App Review: First 5

App Review: First 5

June 28, 2017
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In 2015, Proverbs 31 Ministries introduced the First 5 app with the hopes of changing the way women start their day. Proverbs 31 President Lysa TerKeurst says, “We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.” The idea behind First 5 is to start the day with God via the app before checking email, visiting social media, or getting caught up in the day’s headlines. This user-friendly app makes it easy to incorporate time in God’s Word into your daily routine.

When users open the app, a new devotion from the First 5 writing team shows up on the screen. A quote from the devotion is nestled in a beautiful photograph, giving readers an idea of what awaits them. First 5 approaches Bible study “one chapter at a time, one book at a time.” Readers are encouraged to read one chapter each day, and the devotions are based on this chapter. The daily reading includes a link to Logos (biblia.com) where the selected chapter is available in full.

First 5 Content

App Review: First 5The devotions are written around scripture. They include personal anecdotes, but the focus is clearly on God’s Word, not the lives of the writers. Each devotion ends with a prayer and question for reflection. Once readers sign in, they can leave a comment in response to the question, as well as reply to and “like” comments from fellow readers.

As the name implies, the key scripture and devotion can be read in five minutes. This gives readers a positive start to the day. However, to make Scripture come alive and take root, I like to read the entire chapter before reading the devotion. This allows the Holy Spirit to speak to me directly before reading someone else’s thoughts. Friends who have tried it both ways agree, taking a few extra minutes to read the entire chapter makes a difference in the First 5 experience.

Instead of memorizing scripture, First 5 provides Major Moments for memorization. This is a summary of the chapter’s content. By learning major moments, women can quickly return to a passage as needed. Each day, More Moments invite readers to dig deeper. More Moments includes insightful information such as word studies, historical context, and related scripture. Some users visit this later in the day as a refresher, while others read it in tandem with the devotion.

 

Additional Resources

First 5 recently added Groups to enhance the community experience. The discussion questions often elicit more than 1,000 responses. By joining a smaller group, members can engage in discussions about the passage, the discussion prompts, or personal life circumstances. Groups are both public and private, accessible by request and invitation.

Over the weekend, First 5 writers provide a videotaped discussion based on the week’s reading. These engaging discussions last about fifteen minutes. This includes a review of the Major Moments. The writers usually focus on one chapter, but sometimes take a “bird’s eye” view of the week’s passages. These sermonettes are a refreshing wrap-up of the week’s readings.

In addition to the app, Proverbs 31 offers Experience Guides for purchase. Weeks before the next study begins, users receive an invitation to purchase the newly released study journals. The Experience Guides include questions for deeper reflection, maps, diagrams, and full-colored scripture graphics. Print versions are around $13, with digital versions available for $8.

The First 5 app is free to users, but donations are welcome and appreciated. Ocassinoaly, the app will send a donation request notification, but it is not intrusive or presented in pop-up style. The app is user-friendly with daily devotions appearing on the home screen and a menu bar for additional features. Past plans are available for review or

 

Is First 5 for You?

As a life-long Bible reader, I find First 5 to be an excellent app to encourage time in God’s Word each day. By reading the chapter and engaging with the Experience Guide, women can turn a simple five-minute prompt into deep and meaningful Bible study. Even with all of its depth, the app is simple enough to make Scripture come alive for those who may be new to reading the Bible. I also appreciate the community aspect, providing the opportunity to study the Bible with women from around the world. The graphics are beautiful and clean. The message is full of truth and encouragement for godly living.

First 5 writers include Lysa TerKeurst, Wendy Blight, Whitney Capps, Leah DiPascal, Wendy Pope, and Krista Williams. First 5 is available through iTunes and Google Play. Visit First5.org for more information.


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Kelly Smith is a small town girl who married a small town man. They have three children spanning preschool to teen. Kelly believes we are created for community and loves to find ways to connect with other women who are walking in the shadow of the cross. She blogs at MrsDisciple.com.

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