Why should you use a Bible App?
Before we jump into that question, I want to make it very clear that I prefer a hard copy of the Bible. We actually ask students to bring a physical copy of the Bible to Sunday school and youth group. We pass out physical copies when they are in our program because we want them to interact with a physical copy of the Bible, see the full story, experience the context of passages, and so on.
But what about when they leave? Outside of our walls, not many of our students are engaging with a physical copy of a Bible. I’m sure they have one, but they easily lose it, forget about it under a pile of things or on the bookshelf.
What don’t they lose track of? A smartphone, iPod or tablet. This is something that is basically tied with an invisible cord around their wrist. They won’t leave home without it given the choice.
That is what makes the Bible App so beneficial! Personally, I use the YouVersion Bible App and promote it with our students. Some of the reasons listed below are specifically gleaned from the YouVersion Bible App. There are many Bible apps out there, and all of them have their uniquenesses and benefits. I’ve had the best experience with YouVersion, so that is what I will speak into here.
First, the Bible app meets them where they are
Most students are using social media. Most of them have a smartphone or iPod or tablet. The Bible app is accessible on every device, including a regular computer (are desktop computers a thing anymore?).
This Bible app meets them where they are. Most don’t leave home without it. Utilize what they already have. It would be foolish (and a waste of time) to try to reinvent the wheel. We have seen a great many of our students engage with the Bible app. It has been such a cool thing to see.
Students are listening to the Bible, reading the Bible, making verse images, sharing on social media, and more. It’s amazing! And all because the Bible is at their fingertips.
Second, the Bible app gives them what they need
Our students NEED to be engaged with Scripture. They need wisdom and guidance to figure out life where they are. High School and Middle School life has grown increasingly complex since I graduated. They are dealing with issues at a far earlier age, and even more desperately need sound wisdom and life principles to help them make decisions.
The Bible app provides many Bible reading plans. Some are tailored specifically for topics, others are reading the whole Bible in a year, still others are going through a book at a time, or taking a slower progression through chapters of the Bible and taking time to read, reread, interact, and engage with what the Bible says. Students can find a Bible study for where they are and what they need at that time.
Third, the Bible app can satisfy what they crave
We were created for community. Our students crave community, validation, and recognition. The Bible app is a social environment. You can like, comment, share, add friends, etc. It’s almost like a Facebook but with the Bible.
Small groups can do study plans together, and can hold each other accountable for doing it because the home page shows who completes what day of the plan when. It’s a built in accountability tool, and then other students can like that plan completion, or make a comment about something they learned that day, and so on.
The Bible app also allows anyone to share to Twitter or Facebook, so the social aspect of the app extends beyond even the app itself into the wider world of social media. Students can create verse images and share to Instagram, or sign up for the verse of the day and text it to their friends.
With the Bible app, we are able to meet students where they are with what they need and what they crave. I hope you will seriously consider using this Bible app outside of your regular programming and encourage small group leaders, pastors, and all your students to get plugged into this. It is a powerful discipleship tool.
This is a GUEST POST from Ben Marshall. Ben has served as a Youth and Young Adult Pastor in Holland, MI since 2014 and recently became a Campus Pastor in the Fall of 2016. He has a passion for discipling youth and young adults, helping them realize their God-given potential and developing next generation leaders. Ben is married to Connie and their had their first child, Aliya Joy, in October, 2016. Ben’s hobbies include blogging, playing guitar, soccer, and football. Follow him on Twitter or on his blog.