Episode 59

March 26, 2024


Rooted: A New Bible App with Skyer Sandry

Hosted by

Erik Rasmussen
Rooted: A New Bible App with Skyer Sandry
The Concerning Him Podcast
Rooted: A New Bible App with Skyer Sandry

Mar 26 2024 | 00:57:56


Show Notes

Emmaus alum Skyler Sandry, with the help of a close friend, has created a new Bible application meant to help family and friends make their own audio Bible and share it easily with others!

Rooted Bible App for iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rooted-bible-app/id6464661801

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View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: What if there was a way to read scripture for your family and friends, even when you're not around? Maybe you're not in the same geographic location as them. Maybe you've passed away. I'm Eric Rasmussen. This is the concerning hymn podcast. And on today's episode we have on Skyler Sandry, who's an Emmaus alum who had a great idea for an app, all based on this idea of what if him and his wife passed away? They were worried about the fine financial ramifications for his children. But then he started to think about the spiritual impact that he wouldn't be able to have on his children. And what if there was a way for him to record scripture and to record his thoughts about scripture so that his children could have those in this doomsday scenario? With this doomsday scenario in mind, Skyler, along with a team, created an app that allows you to share your reading of scripture, to share notes and comments about those scriptures through an app with families and friends. And really anybody who'd be interested. This app is called the rooted Bible app, and you can find it on the Android App Store or the iPhone App Store. If you listen to us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, it'd be great if you gave us a rating or review. And if you watch these episodes on YouTube, we'd really appreciate it. If you'd like the video or subscribe to our channel, remember, the concerning him podcast is brought to you by Emmaus Bible College. Here at Emmaus, it's our goal to impact the world for Christ through everything we do. Whether it's in the classroom teaching Bible and theology to young men and women, or it's training those same young men and women for their future professional careers, or it's through ministries like concerning him. For more information about Emmaus, please visit emmaus.edu. And if you're interested in listening to more episodes like this one, or reading biblically centered articles, or listening to sermons that glorify God and teach you all about scripture, please visit concerning welcome, Skyler. [00:02:00] Speaker B: Thank you, Eric. Good to be here. [00:02:01] Speaker A: Happy to have you on. This is awesome. Last podcast released, I had Travis Holton, who we went to school with. [00:02:08] Speaker B: Yep, saw him a couple weeks ago. [00:02:09] Speaker A: Now I've got you on. This has been a fun little stretch for me of my old classmates, but welcome. How you doing? [00:02:16] Speaker B: Good, man. I can't, can't complain about life. It's been a good stretch. Just had our fourth kid in January and a lot of exciting things happening right now and yeah, things are good. [00:02:29] Speaker A: Good. Well, let's get started by who are you? I want to hear who you are and kind of your background and before Emmaus, your time at Emmaus. What's been going on since Emmaus? [00:02:40] Speaker B: Yeah, still figuring all that out. But no, it's been good. So I was born and raised in the Quad Cities, jumped around schools growing up there, and then went to Judson University. My freshman year in Elgin, Illinois, ended up becoming a believer literally two weeks before the end of the school year, decided it'd be good to go somewhere where I could get at least a little bit grounded and rooted in my faith, and so stumbled upon Emmaus Bible College. My plan was to come here for a year, get the one year bible certificate, not play basketball, played basketball at Judson. My plan was to just take a year off, get healthy, had some physical injuries going on, learn more about God and move on was my plan. And I think within 12 hours of being on campus, I met my now wife and a mother of my four children. So that made me decide to play basketball that year and ultimately stay for the rest of the three years. So got a business administration degree here, had a great time. It's a little weird coming back from, be honest, because the teachers I was here with, Glock and all the OGs, the legends. I know there's still a couple of them still around the business department. I think I went through like three or four different professors in my three years here. [00:04:06] Speaker A: You had Dr. Harrington, right? [00:04:07] Speaker B: I had Dr. Harrington, who was like the best. I had a couple not so good experiences. I mean, president, boom, stepped in. [00:04:14] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. [00:04:15] Speaker B: For like half a semester and taught some classes. So that was right when the business program was getting started up or as a few years old, it wasn't that old. So now it's in a really good spot, but had a great education here. Ultimately, after college decided, my wife and I decided to move to Arizona, where I started my career in financial advising. Wealth management is what I call it now. At the time was just corporate level. Financial advisor at a place called Merrill Edge. Spent two and a half years down in Arizona, coached basketball down there, pretty high level basketball. While I was in Arizona, got connected at a church down there, had our first kid down there, then moved from Arizona back to Iowa to join my dad's team in wealth management at Merrill lynch. At the time, that would have been 2018, which was a crazy year. Then we had second kid and was getting really involved in my dad's business, merged what business I had had, and then what he had, which I didn't have much at the time, and then spent the next, that's been almost six years ago, really last six years has just been focusing on deepening and developing those relationships my dad had and then deepening, developing relationships that I've brought on and building out our team where we've gone from. There's really three of them when I joined. And then now we're up to 13 people on our team in the wealth management space and serve a few hundred families. And that's what we do. It's just wealth management. So, yeah, up to four kids now and been in Iowa ever since, down in the Quad Cities. [00:06:01] Speaker A: What do you mean when you talk about wealth management? What are you doing exactly? [00:06:06] Speaker B: It's broad. Okay, it's broad. Anything. So ultimately, the end goal, our mission statements, we want to help people accomplish financial peace of mind. So that involves pretty much anything financial. So we're going to sit down with somebody, build a financial plan, talking about, okay, where do you stand today? Where do you want to be when you retire? And then where do you want to be when you pass away, like inheritance wise for your kids? So