The future of Logos and Faithlife: Help us make the right decisions!

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LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jun 21 2019 7:29 PM

We’ve been building Logos Bible Software since 1991. It’s the heart of everything we do, and of accomplishing our mission:

We use technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible.

Logos is the premiere tool for people who are serious about Bible study. It’s heavily used by pastors, scholars, seminary students, and lay people.

But people who are serious about Bible study -- and want to use a powerful, dedicated tool for study -- are a small percentage of most churches. We want to serve everyone in the church, and we know that many people ‘grow in the light of the Bible’ through classes, small groups, video, and free content on the web.

Faithlife Equip is our platform for helping everyone in every church grow in the light of the Bible. We believe an integrated platform (one account!) is of great value to the church, and that the more we integrate the daily ‘mechanics and logistics’ of the church (member management, communications, calendar, giving, website, etc.) with biblical content (sermons, curriculum, Bible study, videos, etc.) the more likely it is that we can engage and serve the whole church.

And, if you’ll forgive the bluntness, the more likely we’ll be here to serve you in the future.

I’ve always erred on the side of transparency in discussing how our business works, especially here in the forums.

And you have always been direct in response... Sometimes enough to hurt! But in a good, constructive way. “Wounds of a friend”... :-)

First, Logos is doing well. We’re still healthy and still growing. Logos Bible Software is still profitable and we plan to be here, serving you, for decades to come..

But ‘software’ is changing. We’re adapting, by offering Logos on whatever platform you prefer, or all of them: downloadable to Mac and Windows, mobile on iOS and Android, and purely on the web at https://app.logos.com. Simply put, this is expensive. Yes, it’s the cost of doing business, but it means developing on five platforms, and it does cost more. (I miss the days of three platforms… and the days of just one, before that!)

And people aren’t buying software the way they used to. Some simply don’t buy software. Some subscribe to online tools, but spend less than they used to spend on downloadable software. Others are ‘satisficing’ with free content on the web, when they previously might have bought Logos, even if they weren’t going to be a heavy user.

Content producers are looking at digital as an important revenue stream. They have more channels through which to sell, and want to keep a higher percentage of the revenue. At the same time, the channels want a big cut: Apple and Google keep 30% of revenue from in-app purchases, and more and more sales are moving to mobile vs. direct.

Logos Bible Software generates revenue through content sales; we don’t charge for the software engine. But over the past 28 years the world has changed, and now how we get paid is out of alignment with how the market works. (Don’t worry, we’re not going to change it or break our promises to you about the free engine. But it’s something we have to adapt to.)

The good news is that there’s a win-win solution for us and for our users: church technology.

We sell Bible study tools to people who attend (and often lead) churches. Churches need Bible study tools, content, and curriculum, which we’ve been providing for years. But they also need membership management, online giving, websites, presentation software, music resources, email, texting, etc., especially, as the first ‘born-digital’ generation moves into adulthood.

Today many churches are redefining ‘regular attender’ from 3-4 times a month to 1-2 times. Communities and relationships are being managed and nurtured online, and people expect everything to be available in the cloud, from sermons to handouts to curriculum to books to videos to music. It needs to be on the web, on their phones, and on their smart TVs. And in the church, all of these things are centered on the Bible. And the Bible is our ‘home turf’!

As an organization, a church is people who come together at times and places to study the Bible and love and serve each other. And it’s technology that hosts the calendar and manages the communications in that community.

You have trusted us for almost 30 years to build tools to help you study the Bible. If we can also be your supplier for the related tools and technology your church needs, we can not only help you help others ‘grow in the light of the Bible,’ but we can build a new, royalty-free revenue stream that helps us deliver all of these tools, including Logos Bible Software.

This is why we believe it’s important to expand our offerings. But it’s a crowded space.

We generally don’t talk about our competitors. We focus on building great tools and serving our customers well, and hope that that’s enough to win in the marketplace.

That has worked for Logos Bible Software, and we hope it will work with Faithlife Equip as we enter new, adjacent markets.

But something has changed in the world of church technology: the big money has moved in.

