With digital books becoming increasingly popular, many churches are adapting and changing along with the times. Take, for instance, LifeChurch.tv, a house of worship based in Edmond, Okla.
In addition to offering live-streamed church services, LifeChurch.tv also created the wildly popular YouVersion Bible app, which has been downloaded by more than 120 million people around the globe. Now, the church is back with another app — a children’s Bible aimed at bringing Christian themes to kids ages 4 through 10.
Pastor Bobby Gruenewald, innovation leader for LifeChurch.tv, told TheBlaze that his team set out a year and a half ago to make “The Bible App for Kids,” an app that is visually appealing to children, complete with illustrations, games and stories that can be consumed on either smart phones or tablets.
The new project was launched after Gruenewald and his team received feedback from users and parents of the YouVersion Bible app who inquired about a children’s version.
Already, the app has proven extraordinarily popular, with 1 million downloads in its first week.
“Children really love the app,” he said. “[We are] overwhelmed with the response and really hope this is just the beginning.”
Rather than presenting the entire Bible from start to finish, the kids’ version of the Bible is presents the holy book by condensing it into 40 total stories.
“[It's a] series of interactive stories that will paint the grand narrative of the Bible and each of those stories are interactive in that … you can listen or read — and you can also interact with the people who are a part of the story,” Gruenewald said.
So far, six of these stories are active on the app and Gruenewald said his team is fast at work on the others.
“I think that having the Bible available on these devices that children are really beginning to use is just really important, because it helps re-frame how they think about scripture,” he said.
Considering that the full text of the Bible isn’t being presented from Genesis to Revelation, TheBlaze asked how Gruenewald and his team captured the full scope of the text.
“We partnered with One Hope. They’re based out of Florida, but they do a Bible-focused ministry with children. They have been doing that for quite some time,” he said. “They have a lot of experience on a general level with different cultural contexts and different languages.”
Gruenewald said his team relied on One Hope to help put the app together and to provide a meta-narrative of scripture as translated into the 40 total stories that will eventually be presented on the app.
Already, LifeChurch.tv is seeing the app’s impact among children. Gruenewald said that his own kids recently changed the lyrics to the popular hymn “The B-I-B-L-E” in “that’s the book for me” to “that’s the app for me.”
“[They] started to see the Bible as something that’s not just in a book format anymore,” he added.
Learn more about the YouVersion kids app here.