6 Reasons Your Small or Medium-sized Church Should Consider a Church App

The numbers don’t lie. According to Smart Insights, Americans spend 71% of their digital time on mobile devices and almost 3 hours a day on them.

I could give you a list of numbers to back up the point I’m going to make, but if you work in a church, you probably already get it. You see it on Sunday mornings when your church attendees pull out the Bible app on their phone. You hear it when you walk by a Sunday School class and a student is being asked to put their phone away. You see kids (and some adults) swing by your church to make a quick PokeStop, if you are one of the many lucky churches to have been made a location.

The fact is, your church attendees are already heavily dependent on their mobile devices to stay connected to their most valuable information and entertainment. The question is, don’t you want your church to be just as valued as what keeps them glued to their devices?

Here are some reasons your small or medium-sized church should consider a custom church app (and yes, they are affordable, even for small church budgets):


1. Communicate to your target audience more effectively

Email, Facebook, mailings, handouts, etc. All of these are great forms of communication, but all are so easily missed or ignored altogether. Much of the news you try to deliver on these mediums never captures the short attention span of your church. You could be reaching them on a much more effective platform: their devices.

The smartphone home/lock screen is (in this former youth pastor’s opinion) the most powerful and valuable real estate in communication today. It’s simple to get your message on this real estate with push notifications that come with any great custom app platform. You can also target specific ministries in your church with subscriptions. At my last church, we created a subscription for Youth, Children, and Adults, for example. If you want to stay up to date on anything regarding those ministries, you can receive push notifications. You just can’t get that kind of specificity on any other platform.


2. Increase giving opportunities

Online giving keeps growing within the church. In fact, 39% of young Christians claim to give once a month to a church online. If you are accepting tithes and donations, don’t you want to give your church members an opportunity to give in a way that makes them feel most comfortable? Millennials don’t carry cash and checks. They enjoy the simple, easy experience of splitting bills by using apps like Square Cash. When it comes to giving, people have preferences. Your church needs to make sure you meet everyone’s giving preferences or you’ll be leaving tithes on the table. With a mobile app, sending a push notification at the end of the year to meet the budget is one of many simple, effective ways to increase a giving opportunity. With the right platform, you can even have a push notification sent when users enter your church, reminding them to give.


3. Create some excitement within your church

In my church, we launched an app and within the week, someone emailed the senior pastor and said that she was thinking about leaving our church for several reasons. However, after we had announced the new app that previous Sunday morning, she decided to stick around to see what other changes we might make. New and different is exciting and you should never stop seeking to have some excitement going on in your church. For small and medium-sized churches, new and exciting doesn’t have to come with big expenses. There are several church app platforms that are incredibly affordable.


4. One, simple place to keep sermon and teaching resources

Imagine a place where sermon notes, videos, and podcasts live in one convenient location and are accessible at the push of a button. Amazing, right? Now imagine that the device that holds all that information is with you 24/7. Well, it already is – if you have a custom mobile app for your church. Good church app platforms contain all kinds of wonderful features that your church can benefit from. One of the best parts about a good church app isn’t the features, though. It’s the fact that all of these features are so easily accessible by launching an app on your mobile device by the touch of a button.


5. Get volunteers to actually respond to you

One church that I worked with to build a custom app decided to get sneaky. After a few days of struggling to get nursery volunteers for an event by way of email, they decided to send a push notification to everyone in the church. The notification was worded in such a way that it felt personal. “We need your help with nursery this Sunday…” Within an hour of sending the notification, they had the four volunteers they needed. Because the message was delivered to each church member’s personal device and had a personal message, the ask felt more personal. Custom church apps allow you to solve old problems in new ways.


6. Reduce other costs in your budget

Many churches offer their weekly bulletin/hand-out as a feature in their app. As that becomes a habit for your church, you can end up saving hundreds and eventually thousands on wasteful printing. Not to mention all the time it saves printing, folding, and handing out physical items. How long does it take to send out 300 mailings about an upcoming event? It takes 5 minutes to draft and send a good push notification that can link to an event with additional details and a registration form. There are no envelopes to stuff and no postage to pay with a custom church app.

