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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Jun 8, 2022

My guest today is Bobby Gruenewald. He is a Pastor and Innovation Leader at Life.Church, a multisite church based in Oklahoma. He is also the founder of the YouVersion Bible App and a former entrepreneur, making and selling two multi-million dollar online companies.

5:47 – Bobby 101

  • His focus is stewarding YouVersion.
  • His background is eclectic, and he started as a Christian rapper in high school. He also studied finance.

9:01 – Writing rap songs

  • Bobby wrote a rap song, and it resonated. He went around the country and had albums of rap songs and concerts.

11:20 – Car dealership

  • In college, Bobby worked at a car dealership and was bored, so he listened in to people’s conversations.
  • He offered to build a website for the company, even though he didn’t know how.

16:47 – Trying new things

  • Bobby is not afraid to try things and admit when they fail, because that’s part of the process. But he always wants to learn from failures.

25:07 – Why YouVersion?

  • Why did Bobby name the Bible app YouVersion? It was the best name he came up with one day.
  • He wanted his app to relate to people and their lives.

33:18 – Bible app and Covid

  • Bible app reading increased during Covid.
  • People were searching “fear” and “anxiety” in the app.
  • It’s become a commonplace assumption that people don’t read the Bible anymore, but that’s not true.

39:50 – Bible app for kids

  • It’s s important for kids to gain an understanding of the Bible, and the kids app makes it fun and interactive.

56:00 – Growing his team

  • Bobby is aggressively trying to grow his team. They have 115 full-time people who work on it with 30 open positions.

58:25 – Get to know you

  • Guilty pleasure? Skinny Cow ice cream bars
  • Best concert he has attended? Hillsong conference in Australia


The Bible is still the most read book, the most engaged book, the most purchased book of all books.

There wasn’t anything around me that really modeled an entrepreneur, so I never really thought about it as a career path.

I had an investor before I even had an idea

We’re not afraid to try things and admit that they fail.


Bobby Gruenewald is the founder of the YouVersion Bible App, the number one installed Bible app. He also serves as Pastor, Innovation Leader at Life.Church. As one of the leading voices in the Church on innovation and the use of technology, Gruenewald has been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, CNN, and more. Prior to joining the Life.Church team in 2001, he started and sold two technology companies as well as served in advisory capacities for various startups and venture capital funds. Gruenewald and his wife, Melissa, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their four children.



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