For nearly six years Nona Jones reached millions in the digital world through her role as head of Facebook’s Faith-based Partnership Outreach.
But in 2022, Jones felt God calling her to a new mission.
“When I celebrated my fifth anniversary I had a moment of introspection,” Jones told CBN News. “I was like ‘Lord, you’ve allowed me to meet some incredible people, to learn some amazing things and to do things I never would have imagined through the work that I did at the company.'”
“And I was like, ‘But Lord I want to bring this to your kingdom. That was my prayer,'” Jones said.
That prayer soon after led to a new position and a desire to reach even more with the mobile Bible platform YouVersion.
“I lead the content and partnerships team. It’s a global team that essentially supports everything you see in the app,” Jones explained. “So, when you open the app, you’ll notice there’s the verse of the day. Then there’s typically a teaching video that will expound on the verse of the day. There’s prayer. There’s Bible plans and videos and all these different experiences in the app. My team is responsible for that.”
Jones added, “We also do all the localization. And so that’s translating all the content that you see into the 84 languages that the app is available in.”
It is work that is vital in the effort to improve biblical literacy around the world.
CBN News asked Jones about a recent report by the American Bible Society that shows fewer Gen Z’ers read the Bible, and YouVersion’s goal to reach them.
“Our mission is we want to encourage and challenge people to seek intimacy with God every day,” she said. “And so, we’re constantly thinking about what are the resources that we can make available in the app that make it easy for people to engage with the word of God. Because the number one deterrent to Bible engagement is that people tend to feel overwhelmed. They feel overwhelmed. They don’t know where to start. They may feel they’re not personally equipped.”
“And I think in Generation Z that becomes exacerbated because many times they may not be going to church,” said Jones. “They may not be exposed to the word of God. And what we have done and what we’ve been trying to do and what we’ve been doing over the last 15 years of our existence is make the word of God accessible to everybody on earth.”
“If we can get the word of God into people’s hands and hearts, their lives will be changed,” Jones commented.
Jones pointed out that YouVersion has had about 700 million installations of the Bible app onto mobile devices around the globe.
Yet she believes their work is far from over.
“We believe God is just getting started. We have a vision over the next 10 years that in addition to those 700 million installs that we’re going to add another two billion installs to that number, more Bible translations. Right now, we have about 3,000 Bible translations in about 2,000 languages. We want to get to 7,000 languages. To have at least some portion of scripture accessible to everybody through their mobile device in all languages on earth. That’s where our heart is,” said Jones.
Meanwhile, in addition to her new role at YouVersion, Jones is also working on a new book about rejection.
“I had a number of experiences across my life where being rejected by others, it left a deep wound in my heart, to the point where I would just expect to be rejected because it became such a regular occurrence in my life,” Jones explained.
“But through the wisdom of God, through the word of God, I have come to see that rejection is a gift because our God works everything together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” said Jones.