Five Benefits of a Church App

There’s an app for nearly everything under the sun. As the famous slogan says, “There’s an app for that,” but what about for your church? Has your church joined the mobile revolution? While a mobile app cannot replace a solid mobile-responsive website, there are some benefits to having one.

The Cool Factor

Let’s just get this one out of the way. Though it certainly should not be the main reason your church invests money in a mobile app, this exists. There is just something cool about saying, “Our church has an app.” When marketed correctly, this can be a very valuable tool for evangelism.

Push Notifications

Imagine being able to contact not only church members, but others who are on the fringe about your church. They may just be checking things out and are not ready to commit or sign up for a mailing list, but they will likely download your app. Many app companies will include the ability to send push notifications within the app. This gives you the ability to contact all of your app holders. This can even save you money on purchasing an additional text message service, which usually comes with a monthly subscription fee.

Native Audio and Video PlayersChurch apps

There is a broad range among app developers on this, but when done well, the native players within an app create a great user experience. This is especially useful for reaching folks who cannot attend service for health or work reasons, but still want to stay connected. It’s also great for reaching those that are curious about whether they will be comfortable at your church services.

Accessibility

There are three things that most people never leave their home without. Their wallet, their keys and their phone. Some believe that the day is coming when these will all be one device and all signs are currently pointing to that device being your phone. Why not put your content and communication on a device people are already using multiple hours a day?

Increased Giving

In today’s world, fewer and fewer people actually carry cash. Debit/credit cards account for a major proportion of spending and non-profit giving. Having your online giving available as a part of the mobile app experience can have a significant impact on your total donations. This isn’t some dishonest mind game, this is just making a way for people to give that genuinely want to, but did not think to bring cash to the service. Or maybe they were out of town that week and were not able to put a donation in the offering plate. Allowing people to give via your mobile app, while also engaging with the content of your church, is a surefire way to increase your mobile (and total) donations.

As the world continues to move away from desktop computers and landlines to a more mobile culture, churches that adapt accordingly will be better equipped to reach future generations. Having a mobile app is certainly a piece that you will want to consider. Many companies now offer mobile apps at very affordable prices, so even smaller churches might be in a position to afford one.

Author: Jared Massey

Jared is an associate pastor in a small, rural church. He works mostly with youth and children, but wears many other hats. He also works part-time building mobile apps for churches and non-profits. He is married to his high school sweetheart and together they have two boys. Jared loves spicy foods, 80's music and all things Disney.

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Jeremy,
    I can see your point, but let me elaborate. As a rural pastor, no one understands good stewardship better than I do. I just don’t have a choice, but when reaching out, we have to examine the culture we live in. Many churches spend way more money on a few lights for the stage than the couple hundred dollars they can get an app for. Those lights only benefit those who are actually within the walls of the church, but an app has evangelistic opportunity. And lights are really just about the “cool factor.”
    I started with that one not because I find it most valuable, quite the contrary. I even said, “let’s just get this one out of the way.” In working for an app company the last few years, I can say that this is a reason some churches choose to get an app, and those churches have great hearts. They want to reach a culture with the gospel and see this as a way to do so.
    I hope this helps. To your second point, yes! Think about swing shift factory workers who would then be able to listen (and even interact) with their church while on break or after work. Our company even built an app for a ministry to truck drivers. That is thinking out of the box.

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    • Love it! And thanks for the clarification on that first point. I hate cool for the sake of cool. But I did work in youth ministry for 8 years, so I understand purpose behind it.

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