Faith Online

Rob Hoskins, OneHope President

Word travels faster in our world than it ever has before, thanks to technology. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is leveraging digital means to stay connected. Nightly news hosts film specials from their living rooms, social media influencers encourage social distancing, and the Church utilizes online platforms to conduct services. If you’re a parent or guardian, you are likely helping your child navigate online learning. While keeping up with schoolwork is important, technology can also be used to increase Scripture engagement during this prolonged time spent at home.

 

The Bible App for Kids

The Bible App for Kids, created in partnership between YouVersion and OneHope, is a free downloadable resource filled with interactive stories and games to engage young minds. It continues to be a foundational Scripture engagement tool, not only for parents and children’s ministers in the U.S., but all around the world. The app has been installed in every country in the world, even in countries where physical copies of the Bible are illegal!

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The Bible App by YouVersion

I use YouVersion’s Bible App to engage with ministry partners globally. The shared bible reading plans, and the newly added feature of Prayer components to the app, have proven to be an easy and accessible way to stay connected digitally, even while apart. Our world is rapidly changing, and as believers and the global Church, we need to leverage technology to enhance community ties.

 

In a recent report OneHope produced in partnership with Barna, we did a deep dive to see ways that culture is influencing the spiritual lives of children in the United States. One aspect of the study assessed the influx of technology and revealed that the number one predictor of spiritual health in a child is that they read the Bible regularly. Yet, we see engagement in both church attendance and Scripture engagement decreasing as kids age.

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While the COVID-19 crisis is disrupting nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives, we are looking at this as an opportunity to help turn the tide of these trends. Families have the ability to develop new habits around family Bible study, prayer and worship during this time at home. Use this interruption in the normalcy of life to help engage your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in conversations around the Bible. Or, talk to your church’s youth pastor about volunteering to spiritually adopt a teen who doesn’t have a Christian mentor. We can all be investing in the spiritual lives of today’s youth, and it starts simply by being available to have conversations. Through our research, we’ve found that interactive, conversation-based learning is the most effective and sought after method of spiritual development amongst Generation Z.

Churches are incorporating this pivotal element of spiritual growth, too. In fact, many mega churches we serve are setting small groups and parent involvement as the cornerstone of discipling the next generation. OneHope developed Feed youth ministry resources to help these churches and families have biblical based conversations for this generation to grapple with deep questions.

We have an unprecedented chance to intentionally invest in the lives of the next generation first by helping them biblically navigate the information and changes around them, and second by encouraging a fresh season of renewed scripture engagement by providing access to incredible digital tools.

 

Online Resources

To access resources about the report, Guiding Children to Discover the Bible, Navigate Technology, and Follow Jesus, visit onehope.net/research.

The Bible App for Kids is free to download on the Apple and Android stores.

Looking for more ways to connect with your family, community, and God’s Word? Free resources are available to you!

 

Rob Hoskins is the President of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004 he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.5 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

 

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