We live in a mobile society. Even religion has gone digital. Take a look at some of the best church apps and what features they have to offer.
Next time you’re in service, look at the crowd. Are there as many people as there were, say, ten years ago?
If you’re like many modern churches, probably not, we see church attendance fall -, especially with younger people. In fact, a survey sited that one in four people don’t go to church because of practical reasons.
I.e. – it’s not convenient for them. So how to church officials fix this problem and get people back into their congregation? They use church apps.
Church apps bring the church to the user when life gets in the way of them attending service. There are plenty of “best church apps” on the market – but what makes one the best?
More relevant features. We’re taking a look at those features below.
Best Church Apps Features
How can you bring the church to a users phone? By using these tools.
A lot of church apps have sermon recordings, while others stop at serving sermon notes. We’re a fan of the ones with the full recordings – especially now, in the age of podcasts.
If you’re not going to get someone to the church, wouldn’t the second best thing be to have them hear your message? With sermon recordings, your congregation can listen to the word of God at home, while they’re doing whatever they need to do.
Some apps even have sermon video recordings. That means you can look into your congregations “eyes” while delivering your message.
However, streaming video depends on the user’s connection, so if it’s spotty on their end, they may give up and decide not to watch.
Humans are social animals. That’s a scientific and historical fact – we do better when we have groups of people to connect with. Moreover, one place people connect is the church.
However, if they can’t make it to church, then they don’t have that community. They don’t have people to discuss your sermon with or bounce ideas off of.
They can’t even know when someone needs prayers or good energy unless they learn so on Facebook.
Having a chat feature on your church app changes all that. You can set it up so that your congregation can only chat with leadership or set up certain groups.
Think of them like chatrooms – but chatrooms under the eye of God.
3. Prayer Requests
If your denomination puts a lot of emphasis on prayer than you need this tool. Prayer requests are a simple form that lets the other congregation members know who needs some extra attention from God.
It’s a little bit like lighting a candle for someone but in a virtual form. You can even set up push notifications in some apps, so people know when someone’s in need.
Even if no one ever says a prayer for this person (which is unlikely) it serves the requester a sense of calm and purpose. They now feel a little more heard and a little less alone.
4. Giving Features
If you run a small church, then you know that fewer attendees mean fewer offerings in the basket. Also, that basket is what helps pay the rent and put a roof over your worshiper’s heads.
Pass your app users the virtual basket by finding an app with a giving tool. These are secure servers that make donations by card or even through PayPal.
You can send push notifications or run donation drives wholly through the app. You could even set up a leaderboard to recognize who is donating most that month.
5. An Events Calendar
So many people don’t attend events because they didn’t know about them soon enough. That’s the number one reason people don’t show up to your well-planned event you’re so excited about.
Make your event planning costs more efficient and increase attendance with an events calendar in your app. You can use it to spread awareness before the day and send reminders about it.
Some apps even have signed up features or forms you can fill out, which commit you to attend. This is an excellent way to get volunteers for those events too – just make a separate event with the same title and then add – Volunteer Sign up at the end.
Just make sure the app you choose has a sign-up form feature if you choose to do that.
6. News and Updates
If you don’t run a church blog yet, you should. And then you should integrate your blog articles into your app to get more readership.
Some apps offer this section, while others don’t. If you send out newsletters with important information like updates and upcoming events, this is a feature you don’t want to miss.
7. A Bible
Finally, you want to make sure your Church App has an integrated Bible, or that it at least links to one online. It’s not going to help anyone if you quote Luke 11:13 in your sermon and your congregation can’t pull up what it is on their phone.
Of course, they can Google it, but you don’t want them leaving the app. If they leave, they might get distracted and not come back.
Your Congregation, Online
The internet is a blessing, at least when it comes to involving your churchgoers more – or your non-churchgoers, as the reality may be.
Take a good look at this list of features on the best church apps and prioritize what you really need vs. what you can afford.
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