Key Qualities of the Best Church Apps

(May 26, 2015) – At Bluebridge, we talk with churches all across the country every day about how a mobile app can drive more engagement with their congregation. And though I can share best practices, there’s no substitute for how each church makes their app their own.

Having talked with so many churches, it’s abundantly clear that the best apps available today are the ones that engage members the deepest. Here are a few characteristics I’ve found to be true of the best church apps available:

Engaging Features

Part of keeping your members engaged with your app is giving them something to be engaged with. Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX doesn’t just use the reading plan feature in their Bluebridge app. They also pair each reading with written commentary from a member of the pastoral team to add another element of engagement and understanding. Their announcements section also features weekly snapshots of upcoming events so users don’t have to sift through all the information to find the biggest and most important programs going on.

Shorten Time to Taking Action

A church mobile app isn’t just a trendy way to show your members you’re tech-savvy. It’s a way to engage them and get them to take action on your programs. While paper bulletins are often read and put away only to be found after important events have taken place, an app can add events to personal calendars right away, so users never forget what’s coming throughout the week. Church of the Redeemer in Gaithersburg, Maryland employs an eBulletin to do just that, as well as an in-app welcome card and even a page with app support information for those in need of assistance. As a multi-campus church, Church of the Redeemer has a lot going on—which is why they not only post their upcoming events in the app, but they also direct users to a “featured events” page with the biggest activities across the church body.

 

In-Service Engagement

iTown church in Fishers, IN routinely sees the majority of their members using the app each Sunday and over half engaged throughout the week—a number much higher than the average. How do they do it? They are diligent about mentioning their app during service each week. By employing the fill-in-the-blank sermon notes feature, congregants make use of the app while still deeply engaging with the message. In addition, they’ve begun polling app users to gain a deeper understanding of where they are in their faith journey. By placing a form field right in the sermon notes tab, they can easily and accurately collect responses from newcomers and members alike.

What makes a church app one of the best? Meeting church members’ needs with useful features and taking them one step further through a little creativity and innovation. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on custom features and bells and whistles. All you have to do is provide the up-to-date, relevant content that your users crave most in order to keep them engaged the whole week through.

Check out this chart of some of the best vendors for making an app for your church a reality.

 

 

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Author: Chris Evans

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