Learn from YouVersion App Founder, Bobby Gruenewald, How to Reach People No One Else is Reaching

Learn from YouVersion App Founder, Bobby Gruenewald, How to Reach People No One Else is Reaching

Highlands College desires to answer the prayer of Jesus, located in Luke 10:2 when He says, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest." Through our holistic training approach, students are educated, equipped, and empowered to go out into the world and make an eternal impact. Our goal is to reach the people no one else is reaching. The question is, how do we do that?

Highlands College was honored to host YouVersion Bible App founder, Bobby Gruenewald, at our bi-weekly chapel service. The YouVersion App has over 400 million downloads and is reaching people in nearly every country in the world. In his message to our students and staff, Bobby shared how his creative thinking has opened the door to reaching people no one else is reaching.


Bobby claims that his first innovative idea came when he began a relationship with Jesus. He wanted to share the Gospel with his friends but struggled to find the best method to share the message. Bobby knew his friends were fans of rap music, so he began writing and recording Christian rap music for them. What Bobby discovered is that innovation happens inside of constraints. Despite having any experience in the field of music, Bobby identified how this new approach was efficiently connecting his lost friends to the gospel. 


Reaching people no one else is reaching begins with changing your perspective. Old methods will not result in new results. The world's population has dramatically spiked, increasing from one billion to seven billion people just over the last 200 years. In addition to increased population growth, there has also been an explosion of technology. This technology helps connect the people of the world with the simple click of a button. While some people may be overwhelmed by so much sudden change, Bobby has a different perspective. He views this intersection of technology evolution and population increase as a moment in history to leverage for the Kingdom of God. 


Once Bobby realized the opportunities were at hand, he decided to explore the possibilities of utilizing technology to reach people no one else is reaching. First, Bobby thought to stream church services online. At the time, this was a revolutionary idea. No one had thought to archive sermons online. Now, online church is one of the most accessible ways to receive the Gospel in the closed-off parts of the world. People in countries like Pakistan, Syria, and Afghanistan are hearing the message of Jesus Christ because of innovative thinking. Another vast contribution Bobby has made to reach people no one else is reaching is the YouVersion Bible App. Today, the app is a huge success, but it actually began as a failure. Bobby initially launched YouVersion as a failed website, but he says if you're going to pursue new ideas, you have to be willing to fail. His team did an assessment and evaluated why the website wasn't a success. Instead of completely giving up on YouVersion, they relaunched the idea as one of Apple's first 200 apps on the App Store in July 2008. After just a few days, there were over 83,000 downloads. The YouVersion Bible app caught instant traction and is considered the "Gutenberg Bible" of the 21st century. The app offers 2,018 Bible versions in 1,351 languages, reaching hundreds of millions of people around the globe. 

Bobby Gruenewald is reinventing how Christians can share the Gospel so that all people can hear the Good News. At Highlands College, we share that same passion. We exist to train leaders to build the Kingdom of God through becoming the laborers Jesus prayed for in Luke 10:2. Together as the body of Christ, we can make an eternal impact. 

To learn more about Highlands College, visit highlandscollege.com. 

Back to blog