Incorporating Logos into Small Group Bible Study

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This post has 14 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Nov 16 2015 11:00 AM

Within my circles, one of the acknowledged challenges with small group bible study is the lack of hermeneutics during group discussions.  Although the group leader may have referenced other resources in preparing for the bible study (eg. https://community.logos.com/forums/p/88226/620733.aspx), generally the only resources used during the actual small group discussion are the bible and the leader's notes.  Insight resulting from translation differences can only get you so far and the leader's notes can't reasonably anticipate every question.

Has any one experimented with a small group bible study where everyone brings a laptop and their own copy of Logos?  Any issues to avoid, suggestions to consider, etc?  For example, I'm thinking something like a Chromecast (https://www.google.com/chromecast) would be invaluable for this style of bible study.

Posts 6063
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 1:34 PM
The problem remains the same. Just as most members and average church leaders don't have hermeneutical skills, they also don't have a Bible software and won't even invest the time to download the free ones out there (e.g. E-sword). So if they don't have a free Bible software program they can use to expand their knowledge of the Scriptures now imagine them investing in Logos (especially when it's so expensive and the average church member is not interested in investing to expand their knowledge of the Bible). They are more interested in spending their money on the newest iPhone or at the iTunes Store). So, no...unless you are talking about a small group study that involves preacher who own Logos, good luck trying to get members to have a laptop and their own copy of Logos. Sad but true, most people are not committed Christians, they're just religious and nothing more. DAL
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Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 1:56 PM

Logos cloud at least makes this more feasible, where the fee for the length of the small group would replace the curriculum cost. I do not have Cloud (no dynamic pricing is a dealbreaker), but I wonder if Faithlife includes some small group studies to encourage this,  or if they would consider it in the future. 

Posts 6063
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 2:21 PM

Justin Gatlin:

Logos cloud at least makes this more feasible, where the fee for the length of the small group would replace the curriculum cost. I do not have Cloud (no dynamic pricing is a dealbreaker), but I wonder if Faithlife includes some small group studies to encourage this,  or if they would consider it in the future. 

Logos cloud  in my opinion makes things worse.  Most people won't spend money on it because it's a subscription-based program with limited resources. If essentials was Bronz, plus was Gold and Pemium Platinum then maybe, but access in general is extremely limite.

DAL

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 2:48 PM

DAL:
So, no...unless you are talking about a small group study that involves preacher who own Logos, good luck trying to get members to have a laptop and their own copy of Logos. Sad but true, most people are not committed Christians, they're just religious and nothing more. DAL

Can we assume for the sake of this discussion that I have found a group of committed/interested people?

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 2:51 PM

Justin Gatlin:

Logos cloud at least makes this more feasible, where the fee for the length of the small group would replace the curriculum cost. I do not have Cloud (no dynamic pricing is a dealbreaker), but I wonder if Faithlife includes some small group studies to encourage this,  or if they would consider it in the future. 

Interesting suggestion Justin - I will need to review the resources available through Logos cloud.

Assuming the group members have Logos (perhaps via Logos cloud), how could access to this software be organically incorporated into a small group Bible study?

Posts 114
Gerald | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 4:12 PM

I ask this question to myself every Sunday while sitting in my bible study class. How much more we could understand in a shorter time frame if we had these resources at our finger tips to share. The draw back is most are not interested to dig that deep, or we do not have the time to go deeper and wider in the discussion.

Just this past week I thought what if we spent 2 hours in group bible study and skip the obligatory 4 songs and 3 point sermons. I think we can be too ritualistic in church. I would much prefer fellowship and a 2 way discussion of the bible.

Posts 10
Don Kolafa | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 4:20 PM

I lead over 3 in-home small-group Bible studies each week.  With the common availability of large flat-panel TV's in many homes, I almost always attach my laptop to the screen so that we can look at the logos commentary as a group.  This works very well.  This also allows me to alternate verse-by-verse studies with video-based studies.  Everyone likes it.

Don Kolafa

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 7:10 PM

Andrew Dreger:
Within my circles, one of the acknowledged challenges with small group bible study is the lack of hermeneutics during group discussions... and the leader's notes can't reasonably anticipate every question.

True. I had this occur in a study of Heb 2:5-18 - which is a difficult passage revolving around the author's interpretation of Ps 8 and an understanding of "angels" (LXX vs. Hebrew). Everybody assumed the author was Paul, despite my attempts to deflect that notion. But we got through to everyone's satisfaction by:

  • agreeing that the logic was convoluted!;
  • providing/applying some simple principles of interpretation; and
  • giving a summary

Strict bible hermeneutics would have lost my audience. Different bible translations may provide "insights" but some have to be explained. Technology should be minimised in a small (home) group study, and others have pointed out the unrealistic expectation that everyone brings a device loaded with bible software.

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 7:37 PM

Dave Hooton:
Technology should be minimised in a small (home) group study...

