The start of a new year shouldn’t be the only time we encourage teenagers to dive in to their Bibles. But it is a natural time to leverage some new approaches.
Try these five digital avenues to help tether teens to the ultimate text:
1. YouVersion Bible app—This free app offers hundreds of Bible-reading plans, including ones specifically for teenagers. Other topics range from leadership to dating. To search plans inside the YouVersion app, click “Plan” and “Discover,” and then start scrolling. To search plans on your computer, click here: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans
2. Memory verse apps—Two of these stand out, and both are available for iPhone, Android, and online use. With Fighter Verses (http://fighterverses.com), you get everything the app has to offer for just $2.99. Scripture Typer (https://scripturetyper.com) offers a free version, but for $9.99 you can download the full-featured app. This video explains the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTPPKa7lY38
3. Insta-devos—It’s easy to post Bible verses, devotional thoughts, and photos on Instagram. One great resource that provides these is PocketFuel (https://www.instagram.com/pocketfuel/). Encourage students to follow that, or create your own material with apps such as Word Swag (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/word-swag-cool-fonts-typography/id645746786?mt=8) or Canva (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canva-graphic-design-photo/id897446215?mt=8).
4. Live Devotions—Facebook Live and Periscope are both a hit with teenagers. Consider doing a daily devotion via live video. Kids will spend time in God’s Word as well as time with you! Try this at a specific time each day in January. The habit might take off and create some healthy momentum.
5. Text-a-Verse—Because almost all high school students have a phone these days, texting is the most effective way to deliver content to them. For the new year, invite young people to sign up to receive Bible verses regularly via text. You can decide how frequently to do this. Then search your Bible for a bunch of textable (i.e., fairly short) verses. You can use your phone or a group-messaging app, but the Simply Text feature from Group has been ideal for us to connect with teenagers via text. Kids sign up with a key word and special number, and then you schedule texts to be delivered any time.
With a little preparation and innovation, you can deliver God’s Word to young people in various ways during the year ahead. Whatever method you choose, know that Jesus will use it to work in teenagers’ lives by providing his hope, peace, and wisdom.