we help people with banking, we help people with auto loans, we help people with life insurance, we help people with mortgages, we help people with all sorts of things. Financial executive services, 401K plans, just financial planning in general. The biggest thing that we do, that's the core of our business is investing in portfolio management. So we manage a portfolio based on their needs, their goals, their desires, and it's just goals, we call it goals based wealth management. So figure out what they are going to need, how are we going to fund it, what kind of portfolio we're going to put them in. And then we do a whole bunch with individual stocks. We use mutual funds in some occasions, but for the most part, on the stock side, we're buying individual stocks and building a portfolio that makes sense, literally. Our goal is to be the family office for families. So if they have a need, and we want to work with grandma and grandpa, the kids and the grandkids, we want to work with every generation. And ultimately anything financial that they need, we want to help them figure out a. [00:07:34] Speaker A: Does you talk, know, go to Judson for a year, you get saved, you come to Emmaus, you study business here, you study the, and you know, I think there might be some people that might say, and that financial planning, that's too focused on money, it's too focused on earthly wealth and materials and not focused on heavenly things. How do you see your faith, your understanding of scripture and doctrine, integrating really every day with what you're doing. [00:08:03] Speaker B: Well, going back to Dr. Harrington. [00:08:05] Speaker A: Yeah, great, man. [00:08:06] Speaker B: Yeah. And just slt back in the know, servant leadership training, and we had a class called servant leadership through Dr. Harrington, which was a business class. And so the whole concept is, okay, how do we lead by serving? There's the goal here with wealth management is we want them to see and experience something different than what they're going to get in a typical secular wealth management culture. So you see all the crazy movies, not going to name drop any of them, but there's some crazy movies out there that would lead you to believe this crazy, secular, drugs, alcohol ridden business where people are just partying all the time and doing nothing good, where we want to glorify and honor God through our financial practices. Money is one of, I think, if not the most, one of the most talked about topics in the Bible. And so we want people to steward it well and manage it well. And ultimately, that's our job, is to help people do that. So it's led to some really good conversations. For me, the biggest thing where I'm at during the scary times, during the, hey, we've got this politician in office, we've got this economic fear, we've got this inflation, we got these interest rates, we've got this war, we've got, you name it, all sorts of different turmoil. You got COVID, the whole pandemic thing. That was six weeks of the most panic I've ever seen. And people are freaking out because they don't have a whole lot of focus on godly things. And so it's not, with every relationship, I'm not going to come in and throw a Bible at them and say, get your stuff together. But through my conversations, just naturally, we're able to have good conversations about how we're not freaking out because ultimately, none of it really matters. At the end of the day, we're just called to be good stewards of it while we have it on earth. So, yeah, that answers your question or not? [00:10:13] Speaker A: Yeah, that does. And I think that's actually kind of connected with the main reason I want to talk to you. I'm on Facebook week and a half ago, something like that, and I see this announcement. I called you up right away, and there's this app, and right away I'm like, Skylar, tell me about this app. So tell me about this app that you kind of created. [00:10:33] Speaker B: Yeah, it ties into wealth management to a degree, with why I came up with the idea, because every day, again, I'm working with my clients about. All right. Financial peace of mind. So part of that is, all right, we're going to go build an estate plan. We're going to put together a will, trust, whatever we got to do, given a certain individual situation. So I'm doing that constantly with clients left and right. And then we always had wills and different things and trusts and whatever set up for our family. But I just had our third kid, and I was like, all right, we need to sit down, do a little bit deeper. Diving, planning, make sure everything's in place in Becca and I's personal situation. Didn't want to leave anything unturned. I was starting to feel a little unsteady about everything, so I was like, all right, we're going to nail this part of that conversation. We were sitting out with the attorney. The estate plan attorney is, all right, let's talk about doomsday situation. Let's talk about mom and dad dying at the same time. Let's talk about dad dying. Let's talk. Okay, do you have enough insurance? Do you want your kids to get your full net worth when they turn 18 years old, or should we wait till they're 25? And then should you put parameters on that? And is everything set up how you want it if you were to die tomorrow? And so Rebecca, she didn't want to talk about it. She didn't want to think about it. It's an emotional experience, right? Like, you're talking about your kids being raised by somebody else without mom and dad, and mama Bear doesn't want to think about that. And I'm like, well, I deal with this weekly with clients talking about, okay, if you do die, who do you want taking care of your kids? If you do die, what age do you want your kids to get the money? If you do die, what parameters do you want to put on the money for your kids? There's all sorts of things, and you see all sorts of different situations. And so Becca was really struggling with it. It's not like I was happy about it. I was struggling with it. But we had the conversation, went through the whole process, got to the end of it. It's a six, eight week process. By the time you work through everything and get everything implemented and documents signed and any policies, any additional policies you get put into place, which I don't do a whole lot of life insurance, but you need it. It's a necessary part of the financial plan. And so we get to the end of that and where it was weighing heavy on me. And Rebecca probably wasn't weighing as heavy on anymore at this point. Was okay, like, going through that scenario and all of that, I was left with, that's all great, but my spiritual daily impact is mostly gone. Right? There's the whole, all right, they can have my Bible or my journal, whatever. They can see some highlights or whatever. They can hear stories from family and friends about different things I did to impact them. They can see the videos, the family videos, and the way I interact with. There's certain things to a degree, that you can do to still have a spiritual impact. Yet it just didn't feel. It still was like, well, this just sucks. I don't like that. So that was probably a four to