Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Favourite Apps - #3 - YouVersion

If you're a follower of Jesus then YouVersion is one of the apps you really shouldn't be without. It's a brilliantly designed Bible reading app which gives you access to pretty much every translation of the Bible available (the only one I've ever wanted which isn't available is Tyndale's original English translation which became the basis of the King James Version). In total there are 722 translations available in 456 different languages.

It also allows you to download pretty much all the available translations, making them available even if you aren't connected to the internet - great if you're on a plane as I am at the moment! There are also audio versions of many of those Bibles available so you can listen to the Bible whilst running, driving or just lying in bed staring at the ceiling!

There are also a whole host of different Bible reading plans available. Some will take you through the whole of the Bible in a specified time period (I used the "Bible in a Year" plan a couple of years ago), others will take you through a book, still others are based around exploring a particular theme or the thoughts of a particular preacher or worship leader (I did a plan written by Matt Redman recently which was really insightful). Of particular help to me is a "catch me up" function which pushes out the end date if you've missed some days - I call it the grace option (I won't tell you how long my "Bible in a Year" plan actually took me!).

There are also a host of functions to write notes on passages, read notes other people have written, bookmark passages and cut and paste Bible passages into other documents - great for writing sermons or gathering ideas in Evernote!

What I love above all this is that YouVersion was produced by one local church, LifeChurch.tv in the USA, which is lead by Craig Groeschel who many of us will have heard speak at the GLS. Their kingdom minded vision to both develop an app which in terms of quality stands alongsided the best commercially available apps, and then to give it away for free without any mention of Lifechurch actually in the app, to me is an inspiration of all that we as Kerith should aspire to be. It's also a great example of how Christians can take hold of technology and use it for good rather than just worrying about it being used for evil, in much the same way as Christians did with the printing press around the time of the reformation - all very exciting.



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