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'Bible App for Kids' gaining attention of children, parents

By: Carla Hinton The Oklahoman
December 22, 2013 Updated: December 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm
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A South Florida mom was pleased to see her children drawn into the timeless stories of the Bible through a new app developed and recently launched by Oklahoma-based LifeChurch.tv.

"BibleAppforKids being read this morning while getting ready for school!" April Floria tweeted recently.

In the first week after its Thanksgiving Day debut, the new Bible app for children was downloaded more than 1 million times - a great first week, said the Rev. Bobby Gruenewald, pastor-innovation leader of LifeChurch.tv.

Grunewald said LifeChurch.tv created the new app for children ages 4 to 10, although even younger children are expressing interest in it. He said the church sought the aid of the international ministry One Hope to develop the app so that children would be immersed easily in the stories of the Bible.

The app is similar in many ways to some of the games that many children are enamored with, Gruenewald said. During the design phase, the church sought out children to get their feedback on things such as artwork and interactive elements.

The app includes touch-activated animation, kid-friendly navigation, content that introduces children to the "big story" of the Bible and interactive experiences designed to encourage children to return often, he said. It is designed for children who can't read yet or who are beginning or early readers.

The megachurch with 50,000 members attending multiple sites in five states is no stranger to helping connect people to the Bible. In July, LifeChurch.tv marked the fifth anniversary of its popular YouVersion Bible app, shortly after the free app hit the 100 million downloads marker. The app is available in formats for most mobile devices and is notable for its 604 different versions and 368 languages.

Gruenewald said church leaders decided to create the app for children at the request of numerous parents who liked the YouVersion Bible app and thought a similar app for a younger generation would be helpful. He said church leaders thought the timing was right because of the growing number of children using mobile devices.

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