eight week process where I was just struggling through that, praying through that, and we went on fast forwarding a little bit, and then I'll go backwards. We left Merrill lynch in October of 2022 and went to RBC, us wealth management, big business shift and change. And so we were leading up to that. So have that whole weight on my shoulders at the time. And so I was like, all right, let's go on vacation. Let's go to Hawai. Let's not think about. Just. Let's just go rest before the storm. Because the whole transition is a several month process and there's a lot of rules in place. I can't tell anybody beforehand. I can't give a client a heads up. Hey, I'm going to call you in a month. I can't do that. And so a lot of stress involved. So I was like, all right, we're going to go relax, chill, whatever. So we go to Hawai, do that, come back. And we landed in Des Moines at like 01:00 a.m. On our way back. And I was driving from Des Moines back to the Quad Cities, and my whole family is in the back of the car, knocked out, totally zonked, sleeping. And I'm driving by myself, and I was listening to a defense of Calvinism audiobook. You'd appreciate that one. And I was like, oh, audiobook, this is cool. And somehow I just had the idea of like, all right, man, record yourself reading the Bible audibly. I was like, okay, I can go do that. There's a record function on iPhone or voice memos or whatever. You can go record something and title it and save it, and it's saved on the iCloud. And so I was like, you could do that. Just go start Genesis one and read as far as you can and then save it. Like Genesis one through three, verses eight, whatever, and just save it file by file and just go about that. And that was pretty early on in the drive, and I loved the idea. Now my mind's just racing, and I'm like, by the end of the drive, I was like, you got to make an app, dude. Because if you can do this in a really organized, easy, tech savvy way where it enables you to record it, we can get a social media platform going with it. You can listen to other people's. Because the problem, you have to go physically share every file with Apple if you go that route. And so I was like, if you can make this social media platform almost where it's like, hey, if I follow you, it's either private or public profile, I can go in there and listen to your just. Mine was just racing all sorts of ideas. It turned into very quickly. So I had that idea. I was verbally putting notes in my phone of all the ideas I was having, because this is at this point, it's like 03:00 a.m. And I'm hyped up on some sort of energy drink. [00:16:47] Speaker A: Staying awake, about to start this massive work transition. [00:16:51] Speaker B: About to start this massive work. [00:16:52] Speaker A: But this is where your mind's at. [00:16:54] Speaker B: This is where my mind's at with, all right, we need to get this app going. And that would have been August, something late August, and the transition was six weeks away. And I was like, I don't have the capacity or the right personnel or anything to get going on this. So I was like, all right, we're going to have to push pause. So I brought a very small group of people, like, three people, in on this. And I was like, hey, here's my idea. I just want to start brainstorming with you guys on what this should become. The first person I told naturally is my wife. We literally got home, she woke up, we bring the kids inside, she stands like, hey, I've got this idea. And she naturally was like, yes, let's do that. Let's leave a legacy to the kids because you don't know when you're going to die. That's the thing about life. I'm only 30 years old, and yet I want to be prepared for that. I don't. I don't want to be unwise. And so part of that was like, all right, we need to get going. And we were really excited about it, but we were like, all right, let's develop the idea. Let's focus on the business transition. And then when we get around that corner, we'll get it going. Somehow. We didn't know how literally, I'm not an it guy. I don't understand how an app or code or anything works. I didn't know what it was going to look like, what it was going to feel like. I didn't know the name. I didn't know anything. It was just like, but here's this idea. Let's give the world a way to audibly record themselves reading the Bible and then make it really easy to go and listen to it for anybody that they want to allow to listen to it. Anyway, that was all I could talk about for the next, like, three or four weeks at that point with that small group of guys like, hey, what about this? What about this? And then they start throwing in ideas and we turn it into what it is now and what it is today. Like, if you go download it today versus what it's going to be is very different. [00:18:53] Speaker A: Oh, really? [00:18:54] Speaker B: Because we've got a lot of different features we want to add. So we were like, all right. So I learned all sorts of fancy terms. One of the terms was MVP, was what I kept hearing about, you got to have the MVP version, which is the minimal, viable product is what it stands. [00:19:13] Speaker A: Not most valuable player. [00:19:14] Speaker B: Not most valuable player. That's what I thought. Yeah, it is the MVP app. So I was like, MVP. All right, cool. So we have to build out, all right. To get it to a place where we can launch it, we need to have this, this, and this. And so for me, I was like, we need to have, obviously, the core. The core is audibly recording yourself. Read the Bible. But, for example, something upcoming is like, we want to be able to video record while you audibly record and actually leave videos. So that's coming. And then secondly, we were like, okay, big thing for me is I wanted to be able to leave audio notes. [00:19:54] Speaker A: Okay, I was going to ask about that. [00:19:57] Speaker B: Right now we have that function. It's not necessarily the cleanest function on the app, but I was like, hey, it needs to be there from day one. We'll make it look prettier and act better as time goes on. So right now, it's like before or after a verse or a chapter, whatever you want to do, you can actually go and swipe and record a note, and it'll tell you where those notes are throughout the Bible. So if I read scripture and my oldest son's name is Tatum and know thinking about him, or it applies to something going on in his life, I can go and actually record, hey, Tatum. I just like, here's what's going on. Here's how I'm praying for you. Here's what this scripture meant to me in this moment. Love you, kid. And then someday, what we'll have, and that's not there yet, is the ability to have files with Tatum's name. So then I could actually go save that note and link it to Tatum. And so then someday he'll be able to go and just click on his name, and boom, there's every note that ever applied to him. So that's coming. Social media platform. I was like, all right, there needs to be a way to share this or access it. That's easy. So naturally, it's like, okay, we can make this a public and private profile where everyone's in there. I can go request to follow you, but if you're