The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world and the tech company Faithlife have announced the launch of a new Bible education app to encourage more engagement with, not just reading of, Scripture.
Known as the Bible Engagement Project, the app will be released in August, and some 150 churches within the Assemblies of God have already signed up for the project.
Ryan Horn, director of advancement for the project, told The Christian Post that the goal for the app went beyond the issue of merely making the Bible available to people.
“The question is no longer about access to Scripture so much as it is about engagement with Scripture. People have greater access to the Bible now than any other time in history, but unfortunately, fewer are actively engaging with it,” Horn said.
“We know, based on a number of research studies conducted over the years, that engaging with Scripture has unparalleled potential to transform lives.”
Horn said the Bible Engagement Project app differs from other Bible apps in that it provides “content that is age-aligned for preschool, elementary, youth, and adults.”
“This is a huge benefit for those concerned with whole-family discipleship,” he told CP. “All of the content is based around the Bible and designed to make Scripture engaging and accessible to all age levels.”
“Our desire is to see an increase in Bible engagement, which then translates to transformed lives. Our user experience is aimed at accomplishing just that.”
Faithlife Product Manager Kristen Tetteh told CP that the app also has “an emphasis on studying the Bible in community.”
“Community is built into the experience so you can answer a study question and immediately share your reflection with your small group,” Tetteh said.
“You can also post prayer requests and do life together. This is an especially important component for churches who are figuring out the new normal of a mix of online and in-person discipleship.”
As the vast majority of churches and ministries in the United States have halted in-person meetings over the past few months, digital alternatives have seen an increase in use.
In April, the popular Bible app YouVersion reported a 54% increase in Bible reading on their platforms from Palm Sunday through Easter compared to the previous year.
This included 40.6 million Bible Plan days completed this year compared to the 26.4 million Bible Plan days completed during Holy Week in 2019.
YouVersion also reported that while last year's Holy Week had 10.8 million verse shares, this year the total increased by 30% to 14.1 million verse shares.
“This Easter Sunday was the highest day in YouVersion Bible App history for verses shared and Bible Plan completions,” Rachel Feuerborn, spokesperson for Life.Church, which launched the app, said at the time.
“Easter looked different this year, but it didn’t stop the global church from celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.”