By Taylor Alessi and Nikita Ramos
Asha Samuel sat in a circle of six girls in her weekly bible study group last Wednesday. Samuel directed the group to read along chapter five of the book of Esther. Lockscreens quickly switched to the verses of Esther in the Bible App, moving the word of the Lord into the digital age.
Intervarsity, a Stony Brook University chapter of a Christian fellowship, uses technology to connect to faith. Almost eight out of 10 practicing Christian Millennials read the Bible on their mobile devices, a study by Barna Group, a research group on faith and culture, shows.
Eight out of 10 of practicing Christian Millennials have posted scripture on social media at least once during the year, Barna Group and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship found near 2015. Of the same study, 65% of Christian Millennials use the Internet to read the Bible.
Luke Newton is the Customer Success Manager for Churches at Bluebridge. Bluebridge is an app developing company to help churches unify, engage and inform its members.
a�?I work with all of our 200 churches on strategy, design and goals for their church’s app.a�? Newton said. a�?Currently, apps are at the forefront of the church technology landscape as they provide a clear path to increased connection for church attenders to interact more deeply with the Sunday morning worship experience, a simple way to stay connected to the church throughout the week and a powerful tool for personal spiritual growth.a�?
a�?Most people are not going to carry around a bound version of the bible with them,a�? Bert Crabbe, the lead pastor at True North Community Church in Bohemia, said. a�?Ita��s just made the word of God more portable.a�?
a�?It allows them [users] to connect with their friends who use the Bible App and follow reading plans,a�? Asha Samuel, the leader of Intervarsity at Stony Brook said. a�?Having fellowship and studying the Word are all things that Christianity encourages and the Bible app creates a space in technology for that to happen.a�?
Samuel, who is 20, said technology has had an impact on tithing and donations for those in her age group.
a�?It gives us more opportunities to reach out to organizations that focus on issues that really matter to us,a�? Samuel said. a�?It changes the way we view tithing because even though a tithe is supposed to go to your local church, if I donate to a Christian organization, I usually consider that my tithe for the month and with the technology I have, I’m more aware of these organizations.a�?
The latest research from Barna Group shows that Millennial generosity has gone paperless. One in 10 Millennials say they donate to a church or faith organization online at least once a month. For practicing Christian Millennials, however, the rate is four times higher at 39%.