private profile, that means you could say no or yes. Okay, so if you want to be private, that's great. If you want to just be a family, that's great. If you don't care. Because I started the app, I felt like I should have my profile public, which I don't really care. I don't think anybody really wants to listen to me read the Bible, except for my kids and my wife, and I travel a lot for work. And so where I got really excited was like, all right. I could wake up in the morning and actually record scripture and be like, hey, Becca, I just recorded this. And she could go sit at the breakfast table and play that scripture, or at the dinner table and play that scripture, and I'm not necessarily there, so just all sorts of cool things. So I wanted to be, like, a social media profile where it's like, all right, you can follow people if you want to. And someday some people might not ever record, but they'll listen. And so, like, pastors, preachers, more well known people who have nice voices could record, and people could listen to them. So anyway, so just trying to make it a really easy platform. Cost wise, we're trying to keep it as cheap as possible. It costs nothing to be a listener. There's a small cost to be a content creator, because obviously we've got salaries with developers. And the main guy who you'll probably hear from later, who's kind of been my chief operating officer, Bryce. We've got different people that are working on it, and then there's technology within the app that costs money, where it's like voice recognition technology, so you can actually go verse by verse. Like, if I want to start mid chapter, I could click on a verse and actually start on that verse, rather than the clunky going back to Apple idea. There's no way to jump around with that original idea. I can't say, oh, I want to go to Proverbs 13, verse three, and click on that and start where with our app we can. So you can actually go to a specific verse and play there. So there's a lot of technology involved with that, and I'll keep something secret and we'll let them roll out in time. [00:23:33] Speaker A: Bryce is back there going, don't promise too many things. [00:23:38] Speaker B: No, well, the things I've promised so far, our next kind of then and then, just to give a little more context or detail is like, this goes back to kind of day one. And I'll share a little bit of this story that I was telling you before. This is Bryce, and I's timing on all this was definitely ordained by God. I mean, just the timing of when I was coming out of my transition, where I was literally probably working 80, 90 hours weeks for four or five months, where I couldn't get my head above water for a few months there. It was tough. He ended up leaving a job, basically at the same time where I was like, okay, I can come up for air. And we already knew each other. We already talked about a couple of other business ventures where I was like, hey, buddy, could you help with this, this and this? He's like, yeah, I can help kind more like a few hours a week type of thing. And I was like, hey, I'm ready to dive headfirst. And it was actually know the Michael Scott in the office back in the day when he has the mullet and he has the picture handshake. So we took a picture like that where? At a mexican restaurant in the Quad cities where we made our deal, where he was going to be full time developing, help develop this app and figure it out. And so the timing was perfect, and he's the perfect guy. He understands tech, he understands the whole process, and he's a kingdom focused guy. And again, another reason I'm excited about it is like, what better way? We got all these issues in the world. We got issues in churches, we got issues just in our country. Government, politics, all sorts of conflict. It's like, what better way to help solve some of that than more people reading the Bible. [00:25:29] Speaker A: Amen. [00:25:30] Speaker B: Yeah, just keep it simple. I love podcasts, love listening to podcasts. But there's nothing better than God's word than to get somebody more rooted in their faith. So I just got excited, and I basically was like, I don't care what this takes. We just need to make it happen. And we needed God to open some doors for sure to make it all happen. And so Bryce was kind of like that first door where it's like, all right, I have somebody who can devote 40, 50 hours a week to this app where they're going to go run with it. Like, hey, here's the idea. Here's all these thoughts, these ideas. All right, go get it done. Which is a big, tall order. So he turns around, and first thing is getting organized with our thoughts and our ideas, and then he turns around and, okay, now we got to go find developers. And so again, crazy godsend. Like, we're looking at hiring corporate app development companies out of Chicago. Or we interviewed some people in third world countries. We were doing all sorts of things, and it was going to cost. Ultimately, it would have cost triple or quadruple what we ended up spending. And one of the companies, we were within a week of signing a contract with this company out of Chicago, and one of the developers was a Christian. He's like, hey, I love your idea. I want to see this succeed. Selfishly, we want to develop this like, we want to be here for it. And I forget all the reasons. But a couple that I remember were, hey, you're going to need continuous development on this. And ideally, your app isn't like a build it, set it, forget it. This is like, hey, this is going to be ideally around for a long time. You want to make it better. You want to make it cleaner. You want to have the ability to do this, and you want to have the same developers on it. Long term. He's like, so we'd get it done faster. Like, we could get this done in six weeks for you, but it's going to be triple or quadruple the cost. He's like, you should go to this website. It's called upwork. That's why I bring him places. He knows things called upwork. And he posts a job posting of like, hey, we're looking to develop a Bible app. And next thing you know, we've got something stupid, like 70 applications within. So now his job is literally interviewing all these people talking about, all right, who's the right fit? And the goal was just hire one guy or girl. Just get one person to get going on this from a budgetary standpoint was the original goal. And then ultimately, we found the two perfect guys. And so we were like, all right, because there's different sides of app development. And one was perfect for that side, one was perfect for that side, and UI and Ux is what it's. Yeah. User interface and user experience. [00:28:21] Speaker A: Okay. [00:28:21] Speaker B: Yeah. Look at me knowing things. [00:28:23] Speaker A: You're so smart. [00:28:23] Speaker B: So smart. I almost didn't get it right. And so one's focused on UI, one's focused on Ux. And so found the two perfect guys who are passionate about the project, and we made it work. God opened doors financially and some investors and the whole bit to get it up and running, that was back in. That would have been August probably of this past year, 23 by the time we found