How to: Pick Your Reading Plan

We’ve been telling you how Reading Plans can help you engage with God’s Word. A Reading Plan breaks your Bible reading into manageable chunks, making your time in the truth every day simple and straightforward. Whether you’re reading the whole Bible in a year (or in 90 days!), or just select parts, or even the most basic daily devotions, the Bible App™ by YouVersion has more than 50 plans to help you meet your goals.

Reading Plans

Wherever you’re going to read, first you need a free YouVersion.com account (it only takes a minute). You might also consider linking your account to your social networks. If you have an iPhone, iPad, Android, or BlackBerry, click on your device or platform below for step-by-step instructions for starting and using Reading Plans:

YouVersion.com: Now in Simplified and Traditional Chinese

We’re so excited to announce that, with help from our friends and partners at http://jidutu-wiki.org/, we now offer our interface in both Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, available immediately on YouVersion.com. Both languages are also coming soon to the Bible App™!

In 2010, China’s population grew to well over 1.3 billion people (that’s with a B!). By the late 2010’s, it’s projected that China will pass 1.4 billion. It’s estimated that 3%–4% of China’s population follows Christ, with the Lord adding to their number every day. YouVersion’s vision has always been to make the Bible an easy-to-use resource. As people’s lives move more onto the web and onto mobile devices, we want to be sure the Bible is freely available to them—wherever they are. And of course we’re always thrilled when God gives us the opportunity to get His Word to different people in their own language!

We consider this feature still in “Beta.” We have some details we’re working out and a few areas we know need more thorough translation. But it’s live and online right now! To access either language, simply click the language link at the bottom left of YouVersion.com, and switch to the one you want.

If you have friends who might be interested in this feature, please let them know about it. We’d love to hear what they think on Facebook and on Twitter.

Would you like to see YouVersion.com and the Bible App in your own language? We want to hear from you! Please complete this simple form and let us know what you can do to help.

Join us! 1 Billion in 1 Month!

We mentioned this during our webcast earlier this year, but now the moment is upon us. And of course, we’ll need everyone’s help to pull it off. Here’s what we’d like to do: During just a single month, the month of January, we’d love to see users of the Bible App™ spend at least 1 billion minutes reading the Bible. (We can do this! You guys just recently passed 4 billion minutes total!) We’ve even added a page to our website to keep track and to help you out with resources.

Besides some of the things we’ve already shared that you can do—rating the Bible App in iTunes, talking to your friends about the Bible, sharing on Twitter and Facebook, even raising Bible awareness during the Christmas season—the key now is to read. Read like crazy during January. We’ve done a lot to prepare and help you, making the Bible App easy and accessible, so you can always have it with you, whether you’re on your iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, webOS, or even in Facebook! All of that has been building toward this one moment. It’s here.

Use Reading Plans. Probably the greatest tools we’ve seen so far that can help you (and your friends) engage with the Bible are Reading Plans. Whether you’re brand-new to reading the Bible, or you’ve set 2011 as the year you’re going to read through the entire thing, or even if you want to read it all in just 90 days, there’s a Reading Plans for you. Find one you like and sign up with your free YouVersion account today.

At YouVersion, we love the Bible. It’s why we do what we do. We saw some crazy, thrilling numbers during 2010. But we’re convinced God is up to something even bigger. And we believe that helping other people fall in love with His Word is the most important thing we can all do to be a part.

An Incredible Response: Thanks for Sharing

Thanks to you, Global Share the Bible Day was a huge success! We asked you to share…and wow—did you ever! All day yesterday, you shared your faith, you shared things Christ has done in your lives, you shared your favorite verses and passages, and most importantly, you shared the Bible.

On average yesterday, using YouVersion.com and the Bible App™, you guys shared verses and passages on Twitter and Facebook every 7 seconds. Because you told people about the Bible App—and even helped your friends and families download it to their devices—YouVersion saw 154,000 new device installs in just one day. That’s almost two new installs every second! You planted and watered all day; now we can’t wait to see what God will do to give the increase.