Custom church apps are no longer only beneficial for big churches with big budgets. If your small or medium-sized church has ever considered an app, don’t wait any longer. You have too much to lose and a lot to gain.


Get started today!

Our clients have voted us to be one of the Best!

Crypto payments are fast, secure and anonymous, they are cheaper to process and hence are widely used by businesses in all areas. Best of all, there is no chance of Chargeback or fraud! We are proud to provide one of best crypto payment…

Grateful and Proud to be Chosen

We are so excited to be featured in one of the recent articles of 10 + Best Church Management Software for 2020. This is a testimony to the significance that the role of software applications plays in the church community by improving and strengthening their communication, thus empowering them just with their device in the palm of their hands.  The past few weeks have been very trying because of the pandemic, and there is no better way and timing to have our kind of product with you.

According to multiple studies, mobile users spend 90% of their time in apps compared to mobile browsing apps.  Meaning, you can’t engage with your church on your website the same way you can with an app. Push notifications is one of the greatest features that separates an app from a website.  With push notifications, you can send your church, and specific groups within your church, notifications that appear right on the home screen of their device so surely, you will never miss a thing.

Here is our app building process:

– We will provide you with an initial consultation either by phone or in person to   

discuss and determine the needs of your organization.

– We will create a customized app for your organization based on your input 

until the final version of the app.

– We will submit to the Apple App Store and Google Play Android App Store.

– Once your app is accepted by the app stores, you can direct your   

congregation, your audience, your volunteers, or anyone else to download the app and begin using it.

Following are some of the remarkable features that you can explore right at your fingertips:

Website links – Add links to your website and anywhere else you want to direct users.
Videos – Share videos directly on your app and integrate them with Youtube.

Forms – Create forms to send emails to individual staff members, or for event registrations and first time guests.

Contact info – Create a page with your churches most important information. Links to quickly call, email, and visit your website.

Geofencing Notifications – Have a push notification sent when someone is near your church or another area.

Sermon Podcast – Easily link and listen to sermon podcasts right from within your app.

Online Giving – A sharing portal where we can aid our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

Discussions – Create a feature for users to post and reply to prayer requests, community needs, Q & A, and anything else your church may need.
And many others!

Having our product is very timely especially with the way things are going on(pandemic, lockdowns).  You can start enjoying these on $57/month + one-time basic setup fee. Unlimited Features, Data, and Push Notifications.  It’s that simple.

Given these facts, we are honored that Top Software Development Companies recognized us.  You will see on their website they are proud to say that they are number one in helping people discover the best software development company for your entity.  Their experienced analysts have searched the world for the top software developers based on industry, location, and more to narrow down your own search for the perfect developer.

We got chosen.  GoChurchApp got chosen.  It means we are doing something right.

To see more about Top Software Development Companies, just click on the link.  They will help you narrow down your search, ask the right questions, and advise you on how to find the best software firm for your project.

How We Create a Custom Church App

First Evangelical Covenant Church of Grand Rapids, MI was one of our very first churches to begin using the Go Church App platform. We worked very closely with FirstCovGR to figure out exactly how our features could help their church go further in achieving their mission. This article explains how we create a custom church app by telling the story of working with FirstCovGR to build their custom ministry app (iOS / Android).

How we create

When building custom apps for churches and ministries, we follow what we call a “4-D system.”

Define > Design > Develop > Deploy

Define

During this process we seek to understand the uniqueness of your church.

  • How big is the congregation?
  • How involved is the average member?
  • How many different ministries do you offer?
  • What are your current modes of communication?
  • What communication mode is the most effective?
  • What communication mode is the most well-liked by your church?
  • And the list goes on…

Answering these questions, and finding that there were questions that FirstCovGR didn’t know the answer to, like, “What communication mode is the most effective?” and “What communication mode is the most well-liked?” helped us define exactly what they wanted and needed out of a custom app. That led us to a clear plan for designing an app unique to their needs.

