bible. And if I want to give to the church, I can do that there too.
Equip helped us with our newsletter and email and texting. In a lot of ways, it has made our lives easier, especially mine and my secretary’s.
When I realized how integrated it was, it was a no brainer. I love the fact that Faithlife is interested in listening to those that are subscribing to it and making changes—at rapid speed, I might add!
The community thing. I love it. I love the different ways to set up different ministries within the church: leadership team, worship team, men’s and women’s ministry.
I like the video chat. Christian growth classes—like Sunday school—are done through video chat.
We use the communication and forms. When it comes to members looking at the website online or app on their phone, it’s at their fingertips.
We also do a chronological Bible reading through the year. I am able to put that whole list on the community page [church group on Faithlife]. With Logos, I was able to create the chronological Bible plan and connect with that. It also shows where to catch up [on the reading plan]. Makes it so much easier.
We have a leadership group [on Faithlife]. I can put information on there and set alerts so all the leaders see it. Even when it comes to the video chat, the pastoral staff do not need to drive to the church.
If the facility is being used, you don’t need to call and find out—you just put it on the calendar to see who is using it.
Faithlife Sites, the website, I love. We use the templates on our website. It seems to work out really well.
We continue to try to figure out new ways we can use Logos.
We just recently started using a lot of the automation functions on the Proclaim software. Now I’ve got a really easy connection without having to run extra wires. I use my cell phone as a camera. I can plug it into there, and it’s just amazing.
We have a media group [on Faithlife] that works with Proclaim, so I populate that with the people that we want to be a part of it. And I love it, that type of collaboration.
Not only did it [Faithlife Equip] give us one place to keep [all of our church software] together, but they talk to each other. So it’s not like one thing is isolated from another.
I love the ability to be working on something on my iPad and then go to my computer, and I can pick up where I left off. I love that aspect of it. One of the other things I like about it is that it does keep track of research that I have done [using Logos]. . . . No matter how long ago I talked about a particular subject, I have access to the time I spent studying that.
I love that Equip offered an opportunity for members of my congregation to jump on board with [discipleship through] digital technology, without having to go through additional expense.
Take a closer look
Now that you’ve read about how other churches are using Equip, you might have an idea of how your church could too. But as much as it pains me to say it, there’s an even better way you can find out about the integrated ministry platform than reading about it.
You can book a one-on-one live demo with a church tech expert, done via video chat. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to turn your camera on—unless you want to.) Since you can do so much with the integrated ministry platform, they’ll help narrow it down to what would be most helpful for your church right now based on where you’re at and what you’re looking for. After 30 minutes, you’ll have a much clearer picture of whether it’s the right fit.