“There’s an app for that.”
These days, there’s an app (or 12) for pretty much everything—including youth ministry! Here are 10 of our favorites. Some are free, some require payment, some are for you, some are for your students, and some are for your whole group—but all can help you advance the Kingdom of God.
1. Quiet Time by Word of Life
Audience: you or your students
Best features: accountability options, a robust study for newer believers
If you or your students want accountability for devotional times—or for Scripture memory, discipleship meetings, Gospel conversations, and more—this app’s accountability-partner feature can be a big help. The app also has prayer-reminder options; a link to Word of Life’s youth ministry blog and podcast; and a high-quality, 12-session devo that can walk students or new believers through how to have a meaningful relationship with Christ and share their faith with others. There are also daily interactive devotionals that require a paid subscription ($.99 monthly or $9.99 annually after a 14-day free trial), but all of the app’s other features are free.
2. Like Jesus by Sonlife
Audience: discipleship groups
Best features: the ability to create study groups for accountability and community
Based on Sonlife’s 4-chair-discipling model, this app uses Jesus-centered studies, videos (many filmed in Israel), and e-books to help you walk your group through various phases of discipleship. It also provides an assessment to help each member of your group determine which phase they’re in, as well as a feature for students (and you) to keep track of people they’re discipling or sharing the Gospel with. A few of the app’s features don’t require payment, but to take full advantage of it, you’ll need a subscription ($3/month for up to three users, $7/month for 4–11 users, $12/month for 12–20 users; you can try it free for 30 days).
Audience: youth leaders
Best features: the sheer volume of content available
Your ministry or church will need a subscription for this one, but it pays off. It gives you access to tons (and we do mean tons!) of discipleship resources for all ages—Bible studies, devotionals, videos, small-group series, illustration clips, trainings, growth plans, interactive content, and much more. Subscription price is based on the size of your ministry, but once you get the code you can share it with anyone, including parents, students, and other leaders.
4. Devo+: Bible Devotions for Teens by Rouda Apps
Best features: free, well-done (not cheesy!) Scripture-based daily devotions
Teens can choose from either a short, daily Scripture passage with a bit of commentary or full-blown devos with a slightly longer Scripture passage, devotional commentary on a “Big Idea” from the passage, a takeaway verse, a link to a contemporary Christian song that goes with the theme, and links to other devos with similar themes. Bonus: It comes in eight languages!
Best features: word-for-word audio Scripture readings you and your students will actually enjoy listening to; everything in the app is free
Streetlights audio recordings give the Bible a global, urban vibe, by using spoken-word-style voice talent with a subtle hip-hop-beat soundtrack in the background. It lets you listen to Scripture on the go, or you can play it at the beginning of lessons or small-group discussions in place of Maddie Middle-Schooler bumbling her way through the unfamiliar names and words in the passage. The entire New Testament is available (in Spanish too!), along with 10 Old Testament books. And for traditionalists, the app contains the written version of the entire Bible in six translations. There are also some teaching videos and a decent selection of hip-hop music and spoken-word recordings.
6. Read Scripture by Crazy Love Ministries
Best features: helps you read through (and understand) the entire Bible; uses videos from The Bible Project
This app is great for anyone—you or your students—who wants to read through the whole Bible. It divides the Scriptures first into 16 chronological “chapters” and then further into 358 Bible-reading sessions, each designed to take about 15–20 minutes, including explanatory videos from The Bible Project. Plus, there are occasional audio encouragements from teachers such as Francis Chan and Tim Mackie, as well as optional “Scripture Labs” that can deepen your understanding by delving into the Bible’s cultural context.
Best features: encouraging stories from other students
If your group wants ideas, encouragement, and accountability to share their faith at school, this free app fits the bill. Through short videos, leaders of major national ministries offer faith-sharing suggestions and real-life students tell how God is moving in their schools. Podcast links, blogs, notes features, and group-messaging capabilities add to the functionality.
Audience: youth pastors and scholarly teens
Best features: lesson-planning, sermon-prep, and Bible-study tools
An abundance of commentaries, cross-references, and Bible dictionaries make this free app a helpful resource for both your own personal Bible study and for lesson-planning insights. It also has notes and highlighting options, daily reading plans, and audio Bible recordings (dramatized and regular).
9. YouVersion Bible by Life.church
Best features: more devos than you know what to do with; plus, easy-to-use group options
This free app is likely familiar to you, but it’s popular for good reason: It’s one of most versatile devotional apps you can get on your smart device. It’s loaded with Bible reading plans, prayer reminders, devotionals, videos, and other tools to grow your walk with Christ and build community with others as well. For example, you can do a devotional with your group of leaders or student leaders and each comment on the things God revealed to you through the plan that day.
10. Life in 6 Words by Dare 2 Share
Best features: excellent Gospel-sharing tools
You and your students can keep this free app handy for any Gospel-sharing opportunities that arise (or that you create). It places at your fingertips an easy and natural way to navigate a Gospel conversation, from start to finish. You can also access QuickStarter questions and videos to post on social media, set up reminders to pray for friends and family who haven’t yet trusted Christ, and take advantage of group features that can provide accountability and encouragement.