Design

Whether you are aware of it or not, your church or ministry already has a established brand identity. That takes some of ground work out designing an app. Most likely, you already have a website. Consistency is one of the most crucial components to building a brand that people trust and are loyal to. For FirstCovGR, we looked to their newly re-designed website as a guideline for design.

The bright blue and green used throughout their website and usage of Google’s own design language, Material Design was what we used for inspiration when designing the FirstCovGR app.

firstcovgr-screenshot

Websites vs Apps

When designing a new custom app for your church or ministry, it helps to understand the key differences between a website and an app. Websites are more informational than interactional, while apps are more interactional than informational. What does that mean? Websites are more for discovery, while apps are more for engagement. If you are looking for a new church, you do a search on Google for a church. There is more of a commitment to download an app than there is to visit a website. Websites are great places to define and explain ministries, while an app is a great place to remind people to engage with those ministries and gather information from people.

Example: Every Fall at FirstCovGR there is a large campaign to get regular attendees/members involved in a small group if they aren’t already. Utilizing their custom app, FirstCovGR sent out push notifications to both look for host homes for these small groups and to allow interested attendees to request to be a part of a small group. This process was much more highly effective than email and website forms.

Develop

Once the design is understood, we start adding features, or what we also refer to as “tabs” in the app. Features are typically organized and identified by icons. The human eye identifies an image much faster than a word, which makes icons so powerful. Each icon/name pair in the FirstCovGR app represents a specific feature. We included the following features right away:

  • Calendar – a mobile-friendly link to their Google Calendar so events sync automatically
  • Give – simply a link to their online giving (we can link to any only giving or suggest a great company)
  • Email us – a tab with a list of staff members where you can fill out a simple form to contact that staff member (the form sends an email to the staff member)
  • Notifications – the tab that allows your app users to subscribe to ministry area specific notifications
  • Small Groups – a tab to fill out interest in joining a small group where users can select their available days to join a small group
firstcovgr-small-group-screenshot

Several other features were added and many are used dynamically for short periods of time. FirstCovGR did an Amazing Race event and used the app to collect team registration forms.

Deploy

This is last phase of creating a custom app for churches. Before we submit your custom app to the app store, we take it for a test drive. We look for bugs to squash, broken links, missing information, etc. Once it passes our pre-deployment checklist, we submit the app to iOS and Google Play (Android) app stores. Android typically takes 1 business day to process, while iOS can take up between 7-12 business days.

Mobile Giving Statistics Churches Need To Know

We did a little research across the web and put together a short infographic of some of the mobile payment statistics that we believe churches need to know. Make your own assumptions based on these facts, but if you’d like, we’ve added our comments below about how these statistics play a role in mobile giving for churches.

how-mobile-payments-will-grow-your-church

Mobile giving is trending up. These statistics only give is a little window into the huge reality of mobile payments. That 210% increase mentioned in the infographic is going from $8.71 billion to $27.05 billion These numbers include eCommerce sales and all types of mobile payment transactions, but there is some important truth behind that staggering increase year-over-year.

Using smartphones to make financial transactions is growing more and more popular at an alarming rate.

Businesses aren’t ignoring it. Churches and ministries shouldn’t ignore it either. In fact, faith-based organizations have more of a reason than anybody to pay attention and take action as their industry has seen the greatest increase in mobile giving since last year.

How can churches adopt mobile giving?

It’s easier than you think. If you already have a mobile giving solution, great! But, did you know you can make the process even easier by integrating that into your very own custom mobile app?

You can, and we’d love to talk to you about it.

Don’t already have an online giving solution?

Don’t worry about it. We’ll help you figure out what’s best for your church or ministry.