Originally launched on Thanskgiving Day 2013, the Bible App for Kids surpassed ten million downloads recently, leveraging technology to actively engage children and youth with the Bible. The app has been downloaded in every country of the world and is currently available in 13 languages.
Partners YouVersion and OneHope created the app to connect today’s digital natives with God’s Word on a platform where they already spend a lot of time. A 2010 study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8-18 year olds spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes on screens daily.
“Technology is a game changer making the Bible available to many with a few clicks or swipes”, said OneHope president, Rob Hoskins.
“We fully believe that God’s Word has the power to change hearts and lives. Never did we imagine the impact and reach of the Bible App for Kids! God’s Word is going forth like never before because of the connectedness of people and the ubiquitous access of the Internet and digital devices,” said Rob Hoskins.
Bringing the Bible to life
Specifically made for children ages 4-10, the Bible App for Kids makes the Bible come to life with animation and activities using 41 Biblical stories. The app features the major stories of the Bible and takes kids on a journey through the meta-narrative of Scripture to help them experience the story. Each story consists of an interactive world centered on the Bible, with animation, narration, music and sound effects.
OneHope’s goal was to leverage a technological medium, not only to help kids engage with God’s Word, but to keep them coming back to the app again and again. By doing so, kids would be exposed more and more to life-changing Scripture, deepening their experience with the stories in God’s Word.
“I believe we have not only the opportunity but the responsibility to create engaging digital experiences where our children can fall in love with God’s Word,” said Bobby Gruenewald, Innovation Leader at Life Church.
The Bible App for Kids features colorful illustrations of animals, nature and people, and presents the most-loved Biblical stories in a way that makes it easy for kids to learn and have fun. Special features include:
- Intuitive, kid-friendly navigation
- Touch-activated animation
- Fun facts and activities to help kids remember what they learn
- Special challenges and collectable items that keep kids engaged
Each story is narrated in easy-to-digest segments and includes background music, interactive elements and challenges. The storytelling is simple but holds to the core truths in each Bible story. The way that each story is illustrated and animated even introduces an element of pathos, so kids can really feel the emotions experienced, whether it be fear, sadness, shame, confusion or joy.
The best part for the folks at OneHope is knowing that as kids experience the story, it is touching and transforming their lives. Every day kids are falling in love with God’s Word in a whole new way.
“A father contacted us to let us know that even though his son had heard the story of Jesus dying on the cross before, it became real to him when he experienced it while playing “It is Finished!” on the Bible app for Kids. The son was so moved, in fact that his dad found him in tears as he watched the scene where Jesus died on the cross. Kids are begging for their parents’ smart phones and tablets to ‘play the Bible,’” according to Jessica Sherwood of OneHope
The app is free, and parents can download free resources from OneHope’s website to help them discuss the stories with their children and engage them as they learn about God. Downloadable resources include:
- Coloring sheets featuring scenes from the app
- Bible verses that relate to each story
- Discussion points and questions for parents to help their kids dive further into important Biblical truths
- Simple prayers, based on each story, that help show kids how to talk to God about what they have learnt and build a relationship with Him
Currently available in 13 languages, this year, the Bible App for Kids will be translated into an additional 10 new languages. New games, parent resources and interactions will also be added. And a companion to the app, The Bible App for Kids Storybook Bible was published in October, ranking number one in Christian Books and Bibles on Amazon the day it released.
OneHope’s mission is to “affect destiny by providing God’s eternal Word to all the children and youth of the world”. Since 1987, OneHope has helped kids experience God’s story by bringing a message of hope to children and youth in more than 100 countries.
The Bible App for Kids can be downloaded for free through Apple iTunes Store, Google Play and Amazon.
Keisha McDonnough is a research analyst and writer. A Jamaican native and South Florida resident, she is passionate about poetry and vow writing. Check out her website at everaftervows.com.