(July 22, 2016) – It’s 7:45 a.m. on a Tuesday when 26-year-old Sarah is mentally preparing for a hectic work day ahead. She’s managed to carve out some solitary time to sit down with her Bible before the flurry of meetings begins.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
The verse fills her with peace in the midst of a busy week. She consumes several more passages before bowing her head in prayer.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, here’s the catch:
Sarah isn’t sitting at her kitchen table. She’s not reading the pages of a printed Bible. This millennial has her hands on the steering wheel of a 2014 Mazda3 as her smartphone feeds English Standard Version (ESV) audio recordings to her speakers through a USB connection. As her car pulls into the parking lot, she has just enough time for a moment of reflection in between turning off the engine and opening her car door.
This is how many churchgoers are interacting with God’s Word today. And they’re looking to their churches for tools they can use to fuel their faith throughout the week, beyond Sunday sermons and small groups.
That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about Bluebridge’s new Bible reading plan. This one simple feature now allows you to provide the entire Bible over the course of a year in an easy, digestible way.
Before I dive into the details of this new feature, let’s take a quick look at how it will benefit your congregation.
How Smartphones are Changing Bible Reading
Why does your mobile church app need a robust daily Bible reading plan? This survey provides one answer: An impressive 70% of churchgoing millennials use smartphones or the internet to read the Bible.
And it’s not just the millennial demographic that’s consuming Scripture on mobile devices. An American Bible Society survey of more than 2,000 people found that 26% of respondents spent more time in The Word after downloading the Bible to a smartphone or tablet. Twenty-five percent of all adults listened to audio versions.
That’s not all. “Being too busy with life’s responsibilities” was the number one reason Americans gave for decreasing their daily Bible reading.
In other words:
The easier your church makes it to weave Scripture reading into daily activities, the more likely members are to grow their knowledge of the Bible. This can lead to better church group discussions, deeper understandings of sermon messages and increased engagement overall within your congregation.
Bluebridge’s New Daily Bible Reading Plan
Now that we’ve discussed why this feature is so important, let’s take a look at how you can leverage it.
How It Works
The Bluebridge daily Bible reading plan feature is designed to deliver daily doses of Scripture in an easy-to-consume format. It leverages the popular ESV Bible translation to feed excerpts directly into your church’s mobile app.
Each day, users receive a new passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. They can choose to read it or listen to the audio version depending on where they are in their days. It’s an incredibly easy way to help church members engage with God’s Word all week long.
How to Encourage Engagement
If you’re looking for some easy ways to encourage downloads and daily use, here are three convenient options for doing just that:
- Add a “getting started” intro.
If your church’s mobile app includes a “getting started” section, consider adding an intro to the Bible reading plan to help members access it quickly. You could even offer a few quick tips they can use to get as much out of it as possible.
- Set up notifications.
Push notifications are a great way to increase involvement beyond Sunday services. Why not set up a series of notifications to check in with members at regular intervals and see how their daily reading is going?
- Leverage other communication channels
When members aren’t interacting with your church’s mobile app, there’s a good chance they’re using their smartphones for other activities like checking email and perusing Facebook feeds. You can reach them right where they are by providing a preview of your Bible reading plan through carefully crafted emails and social media updates. Bonus if you post screenshots!