This past Sunday we kicked off our “This Year I Will _______” series, looking at what and where we personally want to engage at the start of a brand new year. Tre challenged us to be people who engage in prayer, people who practice the presence of Jesus and people who engage in Scripture.
We know that for some the practice of engaging scripture can feel like a challenge so we thought this post could be a helpful tool in finding ways to help each of us engage better. These apps can be used as your reading sources or as a companion alongside your readings, whether you prefer to read digitally or in print. If you do read on your phone or tablet a definite top tip is to ensure you put your device into do not disturb so that you can focus during the time you’ve carved out.
This isn't necessarily a list of the best apps out there but they are our favourites.
1. Bible by life.church (Youversion)
This is a go to app we love and most people will have come across it. As a Bible app it does what it says on the tin; provides scripture that can be read online and offline in a number of translations with an audio version to boot.
What has made this app most helpful to us is connecting the app with a Youversion account. This helps to sync all your activity with other devices you may use and means that when you open your laptop and access Youversion you can pick up where you left off. It also syncs anything you have highlighted, noted etc. It provides many Bible reading plans, including the Bible in One year from HTB, produces instagram Bible images and, if you are inclined, there is also the option to connect with other people and read what they are thinking around certain verses or themes that you are meditating on.
There are other options in this area like Bible Gateway, Biblica, etc, which all provide a similar service to Youversion so they might be worth checking it out as well.
2. First 5 by Crowd Hub (Proverbs 31 ministries)
This was my wife's personal favourite when our son was very young and time was short. It is a beautifully designed app designed with a female audience in mind. The goal of the app is to encourage you to give the first 5 minutes of your day to Scripture; it even provides alarms in the app with texts to waken you up if you wish.
It includes a journal type function in the app and also allows you to engage with users from across the world. One of the features my wife loved was the "weekend wrap up" videos (10 mins), where instead of having a daily reading the authors of the devotions talk about the week and bring more insight to what they have provided.
3. Bible in One Year by Alpha International
This is the app mentioned earlier but it deserves a mention all on its own. It is a brilliant app that is simple in its design and is a great way for us to engage with scripture in 2018. The devotionals by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel are great fun and they recently added an audio version to the app, which is read by the actor David Suchet. We would recommend tuning in as hearing scripture read aloud can open it up in ways we perhaps miss when reading it ourselves.
4. Bible Memory - Scripture Typer Memorization System by Millenial Apps
OK, so it hasn't got the slickest title in the world but don't let that put you off. This is a hugely helpful tool for us as we seek to commit scripture to memory; something that doesn’t come naturally to all of us.
It uses memorisation techniques that use 3 cognitive senses (2 are in app purchases) to help you memorise, organise and review scripture. It's an app that is great to use at different points rather than an everyday visit to either commit new scripture your mind or as a reminder to what you have learnt previously.
5. Bible App for Kids by life.church
This is an incredible app designed by the team that brought us Youversion and my son loves to use this. They have put a selection of Bible stories into interactive episodes where the story is read for them. They also get asked questions to see if they have been listening and they can collect items so it feels like a game for them. It really is an excellent resource if you have younger kids you’d love to see engage with scripture this year.
6. Bible Study with Accordance by Oaktree
If you want to wade in a little more Accordance is a great resource, which offers apps and an online version. You can use free lite versions or pay to add different translations, commentaries and resources to the bundle as you wish. This has been a real help to us as we’ve sought to get to grips with certain passages and understand them more fully.
There are other great resources in this section like Glo Bible, Logos, Olive Tree etc. depending on your preference.
We hope these give you new ways to explore scripture this year!