them and got them going. And then here we are in March, and we were using this platform called test flight, and we had a few handful of beta testers who were using it and coming back with, hey, here's this glitch, here's this issue, here's this thing. And the developers go and fix it and change it and do what they had to do. And then it got to a point where to me, it's like, it's never going to be 100% perfect. There's going to be things that happen. I've got high expectations. Same thing with my business on the wealth management side, it's like my expectations are high. I always want the best thing for people and best thing for me and the best product I can produce is what I want to do. And so it was hard for me, but I was like, hey, it's ready to go out there and it's usable and it's only going to get better. And so got to the point where we got it approved by Apple and now it's on the App Store, and the name of it is rooted bible app. [00:29:57] Speaker A: I was going to ask you to dive into that name. [00:29:59] Speaker B: Yeah. So shout out John Walker. [00:30:02] Speaker A: Okay, there you go, John. [00:30:03] Speaker B: Shout out John Walker. [00:30:05] Speaker A: Another Emmaus alum. [00:30:06] Speaker B: Another Emmaus alum. He was one of the two guys, really, that I brought in early. [00:30:12] Speaker A: Okay. [00:30:13] Speaker B: And one thing we were praying through consistently. And this was right, I think right around the time where Bryce came into the mix, we were like, all right, we got to figure out a name that we can start using. And it was maybe a few days later, and we would meet usually it was like Wednesday morning at 06:00 a.m. For a couple of hours to go through things. And we always start with prayer. And John starts praying. And he used the word rooted, talking about, we want people to be rooted in their faith and rooted in reading scripture. And he kept saying, rooted. And he says, amen. And then we all look at each other, we're like, rooted. So we stuck with it. And then slogans kind of became advance the kingdom, preserve the legacy was kind of the punchline slogan that we went with. Because originally it was like, for me, going back to beginning was like, all right, I want to preserve my legacy. I want to leave a spiritual inheritance to my kids and my wife, like, if I were to pass away young or old before my wife. And so I was like, all right. That was my main purpose. And then as time went on pretty quickly, it was like, all right, this could be a pretty good evangelical tool and just a sanctification tool for believers to get in the word. It should be enough. If we're being honest, it should be enough that like, hey, God saved you. Go read the bible. It's not for a lot of people. And people kind of can stay in that stage of never really getting deep into the word. And so it gives them another reason to where it's like, hey, I want to leave this legacy to my know, you hear about moms, dads, grandparents saving voicemails from loved ones who have passed away. It's like, I'm never going to delete. And I do the same thing. I literally have the first voicemail that Becca ever left me on my voicemail still, and she doesn't leave me voicemails anymore. But my voicemails, I have, like, probably 30 red messages in there, and 29 of them are Becca, because I'm just not getting rid of them because I love hearing your voice. I love hearing your message, love hearing you say, I love you. And so that was the main focus at first, and then it became a thing. Where we are focusing on really three things is what we were focused on. We were like, all right, like, the family, churches and schools were our three at first. And now the app is focused on family, but has enough functionality where a church or a school can use it as a tool. So one of my first examples of these guys were from a, from a non legacy perspective. From a non, hey, I want to leave sign for my kids perspective. I was like, I went to Emmaus Bible college. Guess what you have to do your freshman year. You have to read the Bible cover to Emmaus. I don't want it to be like a ruler where you slap people with it. I wouldn't expect them to, because recording audibly takes a lot more time than reading in your mind or even listening audibly. And so it might not be, hey, you have to record the whole Bible, it's like, hey, certain chapters we're going to have you record using this tool and verify that you're doing it. And there's some accountability there from a teacher's perspective. You talk about John Walker's school down in Kansas. It's like, all right, once kids learn how to read, whatever, I don't even know what grade that is. 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade, first grade, whatever, you can start recording the Bible, like in a pre k through twelve school. It's like, all right, start the project when they're learning to read, and then by the time they graduate from school, they're going to have the Bible fully recorded. And for me, as a parent, if I have my daughter, my third kid, my daughter, starting at age six or seven, recording herself, read the Bible until she's 18, and I have that recording for the rest of my life, I kind of like that. I like the sound of that. So we were looking at it from schools and churches just naturally. It's just like, hey, as a church, hey, we're going through Romans right now. We're going to be in Romans one through three next week. Go record Romans one through three. And really, more importantly for me, it's like our first rule about Fight Club is don't talk about Fight club, but our church, we call it fight clubs. So I've got two other guys in my fight club. And so we're talking about using it from, hey, let's all get in the word together. Let's make sure from Bible study, like, hey, go read John. But then this is holding each other accountable to leaving behind that spiritual legacy to your kids. So a lot of focuses. Pricing's kind of all over the map. We make it cheaper by the head. So if a family, like, if a dad wants to have his wife and the kids record, it gets cheaper by the head. And then I heard today, figured out our whole discount code thing, so we're hoping to get some of those out there, because this truly is not a money grab for me. It'd be nice to recoup what I invested in it. And even the investors that gave money towards it, they don't even really necessarily expect a return of principal at any point, but it'd be nice to have enough revenue just to keep it running and making it better. That's really the goal behind why we're charging. There's a cost to record, naturally, but then also the salaries of developers and guys who are hopefully taking it to next levels where it's better and better. [00:35:56] Speaker A: One of the things I like about this. So my wife's grandmother, who's the great grandmother of my two year old, has been reading children's storybooks out loud, recording them on her phone, texts me the MP3, ships the book down so that my two year old can sit there and have an audiobook of her great grandmother reading. This is that same idea, but with scripture and simplifying the process, where I could say to her, I