Whether you are highly in touch with new developments in the world of technology as soon as they come out, or you just barely use your smartphone besides for texting and calling, you have most likely heard of the YouVersion Bible App. First released in late 2007, this high-quality free Bible app has been installed on more than 495 million unique devices across the entire world.
The app took root from the vision of a local church and is funded by ministry partners who have made it possible to have world-class software development to provide an amazing Bible app for the Church, completely free for users!
Despite how well known the app is, many people may not consider how to use YouVersion’s Bible app during church services. There are plenty of ways the Bible app can be utilized in corporate worship, and we would love to offer some ideas for you to try.
Practical Benefits of Using the YouVersion Bible App in Church
It goes without saying that there are many ways the technology we carry in our pockets makes our lives easier. So we should definitely take advantage of those benefits of technology in our church services. (It may just take some getting used to for those of us who are used to it being a BAD thing to have your phone out in church!)
Several practical and useful features of the YouVersion Bible app are based on things we do with our “real” printed copies of the Bible. For instance, highlighting scriptures that speak to us can be done using the app on a phone or tablet as well.
Many of us love being able to highlight verses and passages in our Bibles. The process can bring a lot of joy and depth to our Bible study time (it’s great to take physical action as we’re processing and contemplating how God is speaking to us). So, it’s great that you can also do this on the app. And even better that the app makes it easy to follow up and revisit scriptures that you’ve highlighted, bookmarked, or taken notes on while following along with the message in church.
Instant and Accessible Bible Study Tools
In addition to the ability to bookmark and highlight verses in scripture (and with multiple colors and categories, by the way), YouVersion’s Bible App offers many other features for use at church and in personal times of reflection and Bible study. It’s pretty natural that when you tap/click on a verse, you’re able to make notes to save to it. But that’s not all.
The app puts many instant Bible study tools at your fingertips, like the ability to compare verses in different Bible versions and translations, or even quickly find related scripture passages from anywhere in the entire Bible. These tools all make diving deeper into the Word easier and help people follow along with Bible teaching at church or in small groups. And then if they want to learn even more about the topic that was spoken about, they can pick up right where they left off and continue in their study individually in their daily devotional and prayer times.
There are so many useful features of the YouVersion Bible app, we can’t even list them all in this article. But you’ll definitely want to explore and take advantage of ones like audio Bible recordings, syncing your notes and bookmarks across multiple devices (you can save them to your account), the ability to customize your font and text size, and even the community aspect of the app which allows you to track with friends and family as you study the Bible or study together!
Daily Guided Prayer Feature
Another great feature to consider when planning ways to use the YouVersion Bible app for church services is the new Daily Guided Prayer feature. This exciting part of the app uses the Lord’s Prayer as a template and gives prompts to assist you in reflecting on scripture and talking with the Lord every single day.
While this is an amazing tool for personal Bible study and quiet time every day, this feature of the Bible app could be used during church services as well. In fact, Daily Guided Prayer in YouVersion’s Bible app feels like a modern take on “responsive reading” which could be a perfect activity to go through together corporately as part of a church worship service. And if some of your church attenders are already going through the Daily Guided Prayers on their own, then the one they do on Sundays or when your church meets can be done together as an act of unity and centering around scripture as a community.
Planning a Sermon Series Around Bible Study Plans
There is a very large library of Bible studies on just about any topic you can imagine available on the YouVersion Bible app. Because of the way the studies are laid out, it is easy for people to read the scriptures and to accompany content each day. What could be a better tool to help get members of our congregations in the Word each day, even if only for a few minutes?
If you are a pastor or get the opportunity to teach at your church, consider structuring a sermon or teaching series around a study that’s available on the Bible app. Building messages around one of the Bible study plans on the YouVersion app will allow your congregation to follow along on their own during the week as they go through the devotion and then come back together for more in-depth teaching on Sundays. And once the series is finished, if people would like to find similar studies that resonate with them, they will be able to do so on the app.
Scripture: The Heart of the YouVersion Bible App
Even with all the invaluable features of the YouVersion Bible app, of course, the heart of it is scripture itself. Whether or not your congregation is used to bringing their own Bibles so they can follow along with the teaching during church services, encourage them to pull out their smartphones and download this free app to read along and engage with the Word on their own devices.
With our modern and fast-paced lifestyles in 2021, many in our congregations don’t give much thought to bringing along their printed copies of the Word to church. As pastors and leaders, it’s still a great idea to encourage this (and lead in it), whether it be with a physical Bible or a Bible on an app like YouVersion’s Bible app.
Even though worship media makes it easy to put scriptures and backgrounds on the screen for church services, there’s something special about also having our own personal Bible in hand– even a digital one. And for many, a smartphone or tablet-based app is the perfect solution to always have God’s Word available.
The Word of God changes lives, inspires hope, and tells the ultimate story of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to generations past, present, and to come. Its power is undeniable. Having access to it by using the YouVersion Bible app during church, at home, or anywhere we go is a blessing and a tool we should take full advantage of and be very thankful for!