Church technology was largely provided by small companies that were born out of a solution the founder built for their own church. Most of those companies were much smaller than Faithlife, but just as mission-driven.

In the past few years, though, the ‘professional business world’ has decided that church technology is a big market -- especially online giving. (I hate using that phrase, since I think of Faithlife as a ‘professional business’ too…. Is it better to say “Wall Street”? I mean public companies, private equity firms, etc.)

More than 45 church technology companies were bought by a single company in the past four years. That company has been sold repeatedly, and is now owned by a private equity firm, which has combined it with companies serving non-church nonprofits, associations, etc.

The other large firm in online giving for churches is a public company.

An independent church technology firm recently sold out to a large public company that builds nonprofit management tools; another sold to an online giving provider that has taken in private equity.

And, of course, several significant Christian publishers are divisions of larger, secular publishing companies.

There is nothing wrong with any of this. These are businesses, and they get bought and sold; they need investment capital to grow. And there are fantastic, mission-driven, Bible-believing, church-loving leaders in all of these organizations. We’ve met them, and count many as friends.

There are no sour grapes here; every one of these options is available to Faithlife too. We get called weekly about taking in private equity or selling the business. We are a business, too, and we could take professional investment or choose to sell.

I just don’t want to.

As much as I love business (I wrote a book about it!), I love our customers and our mission more. Businesses need spreadsheets and steely-eyed analysts, but that’s not the part of the business that excites me, and I’m loathe to turn Faithlife over to the people who do find that exciting.

(I’ll consult them, to make sure we’re acting responsibly… I just don’t want them to drive.)

We’re planning to stay independent. We’re assuming that:

...if we earned your trust over the past 28 years with Logos Bible Software, you’ll consider us for your church technology needs, or recommend us to someone who will.

...we can deliver solutions as good as (or better than) our new competitors, because we still have one of the largest, smartest technology teams serving the church; because we’re focused on churches, not secular nonprofits; and because we have all of you to help us get it right.

...churches actually do care who they’re doing business with.

We only need to be right on two of these, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re wrong on the third -- maybe churches rank ‘does it best / safest’ above who owns the business, and I wouldn’t fault them. I buy lots of stuff from companies whose policies or leadership don’t reflect my values. But if I can get as good or better a product from a business that cares about me and shares my values, they are my preference.

And don’t worry -- even if we’re wrong on all three assumptions, your investment in Logos Bible Software will be fine.

So tell me, what do you think?

Are we on the right track? Are we making the right assumptions? What would we need to do to earn your church’s business?

And most importantly, how do we get Logos Bible Software users to take a look at our church products? What message would work best with you? Will you start hanging out in our Faithlife church platform forum and give us advice? https://community.logos.com/forums/101.aspx

(Really -- we need your expertise and advice more than anything else. Our primary competitive advantage is our existing connection to church leaders: you!)

Should the message focus on: Integration with biblical content / education? The integrated platform (no more five accounts to manage)? Awesome features? Our independent status? Our history serving customers well? Our competitors’ Wall Street connections? (Just kidding…)

Over the years you’ve never stopped telling us how to make Logos Bible Software the best tool for Bible study; I would very much value your wisdom and advice as we look to serve more people in your church.


P.S. FWIW, our new, full church management system is still getting the finishing touches (membership management, communications, child check-in, etc.). But website hosting, sermon archiving, online giving, and more are all working completely right now. You can see our “Early Access” website here: https://equip.faithlife.com/ -- dozens of churches are onboard already!

Right now, Equip ‘Early Access’ is an amazing deal… and I’m surprised every Logos user hasn’t gotten their church onto Faithlife TV for Churches (https://faithlifetv.com/church), because it’s worth it for the Mobile Ed courses alone… and Faithlife Giving (https://giving.faithlife.com/) is fantastic and will be super-well integrated with the whole platform. I hope you’ll check it out.

Posts 67
Bryce Hufford | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 21 2019 8:16 PM

Here are some of my thoughts:

1) As a lay person, I am not in a direct position to have much influence whether my local church subscribes to your proposed "church business" software offerings.  I don't see myself as a target customer (although if my church adopted this, as a Logos user, I'm sure I would be happy to jump on board with the integrated services).

