From Olive Tree Staff: Ben Backstrom

I currently lead a Bible study at my church and being an Olive Tree employee, I naturally want to utilize our software to meet the needs of our group as well as my own needs in preparing for our study. Like most of us, I am pretty busy and need to make the most of my time spent on preparing for our meeting. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps I take each week to prepare for the Bible study I lead. Olive Tree’s software makes each step easy.

I use the Android application primarily, since I have both an Android phone and tablet. However, I also use the Windows and Mac applications when available. The screenshots come from my Android phone.

Each week, we go through a chapter or two from a book of the Bible. We are currently studying Acts. We created a Facebook group for our small group so that members can post events, prayer requests, and the like to other members in the group. The first thing I do to prepare for our discussion is to post the week’s passage on our small group’s Facebook page. This is easy with the Android Bible Study App. I simply select the verse number of the current passage and select share. Once I’ve shared, members can read the verses on Olive Tree’s website by clicking the link in the post. I can also choose to add comments to the message if I like:

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Now, all group members can see the week’s passage from the Olive Tree website.

My work at Olive Tree includes converting the text of original works so that Olive Tree’s application can display it, so I am blessed with a familiarity of the books we offer. Of these, there are several that I use repeatedly to prepare for the study.

thumb_216171. Archaeological Study Bible: This resource provides a wealth of knowledge about the cultural background of the Bible. I often use it as a starting point to understand basic concepts about thumb_16583the week’s passage. For our current book (Acts), the maps and images give me something visual to present to the group on my Android tablet.

2. English Standard Version: A great free translation available with the Olive Tree application.

 

 

 

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3. NIV Study Bible: Since most of the members in our group use the NIV, I usually consult the Study Bible for insight on why the passage was translated the way it was. The notes highlight specific words used in the NIV translation and why they are significant to the passage.

4. NASB Strong’s: I find myself using this Strong’s Bible most often. A Strong’s Bible is especially useful during group study when someone has a question about a word in the passage.

One of the benefits of having Olive Tree on several platforms is that I can access my study materials anywhere. If I have some free time and my laptop is available, I can use the Mac or Windows app. If I’m away from my computer, I can access the app on my Android phone or tablet.

The ability to sync my notes and highlights makes the app even better. I facilitate the group exclusively from the notes I make in my Olive Tree app. I’m often on the go and can’t sit down at my laptop to study very often. So, it is great to have Olive Tree on my Android phone. I can study a passage and make notes on my phone, then sync those notes to my tablet, which I use at the study.

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Those are a few of the ways I use The Bible Study App to prepare for and engage my small group.
How do you use Bible software to prepare for your personal or group study?