To combat the trend of diminishing Bible engagement amid the COVID-19 closures, 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 late last year, the free WordGo app offers a COVID-safe solution for Christian communities around the world, featuring 13 courses, innovative learning plans, trusted feedback, 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 scripture and move it into the digital space, creating thus a way for people to start a small Bible study group fueled by BSF materials.
“BSF is such a wonderful organization that has been around for decades and has a ruthless focus on helping people study the Bible on their own,” he said. “But what needed to be done was finding a way to connect with the next generation as well as existing generations, especially by embracing digital technology and finding new ways to help people get on with life. Engage with the Bible.”
“WordGo’s goal is to give the individual everything they need to develop a steady pace of Bible study, whether they are starting for the first time or have been studying for many years,” he said. -he declares.
Through the various components offered by the app, WordGo allows users to customize their experience for training in spiritual fitness, a biblical concept taken from 1 Timothy 4:8 which talks about “training in godliness”.
“This concept of spiritual training, putting God at the center of your life, is at the very heart of WordGo,” Lennox said. “You may receive the Bible and a whole lot of commentary, but what do you do with it? We really seek to lead people on this journey of formation in godliness.”
With an emphasis on community study, WordGo provides a way for individuals to study the Bible together, helping to combat challenges associated with the pandemic like anxiety, loneliness and depression.
“We want to meet people where they are when it comes to reading the scriptures and take them on a journey. There is no better way to travel than with others, so we emphasize both the individual component and the community component,” he said.
“We’ve all been isolated and away from our church families, away from the Sunday morning experience and other gatherings during the week,” Lennox pointed out. “It brought all sorts 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, and challenged churches to “adapt quickly” — and some of those changes will be permanent.
“The way we do things in the future has to change because more and more people are now a little more comfortable with the online experience,” he told CP. “We have to figure out 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 a little more digitized.”
Numerous studies have documented how the faith of Christians has been affected by the virus and ongoing lockdowns.
Statistics show that in the year since the COVID-19 shelter-in-place ordinances were first enacted, forcing churches around the world to close, biblical engagement has dropped 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 topics. By June, that number had fallen to 39%.
The app is already meeting the need, Lennox said. He revealed that since its launch in March 2020, WordGo has seen 200,000 downloads – and app downloads have almost doubled from December 2020 to January 2021.
The app sees an average of around 20,000 monthly active users, and more than 12,000 people have signed up and started new Bible study plans since the Bible study component was added in December.
Although the majority of users are women, an increasing number of men have also started downloading and using the app. Amid the pandemic, the most popular courses among WordGo users have 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 church leaders to learn how to best integrate the app into community life.
“It was an exciting project,” said Lennox. “We were delighted that WordGo came at a time like this. We didn’t expect the pandemic like most people, but we’re hearing wonderful stories across the United States and the world of people using it to stay in touch with God and each other.
As the pandemic continues to linger and churches grapple with how best to meet the needs of their communities, Lennox said he hopes WordGo will work as a “contribution to the Church to help the Body of Christ stay connected. with God by remaining in His Word”.
“We hope this will help churches and individuals become spiritually fit to meet whatever challenges lie ahead,” he said.
The free WordGo app is now available in the App Store.