Ever want to discuss the Bible and your faith journey but are reluctant to do so on Facebook and other social networks with hundreds of friends and followers?
In Bible App 5, the latest version of its wildly popular and free Bible app, YouVersion has added new features to help users share the Bible within a select set of relationships—not just anyone, but the people they trust most.
Think of it as the Bible with close friends included.
"Bible App 5 represents the biggest update YouVersion has ever made," says Bobby Gruenewald, innovation pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma, which created the Bible app already downloaded on more than 136 million mobile devices.
"While it still allows everyone the same access to Scripture," he says, "we've added a robust community-sharing feature. So now not only can you experience Scripture individually, but also collectively in the context of community and relationships with other people—just as God intended. It's the best of both worlds."
The latest version of the app creates opportunities for users to extend the conversation from church on Sunday to throughout the week with people they know and trust. A user can see what friends are highlighting and bookmarking, ask honest and sincere questions about what's being read, or simply reach out and engage in a conversation with someone who is going through a difficult time.
Bible App 5 also creates opportunities in parts of the world where people are not allowed to speak openly with others about the Bible.
"It will help people have those conversations, some for the very first time," Gruenewald says.
YouVersion users already share over 250,000 Bible passages daily via texting and social networks. While that's incredible, Gruenewald says there's still a need to create an environment for deeper conversation.
"Building community and relationships with people we know and love through Scripture is at the very foundation of the church," he says. "It's critical to how this generation will make God's Word a part of their everyday life."