American Bible Society

Move the Movable Middle: Innovating Bible Engagement

"I would be open to looking at the Bible, but I just don’t know where to start."

This Challenge is Presented by:

American Bible Society

Bible or Scripture Engagement

Scripture translation and engagement, discipleship, and prayer.

Project Representative

Amanuel Mengistu

Amanuel Mengistu
Project Manager

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More than simply looking to digital marketing or social media as solutions, the Innovation team at ABS is specifically interested in solutions that can leverage technologies including AI/ML, chatbots, and smart assistants.

The Challenge

Imagine you’re a university student, a philosophy major in your fourth year. On a whim, you decide that you’d like to learn how to code. Maybe write a basic web or mobile app or something like that.

How would you get started? Computer science textbooks are intimidating and full of insider language you’re not familiar with.

There are countless websites and blogs that talk about coding, but how would you find the right one for you? It’s tough being an interested outsider—wanting to engage for the very first time, but not knowing where to start.

That’s how it is for tens of millions of people around the world who have never engaged with Scripture before but are open to doing so now.

Too often, the Bible resources created for interested outsiders—we call them the “movable middle”— are built by people who have forgotten what it’s like to be an outsider.

People in the movable middle are open to exploring the Bible but don’t know how to get started.

They don’t know how to find the parts of Scripture that are relevant to their current life situation or spiritual struggles. When they read Scripture, they’re met with strange language and culture from a place and a time that they have no background for understanding.

How might we help these interested outsiders get started? What digital tools can we build to meet them where they’re at, so that they can discover the Bible on their own terms, find points of connection that are relevant to their current situation, and receive automated and personalized guidance in their journey?

The American Bible Society, which partners with national Bible societies around the world, is challenging #HACK2021 to craft ideas and build technology tools to help the movable middle better discover, understand, and engage with Scripture.

View or download the #HACK2021 challenge infographic

Interested in working on this challenge?

About American Bible Society

We believe the Bible holds the words of life. American Bible Society has been getting God’s Word into people’s hands and hearts around the world for more than 200 years.

Based on our annual State of the Bible survey, the research team at ABS has identified a significant segment of the population that we call the movable middlePeople in the movable middle do not currently engage with the Bible but are open to doing so. In the United States, our 2021 research estimates this group comprises 95 million people. This number shows a 90% increase since 2018. 

Interested in working on this challenge?

We are excited for a variety of solutions to be developed for this challenge during #HACK2021. We are so glad you want to bring your unique skills and expertise to this challenge. Thank you!

I am registered for #HACK

If you are interested in working on this challenge and have already registered for #HACK2021, please send a message to and we’ll let you know which cities/teams are working on this particular challenge. Thank you.

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How do I register for #HACK?

Please register for #HACK2021 and we’ll let you know which cities/teams are working on this particular challenge. Thank you.

Register here
The journey we went on for the weekend was itself a series of miracles. On the event weekend, the Holy Spirit moved among the developers and teams.

#HACK City Lead

Seeing so many people passionate about using and sharing their gifts for God’s kingdom brings tears of joy to my eyes.

#HACK City Lead

HACK allowed me to see that we can make big things in a small amount of time with the Lord if we are available.

Tresor, N’Djamena

It was awesome to see how total strangers came together and worked together as if they had been a team for years. It was awesome to see the Lord at work through ordinary people using their skills for His glory.

Jonah, Pretoria

#HACK is a great way to get the IT community together and do something to help others and missions.

Rick, Chiang Mai

We’re grateful to be present, to be working for God side by side.

Iñaki, Buenos Aires

We got to see a room full of people begin to see their skillset as being part of the church body.

James, London

It was amazing to see mission-minded, servant-hearted volunteers commit so much time, working into the night to see the job done!

Winnie, Raleigh

God showed that He is still the one bringing people together to fulfill the mission.

Jonah, Iloilo