It took me weeks of using Logos 6 to feel like I had a good idea of all it offered. That speaks to its breadth of tools—but it also speaks to how long it took me to understand how to use it.
After recently receiving Logos 6, I took a lot of time to explore. This is the first time I’ve owned a Logos product, and I admit that I was a little overwhelmed at first. There are so many tools and resources—especially on the desktop version of Logos—that I wasn’t quite sure where to start, so I downloaded the Logos app to my Kindle Fire. The idea of sitting at my desktop to read the Bible during my devotions wasn't all that appealing, but reading on my Kindle feels more natural. And if you use an iPad, there’s a Logos app for that, too.
I recently heard a pastor teach on Micah 6:8, so I decided to read through the Book of Micah on my own. Using Logos 6, I could read the text in my preferred translation, highlight, make notes, compare multiple translations, and even look at a library of commentaries as I read—all from my Kindle. It was really helpful. The app was beautiful to read, and the resources were available if and when I wanted them.
Later that week, I used the Logos app on my Kindle at my small group to look up our Bible passage. I was able to highlight and write myself a note right on the verse. And these notes and highlights are incredibly easy to pull up later—whether you're on your Kindle, desktop, or phone. The Logos app seamlessly syncs between your platforms.
Explore a Passage
After finishing Micah, I wanted to dig a little deeper on some of the themes. I was able to search "justice," "mercy," and even "Micah" to learn more. Logos pulled a plethora of resources from commentaries, Bible dictionaries, books on the topics, ancient texts, and even illustrated encyclopedias. I could see maps of where Micah lived and preached, a timeline that explained his place in relation to the other minor prophets, and an easy-to-understand overview of Micah. Searching on your desktop brings up results in helpful tabs, and you can even save your search to come back to it later. This was really helpful when I wanted to look up that week's small group study passage without losing my work on Micah.
As a fun bonus, I was able to find great visual art for Micah 6:8 on my desktop version of Logos. Each day, the team at Logos releases a verse of the day that is beautifully designed. When you're reading the Bible on your desktop, you can simply highlight a verse or passage, and select "visual copy" to bring up any past artwork they've created for the verse. Plus, you can create your own with any verse by selecting from their templates. This is a great tool for sharing verses on social media, with your group or team, or as part of a message or presentation.
Logos 6 can be a great tool to help you prepare to lead your group, especially if you write your own questions or studies. It would also be great to equip a leader whose group members regularly want to learn more about the context of Bible passages.
If your group members also purchase Logos, there are several additional tools that would be helpful to your group. Logos is connected with FaithLife, a free website for groups to connect. You can set up your group and invite group members to sign in. On that platform, you can share group notes, prayer requests, and even the passage you're reading for the next meeting—whether or not group members have Logos. If they do have Logos, though, these notes will show up in their Logos app.
Because FaithLife is integrated into Logos, you and your group members can highlight and make notes on your group study passage in Logos, and the notes and highlights will show up for the entire group to see on FaithLife or on their own Logos app.
This is a great tool to continue the conversation between meetings. A leader could find a resource to answer a group question and point it out so other group members can read it. Group members can make notes on the weekly passage as they read, inviting other members to share their thoughts. You can also share group prayer requests, remind members to read the next passage, and even choose a Logos reading plan to do together. To get the most of these group tools, however, requires multiple (or all) group members to purchase Logos, which may be too large an investment for some. If your group members already have Logos, though, be sure to take advantage of these group tools.
I didn't find Logos to be intuitive, and it took me a while to learn how to use the various tools. I'm actually still learning, but their support videos and articles have been helpful. Be aware of this. Chances are, you'll need to spend considerable time learning how to use Logos.
Once you learn how to use it, though, there are incredible resources available. For a run of the mill group that focuses on the sermon or on premade studies, I doubt you'll use much of Logos for your group. But for those who are part of groups committed to intense Bible study, or for those who write their own questions or studies, Logos 6 is a great resource. And, as mentioned above, if you lead a group where multiple group members uses Logos, take advantage of the helpful group tools.
Small-group pastors who create their own studies for groups may find Logos 6 to be incredibly helpful. Between the plethora of resources and the visual copy artwork, you can quickly pull together a great study. Then you'll just need to write some questions, and these articles can help with that.
Logos 6 can also be a great tool for personal study, so if you're interested in purchasing it for that use, be sure to consider how you might use the resources for your group as well.
Logos 6 is available now.
—Amy Jackson is managing editor of SmallGroups.com; copyright 2014 by Christianity Today.