2) Lets be honest and acknowledge that Logos Bible Study software is complex.  It takes a lot of effort to learn how to use the tools, especially with the limited up-to-date documentation on how the software works.  You have to devote hours of study on how to use the software and many use third party services to get training.  It is evident in browsing the forums that many (myself included) often struggle figuring out how to use the basics of the software.  Lets extrapolate this to the proposed church services offerings.  Will churches have the stomach to learn how to use the Logos based systems (especially if the included documentation/training/support is as weak as it is with the Bible Study software)?  Large churches with dedicated IT staff may be able to pull it off, but my guess is that the majority of smaller churches won't want to deal with the technology.

3) My biggest concern as a Logos customer is that I see this initiative as a resource drain away from improvements that I would like to see with the Bible study software.  There are a ton of features "in development" that I'm afraid will never be implemented if Logos resources become stretched into other areas.  For example, the "new notes" sounded like a great concept, but there is some very basic functionality that I would expect in a polished product that we are still waiting for.

Thanks for asking for input and I'll pray for wisdom for you and your staff in the decisions ahead.

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Forum MVP
Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 21 2019 8:25 PM

As always Bob I appreciate your transparency and candor. Having been a Logos customer going back to the old Libronix days, I have benefitted from the evolution of the software tools and features. Over the years I have tried other products, but remain convinced that Logos is the Premier bible study software on the market.

Last year I also became a Proclaim customer. I pastor a small church and we had been using PowerPoint for many years. I liked many of the features in proclaim, especially the integration with Logos. However the church did not have an extra $200 in the budget to spend on presentation software. So I bought our first year's subscription. I am hoping to get it in the church budget this year, now that they have had a chance to see it work. If not, I'll likely cover it again.

We recently switched to Faithlife sites from another website provider. We are currently using the free site. The premium plan is twice the cost we were paying before. That is the problem with many of the additional services and tools Faithlife is offering. The quality of the products is good and continuously improving. Many are feature rich, but many of those features are not needed for a small church like ours, with the demographics of our congregation.

I would not presume to tell you, or even suggest, an appropriate price point for any of your products. I would simply say that for a church like ours it is unlikely that we would spend $100 a month for access to Equip. Most in my congregation would not use them. The staff consists of me and a part-time minister of music. Lest we be considered unique, I took a look at the churches who are members of our local denominational association. There are 34 churches in that group. Maybe 6 of them would be of a size and congregational makeup that would be attracted to something like Equip. I would guess that if I were to include the churches in my area who are outside my denominational association, the percentages would be about the same. 

Bottom line is that while your products and services are great, they are only appealing less than 20% of the market. In many areas that is probably far less. For example, I have been in the "bible belt" for last twenty years. Prior to that I was part of the same denomination in Northern California. There our association was about half the size, and covered five Northern California counties. The largest church in our association probably averaged about 70 people on Sundays.

Again, I would not presume to try and tell you how to run the business, You get enough of that on these forums already. But it seems to me that you have to decide if targeting less than 20% of your potential market will bring the desired results. If so, you are probably on the right track, and I would not change direction. But if you think it's a good idea to expand your market reach, then there probably needs to be a strategy that offers the kinds of tools and services the majority of the market needs, at a price that will be budget friendly to the church that is working with very limited budgets. One example that comes to mind in the church management arena is ChurchTrac. They offer a feature rich church management program at a price point most church can easily afford.

Posts 4764
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 21 2019 9:01 PM

I'm an outlier, so much of this isn't in my purview, but on this point...

Bob Pritchett:
Should the message focus on: Integration with biblical content / education? The integrated platform (no more five accounts to manage)?

I'm assuming you are referencing Logos/Verbum/Faithlife Ebooks/etc. (if not, let me know and/or ignore my comment). I never really liked the separation, and would like one search to bring up everything that is within FL's stable. I'm just not going to run 2-3 or more searches for titles I'm looking to purchase.

