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.
2. Sweet mobile apps.
Pick 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).
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.
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!