“Does our church have an app?”
Chances are likely that is a question you’ve recently heard. It’s no wonder people are curious about apps. A quick search in the Apple or Android store reveals that many churches — from the most influential congregations to the community church down the street — are using apps as a way to deliver content and engage its members.
Apps are more than a convenience for your members.
They provide an additional way for members, new members, guests, and seekers to learn about your congregation and the good news of Jesus Christ–from streaming sermons and worship music to reading your latest blog posts or checking service dates and times.
But there’s a problem with most church apps on the market.
Most of them are redundant, expensive, and underutilized. Most church apps only deliver content that is already available via the mobile version of your church’s website, and do not truly provide an additional way to engage in their membership. Mobile-responsive websites are a must, but an interactive app experience for your church can take communication and engagement to the next level. We’d like to break down the differences and share our insight on the benefits of a church app that can engage your members and help you build more meaningful relationships.
A church app that does more to engage members and deliver mobile-focused content can be an incredibly powerful and efficient ministry tool. If you are evaluating an app for your church, here are the five questions we believe should be an essential part of your vetting process. Ask yourself, does your church app offer the following:
- A two-way integration between the app and your church database. Most church apps don’t sync with your database. This means that member information housed within the app does not link to their contact record in your database. Members should be able to update their personal information right from their phone, that way your database stays clean and up-to-date.
- Make important announcements, easily and efficiently. Even if the open rates on your church’s e-bulletin are decent and activity on your church’s Facebook page is high, you shouldn’t discount the power of making important announcements from your church’s app with real-time push notifications.
- Giving through the app. It would be awesome if you could give within the native environment of a church app. However, most church apps will direct you to the mobile giving page on your website, and currently integration with Apple Pay or Google Wallets is expensive. Therefore, we want to be real here. You may have a church app offering you mobile payments, but be sure to check just how those payments are being processed and if there is a transaction fee associated with each gift given through the app.
- Stream content and according to your member’s content preferences. One of the greatest benefits to a church app is to stream customized, engaging content to your congregation directly to them through the app. Video sermons, worship music and other content can help to further engage your members throughout the week, whenever they want to hear the good news.
- Take attendance. Small group leaders should be able to quickly and easily check members in, add/drop members, and update member photos in the church database right from their mobile device.
As you evaluate how your options to expand your digital footprint amongst your congregation, we hope these five questions can guide you toward solutions that will truly engage your church family. If you are evaluating a church app, be sure that it takes the user experience beyond a mobile-friendly website. Here at TouchPoint, we pride ourselves on our newly released mobile app and invite you to check it out.
Watch below: TouchPoint’s All-New Mobile App
We are always here for you if you have questions and would love to talk to you if you are evaluating how a church app could work for your community.
An action-driven app that makes it easier to engage with your church is one that everyone will use.