The main thing I'm looking for is...to paraphrase Neo..."Titles...lot's of titles." There are numerous series from a variety of publishers that I would like to see available in Logos. I realize De Gruyter titles were offered at one time and they didn't gain much traction, but there are STUPENDOUS monographs on SPECTACULAR topics published by De Gruyter and they should be available in Logos format. The necessary ingredient to make it all work would be to get the publisher to follow the Bloomsbury path of offering their nose-bleed-priced-resources for 80-90% discounts to a market that will otherwise NEVER purchase their titles. Make their $100-300 titles available for $10-30 each and I will buy tons of them. But up to now, and for probably EVER, I won't buy a single book for $100 or more. I WILL BUY thousands of dollars worth of books, though, if I'm getting great value.

Get Eisenbraun's Siphrut series. Get the many SBL monograph series. Their are tons of great monograph series...GET THEM.

GET VETUS TESTAMENTUM & NOVUM TESTAMENTUM (and tons of other serious academic journals)...which are quoted thousands of times in Logos resources. Yeah, I know Brill doesn't want to...BUT CONVINCE THEM OF THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS. The utility of these journals is ratcheted up geometrically, even exponentially, when they are hyperlinked to citations. I OWN the Bloomsbury collection...tons of Sheffield and T&T Clark titles...BECAUSE they were made affordable IN LOGOS. I don't own a single copy of VT or NT (even though I would love to and would benefit from them) because they are stupidly expensive and a serious pain to acquire...and they aren't searchable or linked to my library.

I'm probably way off topic, but you are asking about what would get us to "invest" more in FL and on that account I am very old school. I want MORE HYPERLINKED TITLES.

Posts 4764
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 21 2019 9:17 PM

David Paul:
Bob Pritchett:
The integrated platform (no more five accounts to manage)?

I re-read this section of your post again, and I think I completely misread and misunderstood what you were saying. Like I said...just ignore.

Posts 21939
Forum MVP
Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 12:41 AM

Hi Bob 

Thanks for sharing and asking the questions.

I believe that tools to help with ”church management” are important but I’m not sure that the fully integrated model you seem to be outlining here is something I would recommend to our church. I like the concept but its not starting from “where we are”.

Looking at the pricing page it seems that churches can get access to a lot of functionality for a ”bundled price” but they may already have a lot of the components in place.

For example, the starting price point is $104-125 per month but a church may already have a website, and a sermon repository and simply want to add in church management software. One of the leading companies in the UK offers this for £45-£46 per month.

Implementing this in a previous church it was very easy to link their calendaring tool to our main website and it is these sorts of integration that I expect will be important.

Do you intend to “break things up” into smaller components even at the risk of easier integration?

One essential requirement in the UK (and across Europe) is that any tools are GDPR-compliant, otherwise I expect the takeup to be very limited or non-existent.

Graham

Posts 13360
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 1:38 AM

Thank you, Bob. I use Logos Bible Software personally, and we use (and love) Proclaim. I've previously investigated church management software, and we used a service for 6 months or so, but it never met our needs. A 'must-have' for me is a facility to record pastoral visits and make confidential notes on those visits.

We're a smallish church (50 members) and smaller churches don't need many of the functions a typical church management software service provides. In smaller churches, communication is much easier. A WhatsApp group, or even group text or email is very easy. Our teams look after themselves, as we don't have enough people to need complex rotas. If you're on the team, you're on duty!

The digital learning stuff is really interesting, but our demographics make it difficult. We have a number of older members who don't have smart phones or smart TVs and wouldn't be interested in the technology. For the same reason we need to do a printed bulletin, so the Faithlife newsletter doesn't appeal.

The website is potentially useful, especially if events, etc. integrate well into Proclaim. However, we have twelve years worth of sermons (1,300 sermons) on our existing site, and unless there's a one-click import of those, we're tied to our existing solution. We'd also be looking for an export feature, so we don't get tied into the platform.

Even at the cheapest option, Equip would cost us $1,000 a year. Because we already pay $200 for Proclaim, that's $800 more. But we could use only a handful of the features.