Especially if you participated in Share the Bible Day, you probably realize how powerful it can be to spend time in God’s Word every day. 2011 is just around the corner, and we hope you’ll continue to partner with us in the New Year, as together we help more people engage daily in reading Scripture. A lot of people have been asking what they can do to participate in the goal of seeing one billion minutes of Bible reading in January: Read? Share? Help your friends download the Bible App? In no particular order, the answers are: Yes! Yes! And Yes!

At YouVersion, we love the Bible. We hope you do too. It’s our passion to make it easy for people to read and connect with all that God has for us. And you know what? Global Share the Bible Day was just the beginning.

Thank you!

Jesus IS bigger than Angry Birds

Today Sarah Lacy from TechCrunchTV interviewed Bobby Gruenewald about the Bible App™ by YouVersion. Check out the interview.

You can read the full TechCrunch blog titled Happy Birthday: Jesus Is almost Bigger than Angry Birds (TCTV). Thank you and Merry Christmas Sarah, and the TechCrunch team.

Help Us Celebrate Christmas by Sharing the Bible

Merry Christmas, everybody! Today we celebrate the birth of our Savior, a day when God gave us the gift of His only Son. We really can’t say thank you enough to the users of the Bible App™ and YouVersion.com. Because you’ve been spreading the word, we’ve been able to bring the Bible for free to more people than we could have imagined.

Share the Bible. Today is Global Share the Bible Day! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus—Immanuel, God with us—please take time today, every time you think of it, to share the Bible with others. Tweet. (Remember to use #Bible!) Update your Facebook status. Change your blog or website home page. Visit with someone you meet. Just share! Here are a few ideas for things you could share, with examples:
  • Share the Bible Day. Let others know what we’re doing today:
    • It’s finally here: Today is “Global Share the Bible Day”! #Bible Share and win: http://ow.ly/3qmE8
    • Get a free @YouVersion account. Link it. Share. And you could win. http://ow.ly/3qmE8 #Bible
    • What’s Christmas REALLY about? Today is “Global Share the Bible Day.” Help http://ow.ly/3qmE8
    • It’s Christmas. And it’s all about PRESENCE! (God’s presence.) #Bible http://ow.ly/3qmE8
Of course, these are just our ideas. Today, share what’s special to you about the Bible. And when you share online, please remember to include the hash tag #Bible. You can even use the Bible App to make it easy. Let’s draw as much attention as we can today to the Bible—the story of God’s love for us.

Badges: YouVersion.com Has ‘Em!

As a Bible App user, you probably already know the benefits of spending time in God’s Word. But we wanted to add an extra element of fun to your time with YouVersion, so we’re introducing YouVersion badges today just for you!

YouVersion badges are like little awards for reaching milestones such as finishing a Bible reading plan, sharing Bible verses with friends, and bookmarking your favorite Bible verses. YouVersion badges are meant to signify an accomplishment or special activity regarding your interaction with the Bible, and our hope is that you’ll be even more motivated to engage with and share the Bible everyday.

While we have big plans for badges in the future, here are a few of the badges that are ready for you to earn right away.

YouVersion badges have been live for a couple days already and you can watch the frenzy of other YouVersion users who are reading, sharing, bookmarking and earning badges here. Have you earned any badges yet? If so, let us know! We’d love to celebrate together!

Good News Translation and Douay-Rheims Now Available!

Through our partnership with the American Bible Society, we’re pleased to announce that the Good News Translation with Deuterocanonical books and Apocryphya is now available in the Bible App™ by YouVersion on all our platforms—iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, webOS, Windows Phone 7, Facebook, and web. Also immediately available—with Deuterocanonical books—is the public domain Douay-Rheims version. As with all translations we offer, both of these versions are completely free.

Navigating. Once you have the free Bible App downloaded to your device, simply go to Versions and find “Good News Trans with…” or “Douay Rheims,” both under “English.” You can navigate to the Deuterocanonical and Apocrypha books the same way you reach any others, just by selecting the title at the top of the Read view.

