YouVersion Bible app hires former Facebook exec to fuel growth

(RNS) — This previous Sunday (Jan. 15), more than 12 million men and women turned on their smartphones to open up up the Very good E book. It was the highest at any time every day engagement in the nearly 15-year record of the YouVersion Bible application.

If Bobby Gruenewald, the Oklahoma-dependent pastor who has overseen the totally free Bible app due to the fact the beginning, has his way, that quantity will quickly grow to be regimen.

“That’s been an aggressive goal, but that’s the trajectory that we’re mapping towards,” reported Gruenewald, improvements pastor at Everyday living.Church, one of the nation’s premier congregations.

Bobby Gruenewald. Photo courtesy of Life.Church

Bobby Gruenewald. Picture courtesy of Lifestyle.Church

Gruenewald first assumed of the thought of an on line Bible although in a protection line at Chicago’s airport in 2006. YouVersion commenced as a internet site, then transitioned to smartphones when the application store for the Apple iphone released in July 2008.

The application hit 500 million downloads in 2021. In a video convention get in touch with on Thursday, Gruenewald said he hopes to move 1 billion downloads in the upcoming five years. To enable proceed the app’s expansion, Gruenewald mentioned YouVersion recently added some new leadership staff members, including Nona Jones, who right up until recently was an executive at Meta, exactly where she had been head of world wide religion partnerships at Fb.

Jones, whose husband is a pastor, has served as a teaching companion for YouVersion and has authored many guides on faith.

Some of the most latest advancement for YouVersion, which Gruenewald mentioned offers translations in 1,900 languages, has been in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin The united states. In December, Lifestyle.Church released a new, very low-info model of the app in a number of African nations. The new variation is less difficult to use offline and requires up considerably less room, producing it greater for very low-capability devices. YouVersion has also observed progress in Europe, which had not been a progress spot in the earlier.

Selecting Jones and two other leaders from Fortune 500 organizations is section of the larger plan to grow YouVersion. Now, 165 individuals do the job on the application, claimed Gruenewald, and there are strategies to double the group in the upcoming couple of many years. About 1,000 volunteers also aid with the app, which provides 27,500 Bible studying plans in more than 80 languages, alongside with films, a preferred verse of the working day and other features.

YouVersion engagement statistics for 2022. Courtesy image

YouVersion engagement stats for 2022. Courtesy impression

Sundays continue to be the optimum-use day of the week, frequently about the hrs when church providers are normally held. Usage remains large at the beginning of the 7 days, then tends to drop off by Friday and Saturday. Historically, there’s usually been a spike in the month of January, typically fueled by New Year’s resolutions.

Gruenewald explained he feels like YouVersion—which is a ministry of the church and supported by donors and church funds—is just receiving began and ideas to spend closely so it can go on to increase.

“There’s a lot of persons that we want to be ready to reach with the Bible,” he mentioned.

Bessie Venters

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