If you're going to attract churches like ours, you would need to do at least one of the following:

  1. Offer a modular system, whereby we could choose which parts we wanted.
  2. Reduce the costs for smaller churches in recognition that small churches have far fewer problems that CMSs can solve.
  3. Offer sermon import to websites, and pastoral visitation to the CMS.
Posts 2408
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 5:01 AM

Fred Chapman:

Again, I would not presume to try and tell you how to run the business, You get enough of that on these forums already. But it seems to me that you have to decide if targeting less than 20% of your potential market will bring the desired results. 

Apple had 80% or so of the personal computer market in the Apple ][ . Then they dropped 90% of their market when they came out with the Mac leaving them with about 5% of the market [at that time].  They made much more money by concentrating on a section that they could master.

Posts 2408
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 5:07 AM

David Paul:

The main thing I'm looking for is...to paraphrase Neo..."Titles...lot's of titles." There are numerous series from a variety of publishers that I would like to see available in Logos. I realize De Gruyter titles were offered at one time and they didn't gain much traction, but there are STUPENDOUS monographs on SPECTACULAR topics published by De Gruyter and they should be available in Logos format. The necessary ingredient to make it all work would be to get the publisher to follow the Bloomsbury path of offering their nose-bleed-priced-resources for 80-90% discounts to a market that will otherwise NEVER purchase their titles. Make their $100-300 titles available for $10-30 each and I will buy tons of them. But up to now, and for probably EVER, I won't buy a single book for $100 or more. I WILL BUY thousands of dollars worth of books, though, if I'm getting great value.

The problem is that these publishers are used to selling to libraries with lots of members that can afford to spend $1000 on a set that will be shared by several hundred members. The cost per member is very small.  If we could get them to sell these sets to us at the cost per member that a library pays their sales just might skyrocket.  

Posts 8949
Forum MVP
Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 7:38 AM

Bob, once again you have demonstrated your transparency and desire for specific feedback. I too am a long-time user of Logos personally but somehow I've never been able to successfully introduce it to our church, and you would think with someone who loves Logos so much that would be easy.

In reading the above comments carefully, I think the suggestions that Mark offers in his post above might actually make a difference where you can offer attractive options for small churches, probably done so through a modular system.

The other challenge that I have noticed is that people don't like to change once they find something that works, even if it is not perfect. Church staff and key volunteers don't want to go through the pain of transitioning into a new system and so carry on with what they have. In order to break through this ceiling, the product or service has to appear much better and there must be a person who is willing to go through the struggles of learning something new. So whatever you offer, it really needs to be very simple and probably not more money than they are already spending.

I've worked for a Christian not-for-profit for almost 4 decades and part of our ministry is to offer a facility for church youth groups to do retreat. Many Christians are notorious for wanting the world but not being willing to pay for it. I think the same is true for churches considering software for their ministries. The product or service might be an amazing deal but the price point must be low enough to at least initially attract them. Hence that's why I think the modular system suggested by Mark might be worth considering. 

All the best as you try to navigate this next stage of growth for Faithlife.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 1839
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 9:13 AM

Mark Barnes has already hit some of the issues with small churches (and done an excellent job of communicating our concerns as well). Additionally, we are in a rural community where cell service and broadband are sketchy at best. Our people are not the native users of technology that the upcoming generation is reported to be (even our high school is pitiful in the use of Social media  because it is not the "go to" method of communication that our teens use.

We are "all in" on Faithlife. I use Logos, we are loving Proclaim, We are on Faithlife Giving (as a trial for our first year of Proclaim), we host sermons on our Faithlife site and we are currently entering data into Ministry Tracker as our first attempt to get this church on a ChMS. Honestly, the Faithlife TV and Mobile Ed offerings do not add value to what our people want and (While they offer content that some may want) they add cost and put the Faithlife Church Packages out of reach for a rural congregation under 100 people.

I think Mark Barnes is on to something with his modular ideas.

(Bonus: as a small church we don't need to integrate midi lighting cues that seem to be a considerable demand on the Proclaim customer support people Big Smile)

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 10:14 AM

Bruce Dunning:
So whatever you offer, it really needs to be very simple and probably not more money than they are already spending.

