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3 Reasons to Consider Mobile Apps for Your Church

3 Reasons to Consider Mobile Apps for Your Church

March 17, 2014 by

With the world moving to mobile, churches are beginning to tap into the new “lingua franca” to better engage with their congregations. Because mobile apps offer a tailored and highly engaging experience to the individual user and account for 80% of time spent on the average American’s smartphone, churches have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their members.

But with the average church budget getting tighter every year, is a mobile app really worth the money?

When most think about buying a new piece of technology, the natural reaction is to put on the brakes. Up-and-coming innovations are usually expensive, difficult to troubleshoot and become outdated quickly.

However, there is good news. A mobile app is not merely a piece of technology, but an investment. Here are three reasons why:

1. A mobile app can cut print costs in half.
Printing bulletins for each service every Sunday is not only costing churches money, but time and manpower. Unfortunately, anyone who cleans up after a service can tell you that most of those bulletins are either getting left behind or tossed in the recycling bin right after the closing prayer. But consider this: By encouraging attendees to access the bulletin via their mobile app, a church could potentially only print half the previous number of paper bulletins, saving time, money and the environment.

2. Your congregation is using smartphones.
People are not only using smartphones to access content during the week, they’re using them in church on the weekends as well! In many churches, it’s just as common to see members reading scripture from their phones as it is to see them reading out of a traditional paper Bible. According to Brandon Vogt, over 74% of churchgoers read the Bible electronically, as the popular Bible app YouVersion has been downloaded tens of millions of times in 100 languages worldwide. The world has shifted to mobile as its primary communication medium, and will not wait for the reluctant to catch up.

3. Your congregation is busy.
After the sanctuary empties after the final weekend service, life happens to even the most well-meaning attendees. Missed event registration deadlines, forgotten outreach opportunities, even skipping the sermon for the member who hit “snooze” one too many times are realities churches must take into consideration. With features like push notifications, one touch “save-to-calendar,” and sermon media, an app enables churches to continue communicating interactively with their busy congregations well into the week. A mobile app for your church functions as a digital accountability partner to those seeking to be more involved.

In learning the “lingua franca” of mobile, an app is not a one-time purchase, but a long-term investment with far-reaching effects.

Editor’s Note: Bluebridge ChurchApps can help your church take advantage of mobile apps. We’re partnering with them to share some mobile insights, and if you decide to work with Bluebridge, we get a referral fee. You can take a leap forward with mobile technology and help us continue to help churches communicate better. Get started by connecting with Bluebridge ChurchApps.

Read our other posts in this series on mobile:

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano
Post By:

Santiago Jaramillo


Santiago Jaramillo is the CEO of Bluebridge Digital (parent company to Bluebridge ChurchApps), a mobile app company that helps organizations like churches engage through compelling mobile apps. Santiago was named to Inc. magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30 World’s Coolest Entrepreneurs” list in 2013.
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4 Responses to “3 Reasons to Consider Mobile Apps for Your Church”

  • Sandi
    March 17, 2014

    Have to disagree with point #2. Our congregation is only at about 50% smart phone use. Wish it were otherwise, but this is our reality.


    • Andrew Clark
      March 24, 2014

      Hey Sandi—

      Andrew Clark form Bluebridge ChurchApps here.

      It’s true: not every church has the same percentage of smartphone users. We usually advise churches to wait until at least 50% of the congregation is using smartphones before considering an app, and even then it’s best to wait until your church identifies a definite need to engage in that way.

      The percentage of smartphone users in your church will continue to grow. Even if a mobile app isn’t a good fit for you now, it’s good that you’re thinking about it for the future.

      Best,

      Andrew


  • Jen
    March 21, 2014

    Except for push notifications, all of these features can be included in a mobile or responsive website. A standalone app seems an unnecessary expense, especially for smaller churches.


    • Andrew Clark
      March 24, 2014

      Hey Jen,

      Andrew from Bluebridge ChurchApps here.

      Did you see our 2nd post in this series, which talked about the difference between mobile apps and mobile sites? http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/2014/03/mobile-sites-mobile-apps-for-your-church/

      We’re a big fan of mobile sites, as they’re a great tool for specific jobs. Our churches use mobile apps in a totally different way. Check out that post and see what you think. A member of our team would be happy to talk with you about the differences if you’d like to discuss further.

      Best,

      Andrew



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