EDMOND — A LifeChurch.tv leader said a recent feature added to the megachurch’s popular Bible app represents the most significant upgrade since the app’s launch in 2008.
The Rev. Bobby Gruenewald, pastor-innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv, said the church’s free YouVersion Bible app added a feature that allows users to share their Bible experience with a select set of other users — close friends and others they trust.
Gruenewald said the new upgrade, called Bible App 5, was added a few days before Holy Week. The app can be accessed for free on Apple, Android and at www.bible.com/app.
He said the latest upgrade is LifeChurch.tv leaders’ response to feedback from YouVersion Bible app users who said they loved the app but were reluctant to share their faith journey and have indepth conversations about Scripture on Facebook and other social networks that are open to hundreds of other people.
Gruenewald said Bible App 5 creates opportunities for users to see what their select set of friends are highlighting and bookmarking, ask honest and sincere questions about what’s being read, or simply engage in a conversation with someone who is going through a difficult time.
He said a particular bonus of the upgrade is that it should be helpful to people living in countries where they are not allowed to speak openly with others about the Bible.
Gruenewald said YouVersion users already share more than 250,000 Bible passages daily via texting and social networks, and the Bible app has been downloaded on more than 136 million mobile devices.
He said response to the upgrade has been overwhelmingly positive, and he encourages Bible app users to try out some of the new features created for them.
LifeChurch.tv and social media through the years
•LifeChurch.tv launches the My Secret website as an online component to a message series by founding senior pastor Craig Groeschel. The confidential site encourages adults to confess their problems and includes links to resources that offer aid and a way to connect to pastors.
•LifeChurch.tv opens a virtual ministry in Second Life, an Internet virtual world where people interact and participate in activities using avatars.
•LifeChurch.tv launches the YouVersion website which allows people to read the Bible and pull together their favorite pictures and YouTube videos, among other things, to illustrate their understanding of Scripture.
•YouVersion becomes a mobile powerhouse when LifeChurch.tv offers a free YouVersion Bible app for the iPhone and iPod.
•LifeChurch’s software applications for other mobile devices such as Android are made available.
•LifeChurch.tv partners with XXXChurch.com for The Porn Event, a six-day initiative that offers online help and healing for people struggling with pornography addiction.
•To help commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, LifeChurch.tv teams with Biblica and Zondervan to give away 1 million free downloads of the New International Version of the Bible.
•LifeChurch’s YouVersion Bible app reaches 34 million downloads on mobile devices by November.
•LifeChurch.tv partners with the producers of “The Bible” cable series, and the YouVersion Bible app becomes the official companion app for miniseries.
•The YouVersion Bible app hits 100 million downloads on July 7.
•LifeChurch.tv celebrates the fifth anniversary of the YouVersion Bible app. At the time, the app is available in 604 versions (or translations) and 268 languages.
•LifeChurch.tv presents YouVersion Bible App 5, an upgrade designed to build community.