There’s a new app that is trying to get the Word of God into the ears of youth and young adults. Already stopped reading? Just listen for another minute, because its aim is actually to engage non-Christians with not all Christian material.
Recently launched by a Fraser Valley nonprofit, indoubt has been downloaded by over 1,300 individuals, and for a first generation biblical app, has all the workings to become a hit.
So how can an app possibly bring God’s voice into your life? Well, this free virtual platform utitilizes all things that may seem appealing to you – videos, social media and online content on issues about life, faith, God (maybe not the religious part) and everything in between.
It was designed to start and spark conversation about issues relevant to many youth and young adults: subjects such as fear, stress, encouragement and how to move forward in school or in a career.
Every month, a single theme is talked about, with every week being a specific topic regarding that theme.
With one week to test the app, I was particularly impressed with the well produced video, and articles written by individuals who have experienced the topic in discussion first hand.
Rather than watching a long-winded clip with a pastor preaching how you should live your life, you are shown a short and concise creative depiction of a scenario you may have been in.
The app encourages with a perspective of empathy, rather than a voice of condemnation and judgment. It features a four week media series on difficult faith topics, and is most significantly, a platform where youth and young adults can discuss with like-minded individuals from different walks of life who are going through similar struggles.
Isaac Dagneau, the Leader of indoubt, spoke about the inspiration and motivation behind this project. Keep reading – you probably have a lot of questions by now.
What’s the story behind the name indoubt?
indoubt comes from the idea that so many youth and young adults are literally “in doubt” on so many issues. That could be faith, identity, relationships, and so on. We want to come alongside them in their place of doubt, giving them a resource and place that points to the truth that will help heal and restore them.
What made you feel that this app needed to be created?
Seven out of 10 teenagers leave the church by the age of 18. One out of three young adults who graduate post-secondary school will leave their faith.
Could it be be because they were enlightened being in a different environment outside of their church?
We’re uncomfortable staying still when so many youth and young adults are hurting and confused in life. We want to respond to their questions and pain with a place of truth and healing. The app is a daily spiritual interruption, prompting the user to engage with the Bible.
Who is your target demographic?
It’s for Christians and non-Christians – it’s not all Christian material, and it’s not all non-Christian material. We want to do our best in engaging both sides. That’s why we bring up topics and issues that are not always brought up in a church setting – like pornography, friends with benefits, dating, and so on.
The stories we publish on the app are real and authentic. At the same time, we always give Scripture and point everyone to the Word and Christ. Every week you’re going to hear stories and watch a video about a topic that you’ve most likely experienced or are quite familiar with. Not only this, but you get to create a profile so that you can ask questions, give comments, and talk with others.
What were your expectations of this app, bringing God’s voice into this generation? Would you say that the results so far are meeting these standards?
Our expectations were to do just that – simply get the Word of God into the ears of youth and young adults. The fruit of doing this is not always seen, but that’s just reality. We have seen many users thank us for the content we put up, but the deep changes the Word of God does is usually quite personal and unique to every person.
You have various weekly topics and a “Verse of the Day.” What’s the process of choosing them, and who is in charge of doing so?
The indoubt creative team consists of four people including myself. Every month or so, we get together and talk about the issues or ideas in culture that youth and young adults are either interested in or are going through. We then work those issues into a theme and start brainstorming how we can speak God’s truth into and through that theme.
Who funds this project?
Donors. Over the last year we’ve talked to many people across Canada about the need for something like “indoubt.” Those who felt let to give, gave. It’s a blessing to know that people are behind us in this.
We’re actually a ministry of the Good News Broadcasting Association of Canada. It’s is the family name of three ministries – Back to the Bible Canada, Laugh Again and indoubt. Back to the Bible Canada is our nation wide Bible teaching ministry that’s aired on radio and the web. Laugh Again is our international radio/online ministry consisting of Christian humour that helps others experience the joy and laughter that come when you know Christ. indoubt is our social media/application based ministry that’s designed for youth and young adults to get engaged with the Bible.
With so many devotional applications available, what makes indoubt so special?
There are more than enough apps that give spiritual truths from the Bible, and there are dozens of apps that talk about how to get help with issues and problems practically, but what indoubt does is it takes the unchangeable truths of God’s Word and puts it through a relevant lens in order for the young generation to understand it. indoubt effectively contextualizes the truth of God’s Word to the young generation.
Where do you see the app going in the near future?
We are working towards the next generation of the app, hopefully to come out Fall 2015. Since the first app has come out, we have ideas and plans to make it even better than it is. We are also working on building a more engaging website that allows youth and young adult leaders to access our resources and materials for free.
Abbotsford is known for being a predominantly Christian city. Did your surroundings influence that? Talk to us about the ‘Valley Buzz’ feel being incorporated.
The fact is that the issues that are going on in youth and young adults here are going on across all of Canada and the United States. I don’t think we were necessarily influenced by Abbotsford specifically, but the resources and people in Abbotsford and the Greater Vancouver area has been great for us. Having Valley Buzz will be a great resource and voice in this city and beyond. I know it’s something indoubt will keep up with, and many others.
How would you define success, and at what point would you consider indoubt to be successful?
I’m excited that there’s a Valley Buzz! Well, success is completing and continuing the plan that God gives you to do. In that case, indoubt is successful. In regards to more external successes, the fruit of our work, we want to see indoubt gain many involved users. We would like to see people use indoubt as an everyday essential like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. More importantly than this, we want to hear stories of young people’s lives changed through what was said on indoubt.
I can see that the engagement via social media will be a huge factor to drawing people…
Yes – It’s always about something new. Every week you’re going to hear stories and watch a video about a topic that you’ve most likely experienced or are quite familiar with. Not only this, but you get to create a profile so that you can ask questions, give comments, and talk with others.
God does the real healing and restorative work in the lives of youth and young adults, and indoubt gets to enjoy being a tool in His hand (among others). We seek to work hard at being relevant, but never compromising the truths of the Word.
Here’s how it works:
indoubt serves a need that was not being met before – a need for a resource that speaks God’s Word in relation to the crazy things that can go on in a young person’s life. Their mission is to see young people’s lives changed.
Written by Krystele Chavez. Connect with Krystele on Twitter at @krystelechavez.