Introducing the Bible Studies for Life: Students App

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One of the challenges of leading any group is the ever-present smartphone. Whether students are texting, checking Facebook, or reading their Twitter feed, they have their phones out. As a leader, it can be a struggle to help students understand that you need their attention. There is no question that students should learn to be respectful and give their full attention to the group. But leaders can feel the pressure each week of having to enforce the rules.

What if, instead of fighting that battle every time you meet, you were able to equip students with a reason to have their phone out? What if they could follow along with the lesson, take notes, access the Bible, and share their thoughts through Facebook and Twitter? That’s the purpose behind the new Bible Studies for Life: Students app.

The app is available on all iOS devices and contains all of the content of the Personal Study Guide. In addition, the app has some great features to equip students to interactively engage with the material, live out what they learn, and share what they learn with others.

  • Notes within the app allow students to record what matters to them and reference their thoughts later.
  • Multiple translations will allow students to choose among HCSB, NIV, ESV, and KJV for the session or switch between them at any time.
  • Twitter and Facebook integration encourages students to share what they learn with their friends from within the app.
  • An entire quarter’s worth of material is delivered with each purchase. That’s 13 full-length sessions for $2.99.

With the Bible Studies for Life: Students App, you won’t have to worry about students forgetting their Personal Study Guide. Rather than asking them to put away their phone, you’ll encourage them to use it to engage with the session. Download it from the App Store for free and get three full sessions to sample.

Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    Is the app going to be available on Android as well as IOS because only having it on one eliminates half my students

  2. Chris Swain says:

    Jonathan,
    We will release with iOS only at this point but we are very aware of the Android market and are working toward something on that platform as soon as we can!

  3. Billy Lonsberry says:

    Is the app available as part of the adult age group? If so, is there a way to integrate the Parent – One Conversation into that with students?

    • Chris Swain says:

      The Adult version does have an app available. The One Conversation is not currently integrated into it but may be something we consider going forward. Thanks Bill!

  4. I really like the app idea. But need it for android. I would say out of my 50 students only 10-15, at the most, use the iphone. All the rest are droid based.

    • Chris Swain says:

      We are working toward that end James. As soon as we have a Droid app I will update everyone – thanks!

  5. Josh Witt says:

    Does the app cost $2.99 for each user to download? Could a church purchase the app for a certain price and allow students to download it for free?

    • James Jackson says:

      Hi Josh– Thanks for the question. The app itself is free, but each issue of Bible Studies For Life is $2.99 for the thirteen sessions. Unfortunately, we are limited to what Apple’s App store can do in terms of distribution, and there is not a way for a church to purchase multiple copies of the app for their students. If you choose to, you can “gift” the app to anyone you choose, the same as you would with any other app, but it would be by entering email addresses one at a time.

  6. Actually Josh we have found a way to purchase in bulk through the Apple Store – if you’d like to do this is is completely through the Apple iTunes store and not connected to LifeWay, but it will work!
    http://www.apple.com/business/vpp/
    any additional questions please let us know! Thanks.

    Chris

    • James Jackson says:

      Chris– you and I need to talk! Glad you could field this question, and hopefully I can learn something from you.

    • Chris Swain says:

      After further research James is in fact correct. Apple will not allow bulk purchases of in-app products. Please see the options in my response below that may help your church. Thanks!

  7. I’m pretty sure that the buying in bulk option through iTunes will work. I just tried to set up an account and it seems way too complicated. Could LifeWay not just charge individuals for the app and take away the in-app purchase, making all of the material for the quarter available when you purchase the app? If you did this, we would be able to actually ‘gift’ the app to anyone who wants it. To my knowledge, there is no way to ‘gift’ and in-app purchase.
    I’m not sure how you would continue to charge for each individual quarter of curriculum. Maybe you would have to charge for a full years worth of curriculum for the app. I would pay $12 per student and just go ahead and get a years worth of curriculum.
    I don’t know if this would be possible, I’m just trying to throw an idea out because I feel like this may be a headache for any leader having to pay for the in-app purchase for their students.

  8. Looks like I should have read the previous comment before I clicked the ‘post’ button. I meant to say that I don’t think that the buying in bulk option will work for churches.

    • Chris Swain says:

      Ben – you are correct. After much research with the system, App Store, and bulk purchasing we have discovered: Apple iTunes does not allow bulk purchases of in-app products. Because the app is iOS only at this point this really gives you only a few options for providing the app for students:
      1. Ask them to buy it and reimburse them (this is the best option in my opinion because it offsets the responsibility and your financial risk).
      2. Purchase and hand out $2.99 iTunes gift cards.
      3. Ask students to purchase on their own without reimbursement.

      While we realize Apple policies may be a hindrance in some ways we also know it is the #1 app platform at this time and we must work within the confines of their policies for now. As for the Droid app out soon, we will probably have many more options. I will update you on that release as soon as it happens – thanks Ben.

  9. David Reed says:

    Hey can we get an app for the teacher material? My teachers would love to be able to teach from the iPads. I get this request all the time.

    • Chris Swain says:

      You can get a digital version of the leader guide and leaders can download that PDF to their iPads. Simple solution. The app is intended for interaction and with the PDF solution we feel we can meet both needs. Let me know if that helps!

  10. Do you have a target date for the android app? We are starting the class on Sunday and would like to be able to offer it to all students?

  11. I have the app on iOS and I finished session 1 but I don’t know how to get out of it and go to session 2

    • Chris Swain says:

      Just tap anywhere on the screen until the Home button appears in the top left corner. Click that and select the next session.

  12. Robert Uyeda says:

    As far as purchasing the material for each of the students, how would we be able to get each of them access to the material on their Android phones? Does it have to be individually through the Google store for each of them or can our church purchase all at once and then give them permission? Similar question to the iOS….

    • James Jackson says:

      Hi Robert, unfortunately the App Store does not allow bulk purchases, and I’m pretty sure the Google Play store doesn’t either. At the point, the only thing we know to do is have individuals buy it one purchase at a time. You can’t even “gift” the app. since the app itself is free. It’s the in-app purchase of each issue that costs, and that’s not gift able. Sorry for the bad news. If or When Apple/Google changes their set up, we’ll be happy to make these available for bulk purchase.

  13. I bought the BSFL Student app for Fall 2013. However, the app content is not exactly the same as the book’s. Will the two media be synchronized so that students in class are reading from the same text? Thank you.

    • Chris Swain says:

      Thanks for the question. The app content is identical to the print book for students. Which session are you referring to and are you using Bible Studies for Life: Students or adult material? This will help us solve your problem quickly! Thanks!

  14. Could you do kindle fire too?

    • Chris Swain says:

      Kindle is not in the plan for now Matthew, but we will certainly assess the need and address it as we move forward. Will the android version not work for you?

  15. Melanie Scott says:

    I saw something in the sample kit that I need clarified. If the student wants both print and digital, will they have to pay for both? Or, how do you only pay one fee and get both? Thanks!

    • Chris Swain says:

      Hello Melanie, The print and digital versions are sold separately. You can get a 3-month print student book for $2.20 or the digital download .pdf version for $2.00. Both are available here on the website. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks!

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