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.
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.
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.
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?
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.