Adding to Bruce's points:

1. Change in a church is very similar to change in a company; it has to solve something about to fail. And it needs a champion that people finally agree to.  Else, someone just digs in.

2. FL has selected to appeal to the higher end of the market. I'd assume the mentioned competition has targeted the low hanging fruit. I'd start well above the smaller churches, but below the big ones. Then expand both directions.

3. My observation here, and traveling, churches are consolidating. This will sound bad, but younger pastors are consciously strategizing to be the end-point, especially in healthy but smaller communities. Our pastor was quite insistent, as well as several others I talked to.  

4. I'd really highlight the geeky-guy (usually). The main argument for a consolidated offering, is training (usually volunteers), and support. Predictability.  The fragmented this and that is a nightmare for the geeky-guy.

5. As already noted, the ability to introduce a single module is critical. Foot in the door. Trying to sell a complete system is best viewed as a disaster.

6. Finally, my opinion, but concentrate on the younger populated churches. They'll see the benefit far quicker.


Posts 1981
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 11:01 AM

I get what you guys are trying to do, and I agree that it makes sense.  What I do not want to see, is a shift from Logos Bible Software as a tool for scholarly research to something for mass audiences.  In addition to the avenues you are already traveling, please make sure to continue working with seminaries and colleges in order to help support the scholarly community with scholarly resources.  I know Liberty University has recently started utilizing WordSearch for their course texts in the seminary, but most of their texts are not included in WS.  This is where Logos needs to be, because if these students have accounts with Faithlife coming out of school, then they are going to be more likely to continue buying the software.  I don't know what kind of push you guys have to get into higher education, but I see it as a direct investment in the future, both for future pastors and scholars.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 790
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 22 2019 11:46 AM

Mark Barnes:

If you're going to attract churches like ours, you would need to do at least one of the following:

  1. Offer a modular system, whereby we could choose which parts we wanted.
  2. Reduce the costs for smaller churches in recognition that small churches have far fewer problems that CMSs can solve.
  3. Offer sermon import to websites, and pastoral visitation to the CMS.

I had decided not to reply because almost everything here doesn't apply to my current church because of our size, but Mark hit most of the nail on the head for me. I'm sure you know the stats about how many churches are small, etc. Therefore, most of these things just don't apply to us. Plus, to make matters less appealing for us, we're represent an older demographic and many of your offerings really seem to appeal to a more conservative group. (E.g., while there might be movies on FLTV that some of our people would watch, there aren't many.) I'm not asking you to change who you are, but I'm just saying many of these things don't apply to where we are now or where we're heading. (As an aside, I'm a recovery specialist, and we won't be small and older forever. But for the present, that's where we're at.)

Also as an aside, I happen to agree with David Paul above in that offering NT and VT (and other, as he says, "serious" academic titles; I started using Logos eons ago for that express purpose) would be a major win. We're no doubt in a slender minority.

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Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 7:49 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with Graham’s sentiments. I would add that our church uses Proclaim and I use Logos, but we will not be moving our website any time soon even if you said, “here’s all you need for free for life” just because what we pay is so low and so under utilized by the congregation and pure area that. I’m a single staff church member and we have no one to enter info into a church management website so same holds true for that. When you have a small number of people, you can keep track of them informally or using what you already have with an excel spreadsheet. To add something else without a person dedicated to maintaining this just adds one more responsibility to an already over worked congregation trying to maintain everything but the pastoral duties with volunteers.

Thanks however. 

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Andrew Biddinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 11:37 AM

As always, Bob, thanks for allowing the users to give input. Here's my assessment:

We are a church of about 200. If I recall correctly, the majority of churches are 100 or smaller. Even at our church size, we don't need a lot of the products in equip. We use a hodge-podge of software; mostly free stuff, not as integrated as equip but definitely cheaper. I wonder if the whole package is more gear towards the mega-church? I can see all the staff using the professional services of FL. However, I personally think the services for the "whole church" will be a hard sell. People are fickle and like to go with the most popular software (Facebook, Instagram, YouVersion App, Kindle...). Churches are also evangelistic and want there people to be on these platforms to reach unbelievers.

