Bible Software from a Pastor’s Perspective
Becoming a user of Logos Bible Software is one of the watershed moments that has changed my life, walk with the Lord, and ministry. I have regularly had times when using the software left me wondering, “why in the world did I not know about this program sooner?”
As a preacher, part of my job is to spend large amounts of time devoted to studying and applying God’s Word with the goal of spiritual formation. It is not just about head knowledge, but being a disciple of Jesus means the heart, head, and hands come together by the power of the Spirit so that the total person can live like Jesus, Love Like Jesus, and think about other people like Jesus thinks about other people.
Logos Bible Software does not do this job automatically, but it can equip every user with the tools necessary to take their walk with the Lord and ministry to deeper places. I have been a user for two and a half years, and there has been no better investment in myself and my Ministry more than in Logos Bible Software.
What is Logos Bible Software?
At its core, Logos Bible Software does three things. First, it is an excellent Bible Software that uses complex data sets and tagging to understand the Word of God better. I do not have a good understanding of biblical languages, and yet Logos Bible Software brings the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to life. While I am not a scholar, I do get to be a student of the Word of God through the tools and guides available.
Second, Logos Bible Software allows users to have instant access to a library that can be custom to their theological or study preferences. Instead of searching through unreliable websites for information, one can easily search through their Library or portions of their Library. All of the resources in the library work together for the good of the user. If you click on a link in a book, it will open up another resource to that exact spot. For instance, if you see a word you are not familiar with, you can quickly open up a dictionary or lexicon to the word you are searching for without having to go to a table of contents or flipping through pages.
Third, one of the software’s best features is the incredible power of highlighting and note-taking ability. Logos Bible Software allows the customization of highlights and notes in an almost limitless way that can be visually imposed on any of your resources, including Bibles.
Reading Plans in Logos Bible Software
One of my favorite features with the Logos 9 release, is Reading Plans. Instead of having to open up a document and create a Reading Plan, reading plans for books can now be started within the library. On top of that, reading plans are based upon chapters. Most people read books a chapter at a time and this was one of the smartest moves Logos Bible Software could have made for people who use the software to read.
Charts in Logos Bible Software
Charts is an amazing feature that helps users visualize searches. I recently did a search for how many times God was called father in the Bible. With one click of the mouse, I had a graphic that let me know how many times God is called father in each book of the Bible. This kind of searching and visualization let me get a better sense of which biblical authors wrote about certain topics and themes. If one author of The Bible writes about a word or phrase multiple times, then I can search further if that is a theme within that biblical book. The beauty of having a chart is that I can get a big picture that makes sense instead of just reading written data. Also, charts can be put in notes and shared as graphics for blog posts, sermon slides, or anywhere you want to present that information.
Factbook in Logos Bible Software
When I heard Logos was revamping the Factbook feature, I was intrigued but not really excited. Once I got to see the new Factbook in action, that all changed. Factbook has replaced searching I used to do in Google. Not only can people, places, and things be searched in Factbook, but grammar, pericopes, theological topics, historical events, book of the Bible guides, and individual verses. With the release of Logos 9, it’s like they completely rebuilt the engine. This feature makes searching a snap.
Sermon Manager in Logos Bible Software
I used to keep a spreadsheet with my sermons past, present, and future. The new Sermon Manager is a must-have for people who preach on a regular basis. Not only can you tag individual sermons with the speaker, passage or passages, seems, and sermon series, but you can filter out sermons or series that you don’t want to see. For instance, I can quickly see the next 6 months in my preaching schedule and see if there are any gaps or holidays that I’ve missed. The real gem of the Sermon Manager is the ability to visualize the preaching schedule with the radial calendar view. Instead of scrolling up and down on a spreadsheet, this lets you find and see the information about your preaching schedule from a bird’s-eye view. For preachers who keep records of what they preached and save ideas for what they want to preach, the cost of this Logos 9 feature is a must-have.
Counseling Guide in Logos Bible Software
The Counseling Guide is one of those game-changing moments for Bible Software. This beautiful tool — the Counseling Guide — opens up counseling issues and lets users find information in a meaningful way to help with real-world situations. The Counseling Guide is good for counselors, but I believe it offers something for everyone. It gives parents access to Quality resources in raising their children. It gives preachers insightful wisdom for counseling congregants. It also allows those who preach and teach to see the application to life’s issues.
How does someone forgive? How does someone overcome lust? How does someone get better with their finances? The Counseling Guide opens up these kinds of issues with biblically focused resources.
Logos 9 Summary
If there’s one thing I can recommend you do, it’s to buy Logos 9 as a way to enhance your spiritual formation and walk with the Lord. In a blog post like this, it’s difficult to show the blessing of this software. After using it for more than two and a half years I still have moments where I think, ” why didn’t I get Logos Bible Software sooner?”