Following a record-breaking 2020, the YouVersion Community remained highly engaged in the Bible throughout 2021. The Bible verse that earned the top spot as YouVersion's 2021 Verse of the Year, reflecting the verse shared, bookmarked, and highlighted most often throughout the year, is:
Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“We’re encouraged to see high levels of Bible engagement again this year because it means people are turning to God and the Bible for answers to their questions. Even our Verse of the Year points to the heart of the YouVersion Community to seek God and know Him more,” said YouVersion Founder Bobby Gruenewald.
Pandemic Patterns Solidify in 2021
Prior to the pandemic, YouVersion saw spikes in Bible engagement every Sunday, typically 20% higher than the rest of the week. However, there has been a noticeable shift in patterns over the past two years. In March 2020, when people weren’t able to attend church in person, weekday Bible engagement increased by 10% and continued to rise in the following weeks. As churches began to reopen, Bible engagement spikes on Sundays returned, but not at the expense of daily engagement habits. In 2021, Monday through Saturday engagement was still up by 24% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
YouVersion also saw increases in community features when the pandemic hit, and those numbers remained high during 2021. In particular, the Plans with Friends feature saw a big jump in engagement during the shutdown and continues to see 50% more subscriptions in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic rates.
“Coming off of a record year in 2020, we’re excited to see that so many people are continuing the daily Bible engagement habits they created last year,” said Gruenewald. “They’re engaging past that initial moment of need and digging deeper to strengthen their relationship with God.”
Global Growth Continues Past the Pandemic
The fastest growing geographical areas for both app installs and daily Scripture engagement were Central Africa and Southern Asia. Specifically, the Congo saw a 49% increase in Bible engagement and Pakistan saw a 69% jump year-over-year. In each of these regions, verse sharing, video plays, and search activity were high throughout the year.
This November, the YouVersion Bible App surpassed 500 million unique installs. As people around the globe installed the app, they returned to regularly engage with the Bible. In 2021 alone, the YouVersion Community:
- Read 55.8 billion chapters
- Played 8.2 billion audio chapters
- Created 2.4 billion Highlights, Bookmarks, and Notes
- Completed 1.4 billion Bible Plan days
YouVersion also added to its Prayer feature in 2021 with the launch of Guided Prayer, which leads people through a series of prompts to help them reflect on Scripture and draw closer to God. In less than a year, a Guided Prayer was completed more than 38.4 million times.
Created by Life.Church, YouVersion designs biblically-centered experiences that encourage and challenge people to seek God throughout each day. The YouVersion Bible App offers a free Bible experience in more than 1,750 languages and has been installed on more than 500 million unique devices. Bible App for Kids, which was developed in partnership with OneHope in 2013, helps children engage with the stories of the Bible through interactive animations and fun activities. It has been installed on more than 76 million unique devices. For more information about YouVersion, visit youversion.com.