5 Reasons to Consider a Church App

Kent Shaffer —  June 13, 2012

We’ve covered the emergence of church apps before. And while it is clear that apps are a growing approach to ministry, there is still a lot of speculation as to how fruitful using a church app is.

Fortunately, the developers at The Church App have provided several case studies supporting 5 reasons why your church should consider using an app.

The Church App platform was created in 2009 when Subsplash, a mobile developer accustomed to working with Cisco, XBOX, Microsoft, and Samsung, developed an iPhone app for Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA). Since then, they have created church apps for Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA), Billy Graham, The Village Church (Flower Mound, TX), Elevation Church (Charlotte, NC), Greg Laurie, IHOP, and The Gospel Coalition.

Needless to say, those 3 years have helped them discover what works and doesn’t work for churches. And here are their 5 reasons you should consider using a church app, too.

#1 :: Reach More People

In the 4 years since The Church App was created for Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA), their app has been downloaded several hundred thousand times. In comparison to Mars Hill’s 15,000 church members, their app reaches 2,000% more people than their average Sunday attendance. While results may vary from church to church, The Church App reports seeing hundreds of other churches also growing their audience by using their app.

#2 :: Become Incredibly Accessible

Gone are the days of sermons only being heard in person or when transcribed in print. Radio and cassettes revolutionized this in the last century. Podcasts and MP3s revolutionized this in the last decade. And now mobile tech is rapidly changing how accessible the gospel is today.

The Church App reports seeing several churches that have doubled or tripled their sermon download rate since using an app. Functionality that lets users listen anywhere with offline downloads, fast forwarding, rewinding, placeholding, and multitasking with other apps has made whole sermon libraries able to fit in your pocket and be accessible at the touch of a button.

#3 :: Reduce Your Cost & Increase Your Effectiveness

The same way that MP3s made spreading the gospel incredibly more affordable, mobile apps can also dramatically reduce the cost to distribute your church’s sermons. But a church app isn’t just limited to sermons. You can also save a tremendous amount by cutting bulletins and other printed materials. ChangePoint Church (Anchorage, AK) says,

The app has allowed us to communicate with the ChangePoint family in a way that has been cost effective and far more engaging than traditional printed communication. Since the launch of the app we have seen the number of people that listen to our messages online double while at the same time we were able to reduce our communications budget significantly and direct much of those saved resources to outreach.

#4 :: Boost Giving

Platforms like The Church App, offer people an alternative way to give while at church or on the go by integrating the app with your current online giving solution. Often the easier it is to give, the more money a ministry can raise. OneLife Church (Henderson, KY) says,

We are a church of about 1,000 adults. We launched the app on December 23 (2 days before Christmas), and even with the holiday,s we have seen 1,008 downloads in the first month, and the first week of giving was 3 times the monthly expense.

#5 :: Share the Gospel

Technology doesn’t replace the personal relationships that are so key to evangelism and discipleship, but it can be an effective tool to connect people to each other and the gospel message. One beautiful testimony from The Church App is:

One of my good friends got his brother-in-law to listen. He’s been listening for the past few weeks and has been a 30-year atheist. He just accepted Jesus two weeks ago after calling my friend and telling him that he had made the decision to follow Jesus after listening to every sermon! He is two states away and this could only be possible with this resource.

Behind The Church App

The Church App is a mobile app platform that lets you create high caliber customizable iPhone, iPad, and Android apps for your church or ministry. They take care of coding, development, publishing, and OS updating, so that you can focus on your mission and content. Features include:

  • Advanced Audio Player to stream instantly, multi-task, resume from interruptions, or download for offline use
  • The Subsplash Video Player is Apple-approved and creates full-length, mobile-optimized videos that are of the highest-quality possible for streaming over wifi and cell networks while conserving battery-life and data-transfer. It is actually one of the few Apple approved video players for videos over 10 minutes.
  • Event listings and maps
  • Calendar
  • Bible with audio and custom reading plans
  • Blogs
  • Online Giving integration
  • Social sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and email
  • Analytics
  • App Builder (CMS) allows real-time updating of content, features, and layout, and color bars.

The Church App has worked with gigachurches and smaller churches of less than 50 members. Regardless of the size, they take their app platform and customize it for the unique needs of each ministry. Their heart is to make the best software available for the presentation of the Gospel and to partner with churches every step of the way.

Special thank to The Church App for supporting Church Relevance by sponsoring this post.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

5 responses to 5 Reasons to Consider a Church App

  1. Thanks for the feature, Kent!

    Here at The Church App, our goal is to make make the Gospel as accessible as possible for the sake of the Kingdom. We’ve worked with churches of all sizes from 40 to 40,000 and have seen some pretty incredible works as a result.

    Please feel free to visit our website http://www.thechurchapp.org to learn a little more about us!

    If you have a heart to share the Gospel, we would love to help you go mobile.

    Krissy

  2. Our church has been talking about doing this for a while. I think your post may have just pushed me over the edge. I’m going to check into it. Thanks for the helpful information.

  3. Thanks for this. Our small, tech. bakwards congregation could benefit greatly from this.

  4. I’d be interested to know if there’s a significant difference between a unique church app and a mobile web site? Currently all the info on our site is pretty easily available via mobile (online giving, online messages, PDF study guides, etx). Seems redundant, or am I missing something?

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