Download them. Another great feature we’re thrilled to be able to offer with both of these translations: If you have the Bible App on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android, you can download them to your device! From the Versions list, just tap the download icon and follow the instructions. Once you’ve downloaded either the Good News Translation or the Douay-Rheims, you can read them anytime, anywhere—whether you’re connected to the Internet or your service provider or not!

Share. If you have friends who you think might enjoy having constant access to either of these translations on their phone or other portable device, please let them know. The Bible App is free to download, and with a free YouVersion account, you can immediately start using all of the Bible App’s great features, like Bookmarks, Notes, connection with your social networks, and of course Reading Plans.

New BlackBerry v. 2.8: Updated Reading Plans

The Bible App™ for YouVersion has been updated for BlackBerry, with version 2.8 now available in BlackBerry App World. Besides the usual interface improvements and performance enhancements you’d expect, the really big story here is the updated Reading Plans.

A Reading Plan may cover a specific topic, offer up daily devotionals, or take you through large sections and themes of the Bible—even the entire thing. With more than 50 reading plans to choose from right now (and with even more coming soon), it’s easy to find one that can show you the things you want to know. Subscribe to one you like, and the Bible App schedules a little for you to read each day, breaking your reading into manageable pieces. And if you happen to miss a day’s reading, just pick “Catch Me Up” to have the Bible App adjust your schedule for you. At YouVersion.com, you can even sign up to receive emails on your progress for yourself or an accountability partner.

Make 2011 the year you finally form that solid Bible-reading habit you know you’ve been promising yourself. If you’re up for a challenge, try reading the entire Bible in just 90 days. If you’d rather get started with an easier pace, choose from one of our many Bible-in-a-year plans. No matter which plan you pick, please share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter how your Bible journey is going. Also, we’d love for you to join our entire YouVersion community as together we read one billion minutes in January.

Your BlackBerry and your free Bible App from YouVersion are ready for you to start reading today. What do you say?

Get Started with a Reading Plan

Reading Plans

If just the thought of reading the whole Bible seems daunting, consider this: The Bible’s not just one book. It’s actually a collection of several books and letters, written over literally thousands of years. The Bible’s stories and ideas, taken all together, paint a picture of the love God has for us. Consider making 2011 the year you start exploring!

Whether or not you’ve read the Bible before, Reading Plans are a great way to engage with God’s Word. The Bible App from YouVersion now has more than 50 plans to choose from, with even more on the way! Each Reading Plan has a description that tells what it covers and how long it takes, so it’s easy to pick one that will work best for you:

  • The Whole Bible. Reading just a little each day, it’s very do-able to read through the Bible in a year. Just try The One Year® Bible New Living Translation (NLT), M’Cheyne, or Chronological. As just one example, The One Year® Bible NLT takes only 15 minutes a day, with Old and New Testament, Psalm, and Proverb readings. This particular “through the Bible” plan is clear, easy, and user-friendly. (See the “original” print version here.) And if you like to set your sights on big goals, we challenge you to read the Bible in 90 Days!
  • Part of the Bible. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re ready to try tackling the entire Bible yet. Or maybe you want to read at a more relaxed pace without feeling pressed for time. Check out New Thru 30, Essential 100, or One-2-One.
  • Topical. If you’d like to read really deeply in a specific area of interest, taking some time to reflect, try a topical plan. You’ll find plans as diverse as Marriage, Wisdom, Why Read the Bible? and Top Verses to Memorize.
  • Devotionals. In 2011, consider dedicating a part of each day to framing your thoughts around God’s Word and his plan for your life. Try Lifetime Guarantee, Morning and Evening, or Breathe Life.

2011 can be your year to get a fresh start reading the Bible. Check out the Reading Plans online at our website, or directly in the Bible App on your device. All you need to get started is the Bible App and a free YouVersion account. Want a little extra support in meeting your goal? When you’re at YouVersion.com, sign up for progress update emails for yourself or an accountability partner. Make today the first day of your new plan!