Curious about how the team involved with Faithelement puts together each week's resources? Check out this behind the scenes look, including links to services and equipment we use (and a few photos).
The New Faithelement
The session content for our June 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.
Your friends at Faithelement
Discover the Faithelement Approach.
Faithelement is a Bible study curriculum for youth and adults that uses multiple forms of media — video, music, text, images — to help groups explore faith and the scriptures.
Everything is online. Each week we post a new session that includes a Bible background video and a set of "Session Pages" from which you can choose an approach for leading the group. The session pages come in 5 flavors:
Mental — for groups that enjoy discussion.
Media — for groups that enjoy using movie clips, music and other media to help launch discussion.
Mystic — for groups that prefer a contemplative approach.
Current (New!) — for groups that enjoy exploring current events, trends and media.
Youth — offers movie clips, music and other media along with discussion prompts designed for teens.
Our sessions are selected from the Lectionary text each week, and are written very close to the date of use.
Faithelement is a service of Faithlab. Help support Faithelement by talking to Faithlab about a range of creative and spiritual services, including: retreats, books, website development, photography and more. Learn more about Faithlab.
We hope you enjoy Faithelement.
We welcome Reverend Erin Hall as a part of our writing team. Erin holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. She and her husband, Jake have an almost-two-year-old son, Logan.
Erin will be writing a new session page named “Current.” As the name suggests, Current will interact with news, events, trends, and other dynamics from life today, helping us connect to the issues that arise from each week’s text.
Give current a try, and join us in welcoming Erin to the team at Faithelement!
We've been blessed to get to know Rory Naeve through his writing and ideas on the Faithelement Media session page. With humor, insight and grace, Rory has enriched our hearts and souls.
Rory will begin his role as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Claxton, Georgia later in July this year. Unfortunately, that also means that he will no longer be able to write the weekly Media session page for us.
All of us at Faithelement wish Rory the best, and know that the folks in Claxton will be blessed by Rory's leadership and care.
Thanks, Rory, for your great work through Faithelement.
These short-term topical studies are designed for women's groups and individuals. Each study provides a private online area providing resources to guide your group's study. These include an introductory video, as well as a video that is to be shown within each session. A leader's guide provides insight into the topic, as well as ideas for leading each session. Participants are provided with journal prompts to guide prayer and reflection. The entire resource is delivered through an innovating website. Learn how it works!
Intentional Living. Get it now!
Our lives rush by in a blur of activity. How do we live intentional lives? How can our faith support and enrich intentional living? This resource offers a five week course of study, complete with DVD, leader's guide and participant's journal. Each session will look at a different aspect of what intentional living can look like. The first session discusses how God is an integral part of the process of living an intentional life. In the second session we discuss ways that we can engage our faith practice in intentional ways in order to make the space for a deeper faith to flourish. Session three discusses the importance of actively remembering and recalling the ways that God is present in our lives. And finally, in the last two session we will discuss ways that we live in community with other people of faith and ways the we engage the outside world and carry to them the love of Christ.
Mobile-ready and Stronger Archives
This updated website is mobile-optimized so using it with your smartphone or tablet works better than ever. We've also cleaned up the design and added a more robust archives area. We hope you enjoy the new site.
Thanks for using FaithElement!
We are pleased to announce that FaithElement has partnered with the new Nurturing Faith curriculum. Both curriculums share similar values about honesty in Bible study, appreciation for biblical scholarship, and a willingness to ask hard questions and deal with real issues.
As part of the partnership, Nurturing Faith and FaithElement will link to one another's sessions each week. Because we follow the same Lectionary texts, the resources are very complimentary.
Nurturing Faith provides resources for both adults and youth, and features a video each week by Tony Cartledge. On their website you will also find adult teaching and youth teaching plans.
Best of all, if you would like printed Bible backgorund materials, they can be ordered by clicking on "core lessons" on the Nurturing Faith website.
We hope you enjoy our partnership and the additional resources provided through it!
Visit Nurturing Faith and check it out.