could say, hey, do you want to do the same thing for my two year old? But know she lives up in Minnesota? So there's this familial aspect of kind of bringing people together through scripture that over a big distance, it's one know, thinking about you and your family, and I can record and be on the road. And then there's this other aspect of people have family members all over the world, people they love all over the world. And being able to kind of bond through this digital medium over scripture, I think that's wonderful. I think that's awesome. [00:37:00] Speaker B: Yeah. And I've seen that already in my life. So first of all, my boys, they're four and five, about to be six every night they want me to record the Bible. We lay down, cuddle, and I'm there holding the phone, and I record. Usually right now we're going through proverbs, and then we usually do one of the gospels for a chapter. But then the next thing is listen to Ellen, Becca's mom, Ellen Vulgarino, she's going through psalms and proverbs and started Isaiah and every, like, literally when you record something, click, save. Somebody across the world can go listen to it immediately. It's there. So if Ellen goes, records that night, psalms, well, okay, cool. We can go and listen to that. And our kids have loved, like, absolutely loved it. They feel close or to grandparents. I feel just, it's just a different level of connection spiritually than I've experienced as far as from a digital. Yeah, it's been a real impact on my family already as far as being connected to grandparents and great grandparents someday. And one of my budies who posted on Facebook about it, the post you, you know, you want to leave back in the know. If you look at the Bible and they're going through genealogy and it's like they can name how many generations are on there, it's like forever, right? Where today can you go name your great great grandparent? [00:38:35] Speaker A: No. Yeah. [00:38:38] Speaker B: I couldn't even tell you my great grandparents first names, if I'm being honest. I got my grandparents nailed because they were alive when I was alive. I can't go deeper than that. And so we're talking decades away from this, where it's a real thing. But it's like, hey, from a generational standpoint, to get your family connected on, hey, my great, great, great grandkids, if Jesus hasn't come back yet, are going to be able to hear me, read the Bible and stay connected that way. And there's going to be a family tree function within the app where you connect the accounts. It's going to be a real thing where that was a biblical thing. Genealogy was a big deal back in the day, and we've kind of gone away from that as definitely a country, maybe not as a world. There's other countries who might not have as much as us here in the US. But getting back to that, where it's like there is a genealogy where you can go and track and you know who your great, great great grandparents were through them reading the Bible and leaving notes, and you can go listen to, hey, I was struggling financially, and these verses here helped me with that. And being able to topically save things to those files, like, you can either do it by name or topic. So it's like financials. It's like you put in there. I was strong with this. Or you can be as transparent as you want. It's your Bible with your struggles. So there's a lot of layers to this that at its core, you just want to do it for your kids. That was where the idea came from for me. But as we've developed it and thought through it and talked through it, it's like, man, this is a tool that can be used for so many different things, which is what makes us ultra excited. [00:40:28] Speaker A: That's awesome. Well, thank you for coming on, Scott. It's been great. [00:40:32] Speaker B: It's a pleasure. [00:40:33] Speaker A: I really appreciated it. [00:40:34] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:40:34] Speaker A: Well, now we have Bryce, the man who was previously behind the camera, now in front of the camera. Thanks for coming on. [00:40:41] Speaker C: Absolutely. [00:40:42] Speaker B: It's great. [00:40:42] Speaker A: It's been nice to meet you today. It's my first chance getting to know you. Is this your first time on campus here at Emmaus? [00:40:48] Speaker B: Yes. [00:40:48] Speaker C: And when I walked into the doors, I saw a man sitting on a bench looking like he was waiting for someone, and I was like, that's got to be our guy. That was just ultimate hospitality. So big kudos to you. [00:40:58] Speaker A: Thank you. [00:40:59] Speaker C: I noticed that and appreciated it. [00:41:01] Speaker A: I appreciate that. Well, I had to do something. The campus is pretty empty. It's spring break right now, so there's not a lot of people. I had to make sure you guys saw somebody, at least when you showed up. Tell me a bit about getting to know Skyler. You guys are kind of related, if that's bit. [00:41:18] Speaker C: Yeah, we're probably going on year seven now since I first heard of Skylar. Because when I first was introduced to the Sandry family, he was still in Arizona. [00:41:28] Speaker A: Okay. [00:41:29] Speaker C: So I heard a lot about him, but I didn't get to personally meet him till he was up here. And honestly, I think the first time I met you was probably at the golf club, probably at Crow Valley. I worked at the golf club that his family was members at. So I actually, when my wife and. [00:41:47] Speaker A: I, it's a good way to spend a lot of time with Skyler. [00:41:49] Speaker C: It is. At a golf course. It'll make you feel very like when my wife and I moved to the Quad Cities to go play college baseball and start to figure out what we wanted to do just as a family. And professionally, we wanted to start having kids. We're just trying to figure all this stuff out. We've been married almost two years. So we come to the Quad Cities and Skyler's parents opened up their house. They were empty nesters. They opened their house to us and we lived with them for two years. [00:42:18] Speaker A: Okay. [00:42:18] Speaker C: And their whole thing was, hey, don't spend any more money than you have to while you're in college. We've known you was. Our connection to their family is a little bit intricate where my wife has a younger sister who started dating the Sandri's son, Skyler's younger brother. So our families had kind of all woven together through this family that both me and Andrew have now married into. So we'd known them, they welcomed us in. We lived with them for two years. So I indirectly knew Skyler for quite a while. But then my first interaction with him was actually house sitting their house. I had never even met the guy. And we're staying at their house. So I'm, like, creeping on the family pictures and like, yeah, I know nothing about this dude. There's a safe down here. So he's know he's probably got something cool in there. And then really, we didn't start becoming any sort of closeness, really until would we'd see each other at Sandry family functions because my wife and I have always been really welcomed into those. But this was a pretty big. There was kind of a natural gravitation