Partner Since: 2014
“I chose Bluebridge because of the features. It’s not just a media player. It’s an interactive tool to help our members do what they need, while being able to share with friends.”
— Robin Harper, Director of Communications, Southside Church
When tasked with the challenge of creating a mobile app for their church, Director of Communications, Robin Harper, set out looking for a provider that could offer ongoing back-end support. While volunteers came forward to help create the initial app, Harper was looking for a higher commitment. “I needed someone I could count on to keep us online and working,” said Harper. “If I have a vision for something, I need to know I have someone I can call.”
In researching potential mobile app developers, Harper looked to the “big churches” and industry experts. “People would show me other apps that were flashy, but they weren’t for us. We wanted more than a media player —we wanted an interactive tool that would keep our members engaged and informed.” After landing on a churchmarketingsucks.com blog written by Bluebridge CEO and Founder, Santiago Jaramillo, Harper decided to build the Southside Church app with Bluebridge.
Since building their mobile app, Southside has delivered a better way for its congregants to stay connected across campuses, age groups, and events. “I chose Bluebridge because of the features,” said Harper. By utilizing favorite features like push notifications, sermon notes, calendar, and video player— all with real-time updating capabilities in the app marketplace—Southside members can have information in their hands whenever they need it. Even with its wide range of features, Bluebridge was Harper’s top choice because of its comprehensive nature. “It’s not just a media player. It’s an interactive tool to help our members do what they need, while being able to share with friends,” she said. Since launching the app, Southside has promoted usership through emails, their website, verbal means, and via church ushers and greeters. They even hope to have an iPad mounted in the welcome area to serve as a tutorial. “It shows we’re paying attention to what’s going on in the world and are trying to be a positive influence in our members’ Christian journey,” said Harper.
Since its launch, Southside has experienced ideal adoption and upkeep with the app. “It’s been what we hoped it would be,” said Harper. “Bluebridge has kept me on track, setting realistic timelines, and making sure my role was very clear.” The app also brings Southside closer to achieving its goal of cutting down on paper dependency, as realized in the 700 bulletins it prints every week. More importantly, Southside plans to use the app in driving new membership through its “Who Are Your 2?” campaign, answering a challenge from its pastor to take responsibility for 2% of the people in Chesterfield County who don’t attend church. By reaching out to two new people that don’t go to church anywhere else, Southside hopes to achieve this goal. “You want a way to reach your friends? We’re going to put it right in your hands with the mobile app,” said Harper. “If you can’t get your friend to physically come to the church, they can participate just as if they were here with the app.”