Every January, YouVersion sees a spike in Bible engagement as people resolve to read the Bible more in the new year. This year was no different as people subscribed to more than 1.1 million Bible Plans on January 1 alone. But the question is how lasting are these resolutions?
Who is YouVersion?
Created by Life.Church, YouVersion designs biblically-centered experiences that encourage and challenge people to seek God throughout each day. The YouVersion Bible App offers a free Bible experience in more than 1,790 languages and has been installed on more than 500 million unique devices. Bible App for Kids, which was developed in partnership with OneHope in 2013, helps children engage with the stories of the Bible through interactive animations and fun activities. It has been installed on more than 78 million unique devices. For more information about YouVersion, visit youversion.com.
While these goals are always set with enthusiasm, people start using Bible reading apps, research shows that most resolutions fail by mid-February. That begs the question: since it’s not every resolution that fails…
What are the successful few doing differently to reach their goals?
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger.” This simple explanation of how to create healthy habits makes seemingly impossible goals feel more attainable.
Could 2022 be the first time you engage with the Bible every day of the year? As mid-February approaches, keep up the momentum or start a new habit with YouVersion’s top tips for building strong Bible engagement.
YouVersion’s Top Four Bible Engagement Hacks:
- Stack your habits
The easiest way to create a new habit is by linking it to something you already do consistently. So if the first thing you do in the morning is to reach for your phone, try reflecting on YouVersion’s Verse of the Day. When you combine a new habit with an already established one, it gives your new habit more “stickiness.”Tip: Make YouVersion the first app you see, and get instant access to the Verse of the Day, by enabling the Verse of the Day widget on your phone. Learn how to enable widgets here.
- Aim for consistency
The best way to build a habit is to just start. And as you get started, don’t focus on the amount of time you’re reading or listening to Scripture, just focus on doing it regularly. Participate in YouVersion’s 21-Day Challenge, starting February 1, as a simple way to build up your Bible streak. You can even pick a time that works for you, and set up daily reminders to help you spend time in God’s Word.
Tip: Keep up your momentum by viewing your Bible streak on your YouVersion Home Feed. You can also set up Plan, Prayer, and Verse of the Day Reminders here.
- 3. Stay connected
If you want to increase your chances of sticking with your Bible habit, be sure to use the Friend feature. YouVersion has found that having even one Friend in the app makes you 16% more likely to stay engaged in the Bible. Plans with Friends offers a simple, easy way to make sure you continue building your Bible study habit. There are thousands of Plans in YouVersion, so simply pick a Plan that interests you, and start it with Friends. At the end of each Plan day, you’ll be given a space to chat with your Friends about what you discovered.
Tip: You can do a Plan with anybody! Simply share a Plan link on social media, or share a Plan with someone within the app. Get started by choosing a Plan, and follow the prompts to invite Friends to join you.
- 4. Make it feel new
Sometimes, the reason we get in a Bible reading rut is because what we’re doing feels too familiar. Shake up how you engage with the Bible. If you typically read Scripture, try listening to an audio Bible. If you tend to study Scripture in one specific version, switch to a different version for a month and see if anything new stands out to you. Or, try subscribing to shorter Bible Plans so you can change your focus each week. YouVersion data shows shorter Plans (think 4 or 5 days in length) lead to higher completion rates.
Tips: To easily compare Bible versions, tap a verse, and then select the ”Compare” button that appears. And, you can listen to any portion of Scripture with audio Bibles.
YES or NO? Did you start the New Year with a resolution to read the Bible more?