Instead of "amusing ourselves to death with our gadgets," one tech developer is encouraging Christians to spend more time "communing with our hearts in silence" — by using his new app called Heartpoints.
Heartpoints was developed by Christian Apps LLC, a company founded by Yed Anikpo, and added to the iTunes store in May.
Dubbed "a GPS for the Christian heart," Heartpoints is meant to help believers monitor their spiritual growth or struggles by "checking in" with their activities throughout the day — such as "worshipping God" or logging why they are experiencing "sinful anger."
"Whether you're praising the Lord or angry, in whatever place your heart is, capture the moment by checking in there. Then, review your daily history, thanking the Lord for the positive check ins and repenting of the negative ones," reads the description on the iTunes store.
Anikpo told The Christian Post his story is one that "starts in an atheist home in West Africa 34 years ago and ends up in a Reformed church pew in Minnesota with an iPhone and a dream to change the way we walk by faith."
The app developer shared that, since its May debut, Heartpoints had been downloaded 3,500, predominantly by female iPhone users.
Below is a brief Q&A The Christian Post conducted via email with Anikpo to learn a little more about his company and Heartpoints app.
CP: What's so special about Heartpoints?
Anikpo: Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living." As an unbeliever himself, Socrates was speaking to non-Christians. If they are admonished to examine their lives, how much more Christians, who were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God died for us that we might live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). Our lives are infinitely more precious than those of unbelievers and as such, we have a higher calling to self-examination. Whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we ought to do all to His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Heartpoints is a beautiful Christian app to help us track our spiritual walk today, so that we can live better tomorrow for Christ's glory.
CP: You mentioned the "lost Christian virtues of watching and self-examination for the purpose of godliness." What do you mean by that?
Ankipo: Watching and self examination are Christian virtues in that we are commanded in Scripture to watch and pray that we may not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41) and to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Our Christian forefathers took those commands seriously. At nineteen years of age, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) resolved to "inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year." (The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards)
Unfortunately, we as a church today, are too busy amusing ourselves to death with our gadgets instead of spending time communing with our hearts in silence. Heartpoints is designed to help us capture the stuff that makes up our walk today so that we can examine it and use the information we gather, to inform the rest of our pilgrimage tomorrow.
CP: What are the details of your company, Christian Apps LLC, such as, the number of team members, when it was founded, etc.?
Anikpo: Christian Apps LLC is a bootstrap startup. I started the company without external capital and self-funded this venture in May 2012. I am currently the only team member, but expect to grow and start hiring within the next 12 months. So far, I have contracted work out to different freelancers and companies. My app was coded by a team of developers in India, a renowned San Francisco designer built the user interface and I have used the services of a local copywriter here in my home state (Minnesota).
Christian Apps' mission is to help make the daily spiritual lives of Christians easier to live via mobile.
CP: What are some future apps, if any, you are working on?
Anikpo: As to the future, regarding Heartpoints, I have a number of cool features planned. First, I will add better data visualization and analytics tools so our users can have a better visual sense of patterns and trends in their walk. I will integrate some game mechanics like points and rewards to improve user engagement. A user could get a coupon to a Christian bookstore for checking into her heart. Depending on the feedback I get, I might consider adding the ability to follow a limited number of users to establish accountability relationships inside the app. If there is massive adoption of the app, it would be cool to be able to visualize what's trending in the church in terms of where the heartbeat of the church is at a given moment.
We would love to hear from The Christian Post readers, in which direction they would like to see the app go.
Depending on how the Lord blesses this current project, I have a half dozen app ideas I would like to execute on. Most of them attempt to solve a pain:
-A couple of Bible Apps (one centered around game mechanics to encourage engagement and one focused on a minimalist and extremely beautiful user interface design - the Pixel Perfect Bible App)
-A devotional app for kids (to bring back family devotions)
-A Christian business locator app
-A Christian dating app with a secret twist (a lot of Christian women out there want someone to solve this pain, and after all, I found my "Eve" online.)
-I want to branch out and develop for iPad and Android
-Some ultra secret apps I cannot reveal here...
Watch this video below of Heartpoints for iPhone for a close-up view of the app: