EDMOND, Okla. (Christian Examiner) – YouVersion, a digital Bible app that works on every device, just shared its 2015 statistics, including its most shared verses by country—and John 3:16 isn't one of them.
YouVersion is celebrating its 200 million downloads, 1,200 Bible versions, and 900 languages, a staggering increase from the 12 versions and 2 languages it offered when it was launched in 2006 by LifeChurch.tv, based in Oklahoma.
"What God is doing through YouVersion is incredible—changing mobile devices into Bibles that people carry with them everywhere they go," Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader at LifeChurch, told Christianity Today.
The most shared verse in the United States and Brazil was Romans 12:2: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
This verse was the most shared, bookmarked, and highlighted in YouVersion history.
"As we see the magnitude of 200 million installs, what we're really celebrating is what that number represents: countless moments of individuals transformed by their time in the Bible," Grunewald said.
Nigerians, South Africans, and Philippines shared Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"
INCREASED BIBLE USE
People aren't just installing the app and forgetting about it, either. "Whether they are pulling up a helpful verse in a conversation with a friend, catching up on their reading plan at the airport or in a waiting room, or sharing a passage on Twitter and Facebook, the Bible is becoming more seamlessly integrated in their lives," says YouVersion.
In addition to over 200 million cumulative installations of the Bible app to date, YouVersion is also celebrating 630 million highlighted verses, 325 million bookmarks created, and 40 million completed reading plans. These short, thematic plans typically last one or two weeks, and the most completed plan in 2015 was a three-day plan about hope.
"I think it's very important for everyone to have access to a Bible—or a Bible app," says Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets. He said YouVersion has done an amazing job making the Bible available.
The most downloaded Bible on iTunes says the top five searched terms in the app are marriage, love, faith, prayer and fasting.
People in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and South Korea shared Isaiah 41:10: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
BIBLE APP FACILITATES SHARING
Around the world, certain countries have used the Bible app in increasing amounts. YouVersion says use in countries like Iran (1886 percent increase), Pakistan (240 percent increase), Cameroon (562 percent increase) and China (359 percent increase) has exploded since YouVersion hit its 100 million installation mark.
In China, the most shared verse was 1 Corinthians 10:13: "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."
All over the globe, people open YouVersion 112 times per second. Worldwide users create three bookmarks, share four verses, create 18 highlights, listen to 51 audio chapters, and read 342 chapters of the Bible—per second.
"I've actually had God speak to me, the Holy Spirit open up a verse in my heart," Clint Gresham of the Seattle Seahawks said, crediting YouVersion with making that possible.