YouVersion kinda blew my mind. I heard about it because a few friends mentioned that they used it. I downloaded the app to my iPhone (YouVersion isn’t just an app for devices; you can use it on their web site too), but, I have to be honest–I am an apps junkie, so I tend to download more apps than I use (especially if they’re free). I didn’t even know that the app I downloaded was called “YouVersion” at first because it just said “Holy Bible” on the icon, and I found it by searching for bibles.
I wanted to take a look at some reading plan tools, and YouVersion got my attention in a big way. So, here are the two reasons you should take a look at YouVersion – after all, it might be on your iPhone or Android device, and you don’t even know it :).
Reason Number 1: The Reading Plans
I was going to originally name this post, “Holy Smorgasbord Batman! YouVersion has more reading plans than cool toys on your utility belt!”, but I really don’t know how many cool toys he has :).
The first thing that struck me was the 5 categories to help you pick what might work best for you. You can narrow your search down by reading plans that encompass the whole Bible, or just part of it. You can focus on reading that covers a particular topic, or there are also devotional reading plans (as well as plans designed specifically for youth). So let’s recap, that’s 5 categories, 5 ways, to customize your Bible reading:
- The whole Bible
- Specific parts of the Bible
- Defined topics
- Devotionals specific to youth
A Lot of Options…
I’ve researched other readings plans, but noticed that most are only open to a few Bible versions…but this application allows you to choose from an extremely wide range of Bible’s to read (i.e. NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.).
There are over 150 reading plans to choose from! A few that stuck out to me were the “new through 30″, which helps you read through the NT in 30 days. “Project345″ is a plan to read through the NT in a year, reading 1 chapter a day and using the weekend as a safety net if you missed any days. It is also based on the average time of 3 minutes and 45 seconds it takes to read one chapter. Another was the “Bible in 90 days” for those who like a challenge or those who just need to get the whole story as soon as possible (spoiler alert: Jesus wins).
I was really intrigued by the “One-2-One” reading plan which is designed for a discipleship relationship; it is categorized as a devotional reading plan, as well as one called “Deep Dive 14″ designed for youth to read through in 14 days.
There many options that can help you work through God’s word, and they are diverse enough to find a reading plan to meet a specific goal. Also, you can adjust the timing of them to fit your schedule. YouVersion just has so many good options that you want to pick one and start reading.
God is a God of order. When we order our days around His Word, it is amazing how our hearts and minds realign to what we should be most excited about.
Reason Number 2: Social Networking Integration
Because I was intrigued to do more research on how these reading plans worked, I just knew I needed to sign up. I hate signing up for things–one more sign up, one more list of blanks to fill out…then I saw this familiar little blue icon with an “F” on it. I am not sure if you are familiar with this thing called Facebook, but apparently it’s a big deal. Because of the integration of YouVersion into my Facebook profile, I was able to sign up with just a couple clicks. That 10 minutes of my time saved was priceless.
Because of the social networking component, I can follow my Facebook friends who also use YouVersion. You can set up accountability groups with your friends as you read through reading plans together. You can easily post passages that you’ve read to your wall. I think this sure is a positive way to use a social media connection that is set around something truly eternal. We can get excited about God’s Word, together!
It is also great to have the ability to sync my reading plan across my computer and my mobile phone – again, that time savings sure adds up when you don’t have to find your place and you can just set out reading God’s Word right away.
Bottom Line: Check It Out
Check out YouVersion. It appears to be one of those tools on the cutting edge of social media. It has so many options, with people submitting content on an ongoing basis to make it better…and it’s free! Did I mention that it’s free? In today’s world, free is a big deal. And even better – something free that is also good. I think YouVersion hits that rare free-and-good combination.
You might ask yourself the question: Which Bible reading plan is the best? The answer: the one that you read.
Enjoy YouVersion, and let me know if you find cool new ways to encourage one another by using God’s Word.