that neither of us really planned, I don't think it just started happening. And then he started to see me being involved in some different things he was doing and asking about it. And I'm a yes man, so he got a lot of yeses. [00:43:54] Speaker A: Well, tell me about your involvement in the development of this app. What's that been like? And then maybe if you need to clarify or correct anything, he might have said yes. [00:44:04] Speaker C: So I did a couple of years of application developing in college. That was my major. And I don't do any coding today anymore, but I understand systems. I've been videographer, video editor, producer, tech director at a church. I've been involved with tech a whole lot. [00:44:23] Speaker A: Okay. [00:44:24] Speaker C: When he had this idea, he just asked me like, is this something you could build? What do you know about it? And I said, well, honestly, one of the things I prize myself most about vocationally is I can figure just about anything out. I'm a grad student of YouTube University. I will figure it out. And I'm staring him dead in the eyes and I'm like, hey, if you trust me, I'll figure it out. So you're kind of taking a chance a little bit, I guess. But I feel like I've proven it and I feel like I'd been doing tons of random stuff for people all over the quad cities for a while. So he pitches the idea. I loved it. Got really excited about it pretty quick. I've got my own three year old and one year old and another on the way. And I'm one of eleven kids in my family, and my family cares a lot about genealogy and all this, so family is a big deal to me as well. So as he's hearing it, I'm like totally latching onto the vision. And immediately we had him over for dinner. He and Becca come over, our kids are playing together and we're just talking at the counter. He's sharing the idea. And I was getting so excited about it that that night I'm googling how to build an app and I'm just, how does this work? And, oh, you have to write in a certain language, and if you want to release on App Store, iPhone and Android, you have to write in different languages. And I just start going down the rabbit hole of trying to figure it out. And then, like you said, I quit my job at the church. And I was like diving into this pretty fully, but ready to do something else. And then we start talking. We have that lunch where he finally comes in. He's like, hey, I think we want to do this. Let's start figuring out some terms. And I was so bought in by then that I feel like I was already running with it. And so those meetings were great, where we just got to make sure we're on the same page. We're starting to clarify. We dreamed super big. We went huge with those meetings, and then quickly realized, after I started talking to people in Poland and San Francisco and Chicago and realized we had to bring it way down. So it's a good thing we had those couple months where it was just completely unhinged, just dreaming, it's going to do this, it's going to do this. And then my job was to then try to boil it down to the absolute core and then pitch those back in those meetings with Skyler and John. And so I was not the founder of a, I wouldn't even say I've had a ton of original ideas or something, but I've been the one who's been able to put the full time workload into it and really dream about what it could be fully like. This has my attention. And then I was pretty much trusted to run with it. And we've had some pretty great interactions since that of what does this look know? There's going to be times, Skyler, where we need to make a decision. What kind of role do I have? What if you're out of town? What if you're in Georgia golfing? What if you're on client? What if we need an answer? I don't know. Do I have the authority to make some calls? I think it's grown us just as friends, working together like that, where there's just a very. You go through something like this, trust is going to either build stronger or completely fall apart. And it's been really good. [00:48:00] Speaker A: Can I ask you a more technical question? [00:48:02] Speaker C: Go for it. I'll do my best. [00:48:03] Speaker A: Do you know if you guys will have the ability, if somebody has already previously recorded sections of scripture, to be able to import that into the app? Can you currently do that? Is that something you guys have talked about? [00:48:13] Speaker C: It's a dream of ours to do that. One of the things that is very technical about what we have to do is we have to use a copyright free translation of the Bible we cannot use without spending almost half a million dollars. We can't use anything from Zondervan or anything from crossway. [00:48:30] Speaker A: Okay. [00:48:31] Speaker C: So we went through that process. That was a pretty early on, rude awakening, I feel like, for us. And it felt like a big setback of man. We can't get these versions that we love, the ones that we all have in our homes. So what are we going to do about this. And it felt like this big, like, oh, this could be the thing that puts the idea to bed. And it's just, we can't get past this. And so I remember immediately I'm starting to stress out and I'm starting to Google stuff. And then it's like, okay, I need to give this to prayer first. This is bad. I'm starting to try to take control of it, shut everything down, spend probably 15 minutes, tell my wife, like, hey, I'm just going to pray God's got it taken care of. I can't imagine this is the thing that just makes us give up. So spent a bit of time in prayer, went back to it, googled, and in my time was like, are there any copyright free translations? Go on Google. Copyright free translations. First thing that pops up is called the world English bible. And I start researching, I actually get in touch with the guy who was part of the team that translated it. And their whole mission is to put the Bible in the hands of as many people in as many nations languages and formats as possible. Audiobook, video, paperback, whatever. So they are translating into languages that this is what they do. It's a group of twelve people, and they're fully supported by churches as missionaries. So a lot of them work overseas right now. I believe they're somewhere in Tanzania or something, and they're working on a tribal language and they're trying to get the gospels translated. So this guy's emailing me in Africa doing what he's doing, and he goes, and I tell him the idea and he just loves it. He goes, yeah, you don't even have to ask permission. The Bible is free to use. And so we start comparing it to some of the different translations we love. One of the biggest differences I've found is instead of like, lord, it says Yahweh in the Old Testament, and they translate his name, yahweh. Other than that, it's pretty comparable to like, Niv versus ESV. It's going to be the same thing. It's just there's nuances. Maybe their studies of the Greek and Hebrew just turn up a different. Well, hey, this was used. I know they translate it like this, but it's actually used 17 other times to mean something more similar to this. So they make the same calls that any other translator would make, where