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Q&A with Dwell Co-Founder, Joshua Bailey


In an interview with The Christian Chronicle, Dwell co-founder Joshua Bailey explains why he and his twin brother, Jonathan, created the Dwell app. 

Related: Audio app Dwell could save your quarantined spiritual life

Q: Why did you create Dwell? 

A: My brother and I are super passionate about learning and growing. We’ve always used Audible to find great books and lectures and we used Spotify and Apple Music to hear great music, but we felt there really wasn’t a great way to connect with the Bible from an audio standpoint. The Dwell app was birthed out of a need in our own spiritual lives. We saw a lot of other apps focused on the reading experience, but nobody was really focusing on the listening experience. 

The primary way Christians have taken in scripture throughout the centuries has been through listening. For the first 1500 years of the church’s existence people listened to God’s word. We asked ourselves: Is there something they knew about listening that we in our modern society have forgotten? We believe having the words of God spoken over us is a life-giving practice that can deepen our faith. We named this Dwell because that is what we want people to do. We want to make it easy for people to dwell with God in scripture. And we made it as beautiful as we could so people will come back again and again.

Q: Christian Chronicle readers already read their physical Bible and use Bible apps, so why should they download your app? How will Dwell compliment their studies or faith walk? 

A: There are so many opportunities in our day to redeem our time. A lot of people have 20-45 minute commutes to work every day.Others may be cleaning the house or cooking – using their hands instinctively – and are able to focus their mind on the text. These are great times to listen to God’s word.  

And  listening compliments your reading. There’s something really powerful about reading a text and then going into Dwell and opening up the same passage and listening to it. If I use the repeat and reflect mode maybe 10 times, I’m literally soaking and saturating my mind and letting scripture do its work on me. Hopefully I’m gaining more insight and complementing my reading experience. Matthew 4 says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” So we live on these words, constantly chewing on scripture, and letting them nourish us. 

Q: The voices are very unique. How did you find them and why did you choose them?  

A: We are so passionate about getting the scriptures in different voices and different dialects because it hits people in different ways. So in 2017, we did an American Idol style interview in the Dallas, Texas, area for original voices. We heard more than 100 voices in a matter of days and quickly learned you either have a great voice for scripture or you don’t. Out of the 100, we found four we really loved: Felix, Rosie, Mark and Gregory. When they came in, they blew our minds. These four created original recordings for Dwell. 

Q: Who creates the plans and playlists?

A: Our small team currently curates everything in the app. In June 2020 we will have tools available for church staff to create their own playlists and plans that complement what they are studying at church. This will be a great discipleship tool for ministers, giving churches more ways to reach their congregation. The content they create will live in a new tab called “For You.”

Q: What kind of feedback are you getting? 

A: We have seen people fall in love with the app. I think in the Christian community, when you do things with beauty and excellence, you can’t help but create something people fall in love with. We feel we’ve created something people are finding useful and beneficial to their spiritual life. 

JOSHUA BAILEY launched Dwell with his twin brother Jonathan in 2018. They both attend Christ Church in Plano, Texas, with their wives and children. 

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A one-year Dwell subscription can be purchased for $29.99 or it can be downloaded for free with limited content. Christian Chronicle readers can purchase a subscription for a discount ($19.99) through the link dwellapp.io/christian-chronicle. The Dwell website also offers a lifetime subscription option or monthly payment plans for churches.

Filed under: People

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