“I was at O'Hare Airport and I thought, ‘What could today's technology mean for the Bible? Could it spark revolution?' That's what I believe we are seeing happen today — a revolution,” he said.
From Gruenewald's perspective, the app has helped bring the Bible into the digital age to influence generations of people, and that's revolutionary.
“We hear story after story, and see tweet after tweet, people saying that YouVersion has helped them engage with the
Gruenewald has numerous examples of how the app has gained in popularity. He said about 35,000 passages of Scripture are shared on Facebook every day using the Bible app. Also, he said YouVersion data indicates one in 17 iPhone, iPad and iTouch users have downloaded the Bible app, and one in 17 Android users have downloaded the app, as well.
Gruenewald said U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, recently used his YouVersion Bible app to read a passage of Scripture while speaking on the House of Representatives floor. Also, he said televangelist Joyce Meyer's Joyce Meyer Ministries recently partnered with YouVersion to offer an exclusive daily devotional as one of the Bible app's reading plans.
“People are connecting with the Bible and having a whole new level of engagement and conversation about it, and that is what we find exciting,” he said.
Reaching the world
The app's popularity combined with Gruenewald's desire to see Bible app translations for everyone's “heart language” will keep him and his team busy for awhile.
He said they have 500 active volunteers around the world who are helping to make the app a success. Some are busy providing tech support, and Gruenewald said LifeChurch.tv has a goal of providing such support for 85 percent of the people around the world by the end of 2012.
Gruenewald said the triumph of the Bible app is a testimony to God's faithfulness but also a good example of what an entrepreneurial spirit can do.
“If someone were to list cities that have influence on Internet technology, Oklahoma City might not have been viewed as an Internet hotbed, but here we see one of the largest apps being basically created by a team in Oklahoma City,” he said.