I have always operated under that assumption, but for me it has been an unexamined assumption.  There are definitely contexts were technology can be disruptive, but why do we think technology should be minimized in a small group bible study?  Is that a irrefutable conclusion based on something solid or is it an axiom we have accepted?  For example, is finding Habakkuk without a table of contents important for our relationship to God or can a passage be found via a search engine?

Dave Hooton:
...others have pointed out the unrealistic expectation that everyone brings a device loaded with bible software.

I am definitely not trying to say that this would generally be a realistic expectation, but there are niche groups of all kinds.  I am therefore wondering if creatively and carefully incorporating bible study software could augment small group bible study in some contexts.  Technology is ubiquitous for the current generation.  This can be negative, but it also presents opportunities.

Posts 873
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 16 2015 8:27 PM

Andrew Dreger:

Justin Gatlin:

Logos cloud at least makes this more feasible, where the fee for the length of the small group would replace the curriculum cost. I do not have Cloud (no dynamic pricing is a dealbreaker), but I wonder if Faithlife includes some small group studies to encourage this,  or if they would consider it in the future. 

Interesting suggestion Justin - I will need to review the resources available through Logos cloud.

Assuming the group members have Logos (perhaps via Logos cloud), how could access to this software be organically incorporated into a small group Bible study?

I'm not sure exactly, since I haven't done it. But, I think I would have everyone share a notes document where insights from the week's reading are recorded. In the study, I would just use technology to enhance the things you already do. If we were studying 1 John, as we discuss the key word of love, I would want to send out a visual filter to everyone which marks the different grammatical forms of love in the book. Word studies are obviously made much easier by Logos.

I would be willing to, if we could get a few more people in on it, to try out a Logos enhanced study in a Google Hangout. We can experiment with people who already know the software and come up with ideas to start it in less initiated Bible study groups.  

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Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 17 2015 2:43 AM

Andrew Dreger:

Dave Hooton:
Technology should be minimised in a small (home) group study...

I have always operated under that assumption, but for me it has been an unexamined assumption.

It's a practical consideration because, in a home, there are too many variables with available devices, power sources and their location wrt the area the group is in. Else we crowd around a small device with less than ideal viewing angles, etc.

Andrew Dreger:
I am therefore wondering if creatively and carefully incorporating bible study software could augment small group bible study in some contexts.  Technology is ubiquitous for the current generation.

Yes, if you are studying with the iPhone generation! Otherwise you can limit or put-off potential attendees - just a practical consideration.

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 17 2015 7:41 PM

Justin Gatlin:
I would be willing to, if we could get a few more people in on it, to try out a Logos enhanced study in a Google Hangout. We can experiment with people who already know the software and come up with ideas to start it in less initiated Bible study groups.  

Thank you Justin - That is a very interesting idea.

I am currently experimenting with the collaborative features of Logos 6 to get a sense of what is possible.  I think the next step would be to figure out what prep work should be done before the small group meeting and what portion of that preparation should be posted to the Faithlife group in advance.  I will continue thinking and monitoring this forum thread and perhaps take you up on that offer.

Posts 268
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 17 2015 7:53 PM

Dave Hooton:
It's a practical consideration because, in a home, there are too many variables with available devices, power sources and their location wrt the area the group is in. Else we crowd around a small device with less than ideal viewing angles, etc.

Those are indeed considerations.  Logos is available on a lot of different devices and Laptops don't draw that much power, so a powerbar might resolve the power source issue.  I think something like Google's Chromecast (https://www.google.com/chromecast) could help the crowding around a small device issue without introducing extra wires.

Dave Hooton:
Yes, if you are studying with the iPhone generation! Otherwise you can limit or put-off potential attendees - just a practical consideration.

Although electronics don't come as naturally to those who didn't grow up with broadband, it has become rather unavoidable.  That notwithstanding, I believe your point is valid that the bible study style I am purposing to experiment with is likely most suited to a particular niche.

Posts 1711
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 18 2015 5:05 AM

Andrew:

Within my circles, one of the acknowledged challenges with small group bible study is the lack of hermeneutics during group discussions.  Although the group leader may have referenced other resources in preparing for the bible study (eg. https://community.logos.com/forums/p/88226/620733.aspx), generally the only resources used during the actual small group discussion are the bible and the leader's notes.  Insight resulting from translation differences can only get you so far and the leader's notes can't reasonably anticipate every question.

Has any one experimented with a small group bible study where everyone brings a laptop and their own copy of Logos?  Any issues to avoid, suggestions to consider, etc?  For example, I'm thinking something like a Chromecast (https://www.google.com/chromecast) would be invaluable for this style of bible study.

I led a small group where the majority of participants used their smartphones or tablets for our discussion. I sent the study guide as a PDF in preparation for the meeting and people used their app of choice. A couple of people used paper Bibles (one used a 4 version parallel Bible) and were equal participants. I have created a layout for "learning communities" that gives me quick access to the Bible Text, Reverse Interlinear, and a few Study Bible notes/One Volume commentaries for digging a little deeper without going on too many rabbit trails. Personally I think the Faithlife Study Bible app on a tablet is a GREAT resource for a dynamic study bible for this purpose.

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.

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