To combat the trend of diminishing biblical engagement amid COVID-19 blockages, Bible Study Fellowship has created a new app that offers ready-to-use Bible studies for those looking to improve their spiritual fitness and to study the scriptures, physically or virtually, with those in their communities.
Launched at the end of last year, the free software WordGo The app offers a COVID-safe solution for Christian communities around the world, providing 13 courses, innovative learning plans, trusted commentary, planning tools, and a variety of study guides.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Simon Lennox, director of WordGo, explained that the app makers wanted to take the Bible Study Fellowship’s four-pronged approach to studying the scriptures and moving it to the digital space, creating a way for people to start a small group Bible study with BSF resources.
“BSF is such a wonderful organization that has been around for decades and ruthlessly focused on helping people study the Bible for themselves,” he said. “But what needed to be done was find a way to connect with the next generation as well as with existing generations, especially by embracing digital technology and finding new ways to help people reach their goals. ‘engage with the Bible. “
“The goal of WordGo is to give the individual everything they need to develop a steady pace of Bible study, whether they are just starting out for the first time or have been studying for many years,” said he declared.
Thanks to the different components offered by the application, WordGo allows users to customize their experience to train for spiritual fitness, a biblical concept taken from 1 Timothy 4: 8 which speaks of “training in piety”.
“This concept of spiritual training, putting God at the center of your life, is at the very heart of WordGo,” said Lennox. “You may have the Bible and a bunch of commentaries given to you, but what do you do with it? We are really trying to bring people on this journey of training in godliness. “
By emphasizing community study, WordGo provides a way for individuals to study the Bible together, helping to tackle challenges associated with the pandemic such as anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
“We want to meet people where they are when it comes to scripture reading and take them on a trip. There is no better way to travel than with others, so we emphasize both the individual component and the community component, ”he said.
“We have all been isolated and away from our church families, away from the Sunday morning experience and other groups during the week,” Lennox said. “It brought all kinds of very difficult challenges, but also new ideas. “
The pandemic has “positively brought us back to the heart of the Christian faith and what the Bible has to say,” he said, while challenging churches to “adapt quickly” – and some of these changes will be permanent.
“The way we do things in the future has to change as more and more people now feel a little more comfortable with the online experience,” he told CP. “We must find how to know God better, how to make community, how to serve the local community, how to love each other in this space which is becoming more digital.”
Numerous studies have documented how the faith of Christians has been affected by the virus and the ongoing lockdowns.
Statistics show that in the year since the enactment of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place ordinances, forcing churches around the world to close their doors, biblical engagement has declined dramatically, revealing a correlation between church attendance and biblical engagement.
The American Bible Society found that in January, 49% of Bible users in the United States were part of a faith community where they could explore and talk about spiritual matters. By June, that number had fallen to 39%.
The app is already meeting the needs, Lennox said. He revealed that since launching in March 2020, WordGo has recorded 200,000 downloads – and app downloads almost doubled from December 2020 to January 2021.
The app sees an average of around 20,000 monthly active users, and over 12,000 people have signed up and started new Bible study plans since the addition of the Bible study component in December.
Although the majority of users are women, a growing number of men have also started to download and use the app. Amid the pandemic, the most popular Classes among WordGo users focused on the Book of Ruth and John 1-3, Lennox said.
“The activity has been so encouraging,” he added, noting that the creators of WordGo are also working with religious leaders to learn how to best integrate the app into community life.
“It was an exciting project,” Lennox said. “We were delighted that WordGo was tackling this at a time like this. We didn’t expect the pandemic like most people do, but we do hear wonderful stories across the United States and the world of people using it to stay in touch with God and with each other. “
As the pandemic continues to linger and churches grapple with how best to meet the needs of their communities, Lennox said he hoped WordGo would function as a “contribution to the Church to help the Body of Christ to. stay connected with God by staying in his Word “.
“We hope this will help churches and individuals become spiritually fit as they face all the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.
The free WordGo app is now available in the App Store.