8 Reasons to Love YouVersion

YouVersion is awesome. I love old leather Bibles, as you can probably tell by the design of this blog. And I love Bibles with paper in them – the kind you can jot notes in, underline verses, and pass on to the kids. I’ve filled several with notations and outlines. So I’ve been fighting the urge to dive into using my computer as my Bible, but YouVersion just keeps making it harder to fight. Why?

1. A slick user interface.

The design of YouVersion is clean. It makes great use of whitespace to define different areas of each page. They’ve used javascript quite well to load features in just the right places and at just the right times. So the interface is fun, attractive, and intuitive. It’s like a brand new soft leather Bible, but online.

2. Sweet mobile apps.

YouVersion MobilePick yours! I love the iphone app. You can download plenty of Bible versions to use even when you’re offline. I’ve read Scripture on planes, in waiting rooms, and even in Bible studies when I didn’t have a printed Bible handy.

3. Reading plans.

The site offers multiple options for reading through the Bible in a year, or any amount of time you choose. And since it’s account-specific, it keeps track of your reading for you across all computers and devices on which you’re signed in. Plus, you can do your reading on the site, by email, or by RSS (or you can read it in an offline Bible and mark it as read on the site).

4. Notes.

This is my favorite feature. You select a verse simply by clicking on it, and you can select multiple verses. You can then add a note about that verse as well as see the notes of others. I’ve been reading through Nehemiah lately and started over on YouVersion so I could record my thoughts online.

YouVersion

5. Social networking.

YouVersion is a social network unto itself. You can “follow” the activities of other users. But it also integrates well with Twitter and Facebook, even offering a url shortener for sharing Bible verses. So http://read.ly/Neh2.18.NKJV links to Nehemiah 2:18.

6. Integration with WordPress.

YouVersion offers a WordPress plugin that allows you to utilize shortcodes to quickly link to verses from your posts. They also offer plenty of badges and widgets that you can display, including a fully customizeable Bible search widget.

7. YouVersion Live.

The masterminds behind YouVersion have made it a wonderful tool for live online events. You an build it into an online campus or use it in a live online Bible study.

8. Low Price Point – FREE.

The guys at LifeChurch.tv are notoriously innovative and they’re pushing the church as a whole in some really positive directions. And amazingly enough, they do it all rather unselfishly, continually sharing resources for free that have cost them tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in development. And they make it all free so that “the Word of God is not bound.”

With the exception of a few tyrannical governments that block such “religious propaganda” sites, YouVersion is available on potential mission fields around the world. It’s a kind of John the Baptist, going ahead and preparing the way, helping the church to get the Word out.

YouVersion… you’re doing an awesome job!

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About the Author

I'm Brandon. I'm the Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church in Northwest Arkansas, which my wife, Angie, and I planted in January of 2012. I previously served as a Pastor at Saddleback Church and still manage Pastor Rick Warren's online, global ministry to pastors, Pastors.com. I also lead a blog about blogging, a blog about social media, and a blog about men's issues. And I've written a book - Rewired, which challenges the church to adopt social media to spread the good news about Jesus. I sometimes take on church website design projects and I coach pastors and leaders as well. I'd love to hear from you!
68 Responses
  1. Great post! I enjoy using it also and learned a couple things here. Would you mind telling me how to select more than one verse? – (“You select a verse simply by clicking on it, and you can select multiple verses”)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brandon Cox

      Our instinct is to drag the mouse over multiple verses, but in YouVersion, you actually single-click on the verses you want to talk about. This enables you to skip verses if you want.

      1. When I touch a verse, the window to create a note/bookmark/etc. opens and doesn’t allow me to select multiple verses.  I feel like I’m missing something really simple here, but so far I’m only able to bookmark one verse at a time…not a whole passage.

        1. Guest

          I had the same problem but I updated to version 3.3 and now it lets me tap each verse to highlight multiple verses. You tap a highlighted verse again to turn of the highlight for that verse.

  2. ProfessorD2

    I’ve been quite impressed with YouVersion. However, as far as I can figure out, the Notes function requires an active connection. This makes sense since YouVersion was primarily developed for smartphones. But for users like me who installed it through iTouch, and therefore my internet connection relies on being near an accessible WiFi connection, being without my Notes can be a drawback.

    Still, the alternatives that do sync Notes for offline viewing can’t compare to the free price of YouVersion.

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