Logos: A couple of the leaders use Logos. The learning curve on Logos as a professional geared service makes it hard to get the whole church on board.

Logos Mobile Apps: This is where most of the "whole church" would use your Bible software. It has a lot of potential, however it is just not there yet in its ease of use and bells/whistles that people would want to give up their YouVersion app (More audio bibles, better reading plans). The app is definitely ahead of most in different areas. Just needs lots of polishing. Some suggestions: Easier 1 Click Word Studying and Copying https://community.logos.com/forums/t/180147.aspx#1040358 https://community.logos.com/forums/t/181522.aspx Reference Scanner Exports: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/156244.aspx Read Aloud Andriod: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/178938.aspx

Courses: More Academic than most church members could stand (from what I've seen).

Proclaim: We have considered using Proclaim, however it wasn't the right timing since we invested in upgrading another software. Though, we will probably move to Proclaim eventually. Logos and Proclaim are both "professional" software. That is an easier sell in a church because only the leaders or tech people have to adopt.

Sites: This is a good idea for smaller churches. Seems like it is still in beta, though, with not a lot of ways to customize.

FL TV: In a service like FLTV content is king. Churches will use the services that have the discipleship content that they want to go through with their church or their people want to watch...etc.

Those are my ramblings. I hope they are helpful!

Posts 1948
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 11:52 AM

Joseph Turner:

I get what you guys are trying to do, and I agree that it makes sense.  What I do not want to see, is a shift from Logos Bible Software as a tool for scholarly research to something for mass audiences.  In addition to the avenues you are already traveling, please make sure to continue working with seminaries and colleges in order to help support the scholarly community with scholarly resources.  I know Liberty University has recently started utilizing WordSearch for their course texts in the seminary, but most of their texts are not included in WS.  This is where Logos needs to be, because if these students have accounts with Faithlife coming out of school, then they are going to be more likely to continue buying the software.  I don't know what kind of push you guys have to get into higher education, but I see it as a direct investment in the future, both for future pastors and scholars.

I agree with what Joseph has written.

Can you break into other potential markets?  Awana?  National Bible Bee?  Homeschoolers?  Private Christian Schools?  Overseas markets...resources for people who speak other languages such as Polish? Chinese?  French?  Sunday School curriculums that use Logos in the classroom?

Posts 263
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 12:39 PM

Bob,  thank you for the opportunity for input here. Since much of the input given so far has come from the perspective of smaller attendance/budget churches (which is the overwhelming majority), I will speak to this from the perspective of a senior pastor of a church with 600+ in attendance and $2 million budget.  Larger established churches will tend to have long histories with a particular church management software that handles their people, financials, and scheduling.  They will be very reluctant to move away from these platforms due to history, investment, and the availability of support and infrastructure from those companies. 

I will say that for what you are offering, if all of these services are excellent, your pricing would be a steal even if it were double the initial pricing.  You will have to sell value.

In my opinion, the two types of churches that you are most likely to have sign up for this service are smaller churches who get a tremendous amount of services in one place for a low price and churches that are growing into "mid-size" who have seen the need for church management software and other services but who haven't yet gotten into the ecosystem of another company.

Finally, as a loyal, ten year Logos Bible Software user, I hope that these new ventures do not ultimately erode the viability of that core business and my personal investment in it.  That is always in the back of everyone's mind. However, business models change. We all understand that.

Posts 83
Br. Anthony | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 6:50 PM

I think the easiest thing to cut would be the web app.  If someone has the money to purchase Logos, chances are they will have a desktop, laptop, or mobile device with Logos installed, making the web app superfluous.  Honestly, I only used the web app once, and only for a few minutes while I was reinstalling Logos onto a new computer...  I really can't think of a reason why anyone would use the web app on a regular basis if they already have it downloaded.

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 24 2019 7:24 PM

Br. Anthony:
I really can't think of a reason why anyone would use the web app on a regular basis if they already have it downloaded.

The app is their testbed for desktop development (in theory), and supports all the environments that need the full treatment, but are not Windows/Mac. I pulled my PC offline; no desire to replace. I'd use the app, but they ignore user edits in the library. So, who knows. They wander around a lot.


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