In our increasingly secular, celebrity-obsessed, connected world, it’s no surprise that Facebook is read far more than the Bible, which a study highlighted this week as the giant of social media celebrated its 10th birthday. But it’s also true that millions of people who may not encounter the Bible in any other way are doing so through Facebook-based Bible ministries.  Our guest blogger from the United Bible Societies tells us more.

A digital and Biblical presence

Take our Digital Bible page. It’s been going just for just over 5 years and has more than 9.2 million fans in more than 95 countries. With the aim of seeing God’s Word shared across Facebook the page posts Scripture verses and Scripture photos several times a day. Each of these are ‘liked’ by tens of thousands of people, and shared or commented on by thousands, making the verses visible in many of their friends’ newsfeeds.

In fact, over the past month, thanks to this fan engagement, each Scripture post was seen by an average of 419,800 people, with 42.4 million people reached by the page in total.

“Some people will just glance at our Bible verse posts as they scroll through their newsfeeds, but other people tell us our daily Bible verses have a profound impact on them; providing hope, comfort and inspiration when life seems tough,” comments United Bible Societies Global Communications Manager Jane Pleace, who oversees the page. “We believe the Bible is relevant to everyone, and Facebook, with its huge global reach, is just one of the tools we are using to share it’s life-changing message with as many people as possible.”

Having an impact

And the evidence is there that the Scripture posts are having an impact: not only are more and more people becoming fans and openly interacting with the posts, people also send private messages to the page, asking questions and requesting prayer and counselling.

“It’s clear from the private messages that people out there are genuinely searching for meaning,” says Ms Pleace. “We have some very interesting conversations with people who want to go deeper into the Bible or who are struggling with a particular issue in their lives that they want a biblical perspective on. We also pray with those who request prayer. I feel very blessed to be part of this global ministry.”

Sharing God’s Word daily

The Digital Bible page is just one of many Facebook pages which share God’s Word on a daily basis. Bible Societies across the world are doing it, too, reaching another 1.15 million fans in dozens of countries. (Click here to see our organisational page, where we profile our global work.)

YouVersion, a close partner of United Bible Societies, is another organisation with an impressive presence on Facebook (3.6 million fans). This is just a small part of its fast-growing digital ministry. Its Bible App has been installed on nearly 128 million devices around the world, and users have logged nearly 80 billion minutes of Bible reading since it started in 2008. Thousands of verses are shared on Facebook and Twitter each day by users who want to share their faith.

The Bible App, which provides free access to Bibles in 476 languages, including some in audio format, is powered by the United Bible Societies’ Digital Bible Library – the world’s largest and fast-growing collection of digitised Bible texts.

Andrea Rhodes
External Communications Officer for the United Bible Societies

The Scottish Bible Society is a founder member of the United Bible Societies – 146 Bible Societies at work in some 200 countries worldwide.