Faithlab's online Bible study curriculum — Faithelement, is taking a leap forward this summer. The session content for June Faithelement sessions looks different, and it’s the beginning of the next phase of Faithelement. We’ve been working toward this for some time, and are excited to start rolling it out for you.
Starting with June 7 content, you’ll notice a new layout and new content. Across June and July, we will roll out additional content and features as new sessions arrive.
There’s a lot that’s new or enhanced about Faithelement. Here’s a quick summary:
Bible Background Video: Nikki’s videos now jump right into the content, and offer added text overlays and art/imagery when helpful.
Session Pages: the session pages are now provided as actual webpages, meaning you can load them on your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Links are clickable, and many videos load in-line, where needed. Of course, if you prefer to print out the PDF, that’s still provided as well. The session pages are also expanded, offering sometimes twice as much content, and often options for how to approach the text.
Podcast: An all-new podcast is now part of each session. Featuring Nikki Hardeman, David Cassady, Bert Montgomery and Daniel Glaze, and guests, the podcast lets you listen in on a conversation about the text. We discuss the text, but also tell stories, share illustrations and insights, and raise questions. Soon, the podcast will be available on iTunes. For now, enjoy it though the player on the session’s webpage.
Social Media Prompts: Do you have an email list, Facebook page or Twitter account for your group? We now offer short statements, questions, and other prompts that you can copy/paste and share with your group in the days leading up to your meeting each week.
Nikki’s Video Script: We now provide the written script Nikki writes for the Bible Background Video each week.
Nikki’s Notes: Nikki now shares some of her thoughts, notes and links that arise while she is preparing each video script. Maybe these can also be helpful to you as you prepare and consider the text for the week.
Earlier Posting: While the June 7 session is provided per our “old” posting schedule, we will begin posting the content earlier as June and July progress, until we are posting a full two weeks ahead of use. Posting earlier was the number one request from our recent survey.
There’s more coming, including an all-new website (you’ll see a bit of it in the new June and July sessions).
Why the Changes?
Over the past six-plus years, Faithelement has been providing free Bible study materials. We’ve been happy to do it, because we really like creating this content. We’ve also met some great people along the way.
There are some really smart people involved in Faithelement, and together we’ve shared chats about how people learn and grow in faith (there are many different ways we learn and grow — all good!), and how the new tools of the internet and media (video, music, web, etc.) allow us to offer Bible study experiences that are richer, deeper and — hopefully — more meaningful.
Our initial strategy was to make Faithelement free, draw a crowd, then sell sponsorships. It was a nice idea, but never really worked. We’ve had only a few sponsors and donors over the years. So most of the Faithelement team has worked for free, and the infrastructure costs have been covered by Faithlab.
We also have a lot of ideas (see the list of new features above for a few of them) about how we would like to make Faithelement better and more useful to you. We’ve dreamed of spending a lot more of our time and energy working on Faithelement. That means we need a funding model that can work long-term.
So, beginning in August 2015, we will begin offering the expanded Faithelement for a modest subscription fee. There will still be a more limited free version, but the bulk of the content will be for subscribers. We’re still deciding the fee amount, but our goal is to keep it as low as possible, while also being realistic about the costs involved.
Across June and July, we’ll be rolling out the new, expanded Faithelement and inviting you to try it with no strings attached. Then, in August, we hope you’ll support us with a subscription and help us create the next generation of Bible study materials.
We hope you will enjoy what’s new, and share our vision for a more robust Faithelement. Along the way, please do use our feedback and contact forms to let us know your thoughts and how things are working (or not). Help us make it better for you.
Want to get some behind-the-scenes info on how we create Faithelement each week? Check out this article.
Your friends at Faithelement