In their search for ever more inventive ways to preach the Gospel, evangelizing entrepreneurs have developed a series of phone and tablet applications (apps) that are taking the Christian world by storm.
Some of the apps offer prayer aids, others grant access to Bible passages and still others play Christian hymns or help the faithful examine their consciences. All of them aim to bring God into what has seemed a secular stronghold: the world of communication technology and the social media.
The universe of Christian apps has become so vast, in fact, that one group of evangelizers has actually taken the trouble to plot out a “World Map of Christian Apps,” a visual guide to the landscape of digital tools created for the Christian disciples.
Courtesy of: Disciplr
Bible Gateway, for instance, offers a free app with the entire text of the Bible in multiple languages and editions, as well as integrated audio—so you can listen while you read.
Prayer Notebook is a $1.99 iPhone app that reminds you to pray for the people that have requested prayers or who simply need them. It allows you to set daily reminders and also synchs with email and social media, so you can send a quick message telling a friend that you just finished praying for him.
A free application called the Christian Memory Game exercises your memory while simultaneously bolstering your knowledge Christian teaching. Three different memory games come with the app and can be played alone or with a friend.
One app offers daily texts from Jesus, and dozens more stream liturgical services for those who can’t make it to church. The Confession app guides users through the appropriate prayers of penance for the sacrament of confession, while a whole chain of apps offer assistance with parish management and administration.
The number of Christian apps is increasing exponentially, and there is now an app for virtually every spiritual need. One of the most amazing things about the new trend is that it is reportedly demand-driven, meaning that despite a general decline in religious affiliation, people are still looking for ways to stoke devotion and keep connected to God.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome