I had heard about the app YouVersion (www.youversion.com) and the story behind it a few months ago. Last month I ran into Bobby Gruenewald the innovation leader at Lifechurch.tv in Edmund Oklahoma and the developer of YouVersion. What began as a service to the congregation has now been downloaded by 20 million people around the world – and I am one of them.
I use it for a daily Bible reading plan and sometimes in church. My family doesn’t like me using it in church as it looks like I am checking mail. People have spent over 7.5 billion minutes on the site – mostly on Sunday mornings. It looks like the pew Bible is headed toward obsolescence along with the hymnal. Soon there won’t be racks at all. What will kids do without all that reading material during church? Well that’s not what I’m thinking about this morning. I asked Bobby to send me some statistical information on YouVersion and what I discovered made sense. Out of the billions of minutes spent reading the Bible the huge majority of people were reading two verses more than any others. For me that fact confirmed what seems to be a powerful theme today – fear.
Economic fears are keeping housing and financial markets in turmoil. Healthcare fears. Natural disaster fears. Job fears. Retirement fears. Fear of the future. Fear of strangers. Fear of terrorists. Fear of the known and unknown. What are the verses that have been accessed by millions of people millions of times? First is Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Second is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you ” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” People are anxious and not confident. They are not listening to their leaders who preach a sure return to normalcy and stability. Millions of people wake up every day looking for hope confidence and a future.
I am delighted they are turning to YouVersion in growing numbers to find assurance.