this is where they feel the spirit is leading them to shape it. So I think it's most comparable to the new american standard. Okay, so that's what they say. Like, hey, if you're looking for who are we most like. So we've sort of looked at that as like, that felt like the biggest hurdle. How are we going to get. Is that going to be something that scares people away? Because, man, I'm an ESV guy, or, man, I'm a CSB guy. Sorry, I can't. Or KJV even. So, one of their biggest concerns at the publishers was how are you going to ensure that the reader perfectly reads the Bible? Because if we're going to authorize you to use our version, we're basically saying, hey, entire world, you are now free to record our version. And so that's why, a, it would cost as much as it would, but b, they care a ton about that intellectual property, the work that's been done, and they don't want to submit it, where someone who's never read the Bible or never read their version goes on and, oh, I'm going to listen to this reader who reads an ESV and they start listening and that reader has a note where they totally botch something. This is proving that God actually stands. [00:52:14] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:52:15] Speaker C: And so they're like, if we're going to put our name on it, how are you ensuring. And right now, I don't think we have perfect answers for that. We do have, like Skyler talked about, there's a vocal recognition, a speech transcriber, which is what we're paying the most for. Every time you submit your audio, it runs through a generator that matches your voice to text. It'll tell you if you missed any verses. It'll tell you if we've cut out a few pronunciation things. If you don't know how to say mafibasheth, it's not going to freak out at you. We've put some words in there and pulled back the scale of like, hey, they don't have to get this one perfectly. But that's one thing those publishers care a lot about, is how are you protecting the validity of the text and a little bit of it. And I went back and forth with them. I'm like, hey, how are you verifying that a pastor from stage is preaching the right message when he uses your Bible? [00:53:09] Speaker A: That's probably being recorded and put out there as well. [00:53:12] Speaker C: Yeah, right. And there's licenses that churches have to pay to be, but how much? And some of them took it pretty far. They're like, hey, we love this idea. We got a couple of immediate no's, but then a couple of people took it to their review boards, they took it to their intellectual property boards and they had meetings and so it was cool to get that relationship built with a few people where they love what we're doing, but they're like, hey, we also just paid Jonathan Rumi $200,000 to read our version of the Bible to release on our audio app. So they're like, we believe in what you guys are doing, but the way that they're a. [00:53:53] Speaker A: You did a good job defending them. I was about ready to start calling. [00:53:56] Speaker C: Them out and saying I was too. [00:53:57] Speaker A: Dundervan and Crossway locked right away. [00:53:59] Speaker C: I was ready to drive to Chicago, so I was going to walk right in there. [00:54:03] Speaker A: Right in the. [00:54:04] Speaker C: Yeah, I know where you are. I lived there. But yeah, I've since been able to take a step back and sort of see it through what they have to. It's a lot more political there than I'd like it to be, which is part of what I love about the world. English Bible guys. They're like, are you kidding me? Yeah, you don't even have to. This is yours. This is the Bible. It's meant to be free. It's meant to be in people's hands. [00:54:27] Speaker A: That's great. [00:54:27] Speaker C: So I love that. Even though it's a version that I'm sure people are going to see and be like, oh, I don't know. But I just ask them to trust it. I don't know. [00:54:39] Speaker B: It's not meant to replace. [00:54:41] Speaker C: No, it's not. It's definitely a tool and a supplement. And we're not asking you to throw away your favorite version to do this. It's just what we have to do. I dream of a day where two to five years down the road there has been success and rooted's taken off and maybe some of those people see it and they want to join and they want to partner with us. And I think we'd be open to that personally. We're not going to. No. You missed your chance when we were just a little baby rooted. Our goal is to. That was one of the things in our first meetings, we want people to be able to choose what version they read in. So we picked like our top six, the most popular six. Let's see if we. And those are all the publishers I emailed and over six, but someday. [00:55:36] Speaker A: So Apple and Android App Stores. Correct. The Google Play store and the App Store. The iPhone App Store. [00:55:43] Speaker C: Yep. [00:55:44] Speaker A: Is there a desktop version or a website to go you. [00:55:48] Speaker C: It's like you were sitting in on our meeting. These are all things that. So part of the reason we don't have that yet to answer that question right away. That is a goal because you have people around the world that have setups like this, and I want you to be able to pull your laptop up, set your audio, get in your acoustically treated room, do what you want to do. I don't even care if someone's got a vision. To have someone playing guitar while they read it and mix their own stuff, that's a big dream. But that's going to be down the road and it's going to be a big release. I mean, that's something we'd have to hire. Our developers are mobile application developers. They don't build native programs for operating systems and desktops. So it would definitely have to be after revenue is seen. We're a functioning business. There's success financially and then I could see that being something we definitely do down the road. [00:56:48] Speaker A: But that'd be pretty cool. Yeah, that's why I was asking as I was thinking about it's one thing just to pull out your iPhone and hit record with the microphone that's on the iPhone, but it'd be another thing. [00:56:57] Speaker C: To be able to plug $400 sm seven b right here. [00:57:00] Speaker B: Exactly. [00:57:02] Speaker A: Well, thank you very much for coming on. This is great to get to know you and we're excited about this app. It's awesome. [00:57:08] Speaker C: I am too. Very good. It is not worn off on me. I still love what we're doing. [00:57:13] Speaker A: So rooted. Look up rooted in the google Play store. [00:57:17] Speaker C: Rooted bible app is rooted. Someone had already taken rooted for some wellness something. Rooted bible app. [00:57:24] Speaker A: Okay. And that's the Google Play store, the Apple App Store. So well, thank you very much. [00:57:30] Speaker C: Absolutely. [00:57:34] Speaker A: Thank you for listening to concerning him on EMEA's podcast. Ministries like concerning him are possible because of the generous contributions from our partners around the world. For more information about partnering with us, please visit emeas.edu slash partner close.

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