Imagine a social media app that combines some of the functionality of Instagram with some of the content of the YouVersion Bible app and you’ll begin to get a sense of what the new Grow App is about. It gives users the opportunity to connect with friends, share what’s happening, and experience what churches and influencers are creating across the globe. Although open to everyone, it has its eyes squarely set on the Gen Z generation and seeks to develop a positive and healthy Christian community.
The Grow App is the brainchild of a young developer called Jamie Matthews. Jamie explains “Back in January 2016, when I was 18, I was no longer attending church but still felt God had a plan for my life. I went to a Christian conference in Colombia which changed everything. There was a presentation for a mobile game developed for children which challenged me on how, as Christians, we should be using technology. This led to the idea of a Christian social platform which eventually evolved into what Grow is today.”
Grow is a mobile app, designed to fill the gap Jamie identified, providing a healthy social experience, alongside devotional plans and Christian content. It is completely free, and as well as providing devotional plans it allows users to share videos, songs, Bible verses, websites and images with followers and within devotionals. It currently supports 9 different Bible translations.
When the Urban Saints’ team met with Jamie we were impressed by his vision and creativity and excited to explore the possibilities that the Grow App presents for engaging directly with young people and making a link between our Energize resources and young people’s everyday lives. Through our Energize sessions we are already encouraging leaders to give young people ‘Takeaways’ that allow them to explore the themes that they discussed in their weekly meetings in their own time or share some of the content with their friends. The Grow App potentially gives us a ready-made platform for taking this to a new level and over the next few months, along with other opportunities the app creates, our Resources Team will be experimenting to see what works and how this tool might, as the developers hope, “Build up the next generation to change the world.”
We have already put our toe in the water by publishing a devotional series called “What would you say?” which challenges young people to reflect on what their answer would be to some of the questions that Jesus asked to the people he encountered. We’ll be adding further devotional content over the next few months.
In the end the success or failure of this project will depend upon its uptake and usage, so it does need people to download the app, tell their friends to do the same, introduce it to their young people and engage with the content.
The Grow App is available from your usual app store and we encourage you to check it out.