Digital boosts spread of the BiblePosted by Rob Hoskins
Technology is a game changer. It has enabled many to make Scripture available in digital formats or extend their reach with a few clicks or swipes.
Because of it, we have been able to reach people with God’s Word in ways and places we never before deemed possible. We have seen digital tools like Incredible Islands take off in south America and The Bible App for Kids be downloaded on every continent. You can use online tools to do in-depth Bible study or even attend church! YouVersion—the most downloaded free Bible app– has made Bible translations, versions and reading plans available to anyone everywhere.
Strategy Analytics reported that active smartphone users in the world topped 1 billion in 2012. That number is set to double by 2016 with Africa alone projected to grow to more than 1 billion smartphone users.
To put this in perspective: a little over a decade ago, there were around 100,000 phone lines in Nigeria, mostly landlines run by the state-owned NITEL. Today NITEL is dead, and Nigeria has close to 100 million mobile phone lines, making it Africa’s largest telecom market according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Children have unprecedented access to the Internet. 84% of children in the US have it in their homes. In fact, the United States has more Internet users than Japan, China, Germany, the UK, and France combined!
The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — some even in school — using a smartphone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a 2010 study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In a media-saturated world, culture is winning, while time spent on the spiritual development of children is drastically decreasing. Even in the best-case scenario, a child who attends an hour of programming at their local church every weekend will only receive 52 hours/year on spiritual development. When you compare that to 7.5 hours spent online daily, 52 is a drop in the bucket compared to a number like 2737.5. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010)
Youth turn to media for answers and entertainment while their church attendance and devotions decline. We’re finding ourselves on the brink of biblical illiteracy.
We believe the potential of leveraging technology to reach children and youth with God’s Word is unlimited. 75 percent of the world’s population live in areas with severe religious restrictions, yet smartphone usage around the world is booming.
It’s been exhilarating to live in this kairos moment of history, forging new missional frontiers in the digital space. When the Bible App for Kids launched Thanksgiving Day 2013, we had no idea it would be downloaded more than 1 million time in its first week! We are rapidly approaching completion of its 41 stories interactive, the app has been translated into 5 languages with more in process, downloaded on every continent in the world and is about to surpass 10 million downloads!
In a recent survey to see how the app was being used, we were shocked to discover:
I can’t even begin to tell you the stories we’ve received of lives being changed through this app. Never did we imagine the impact and reach! God’s Word is going forth like never before because of the connectedness of people and the ubiquitous access of the Internet and digital devices.
Today we are excited to celebrate the International Day of the Bible and the amazing new ways now available for us to share the unchangeable story of God’s love. Celebrate with us here!
You should also read:
- This changes everything: The Bible APP for Kids
- Millennials and the Bible
- The Bible: an indestructible seed
 (USA Today, March 14, 2007)
(NPR, Feb. 8, 2008)
 (Bible Literacy Project, Inc., 2005)
International Day of the Bible #BibleCelebration
Family Bible Week by YouVersion #familyBibleweek May 8-13