How Churches Use Apps: Southside Church
(February 23, 2015) – When Robin Harper set out to build a mobile app for her church, she wanted something that offered more. As Director of Communications at Southside Church in Chesterfield, VA, Harper was looking for a provider that could offer backend support, as well as the long-term vision to accomplish big future goals.
The following interview highlights Southside Church’s path to create a mobile app and the success they’ve seen since launching.
BLUEBRIDGE: Why did you choose to build your mobile app with Bluebridge?
HARPER: Volunteers with technical expertise at our church offered to help build it in the beginning, but I was looking for someone to provide me with ongoing support. If I have a vision for something, I need to know I have someone I can call. 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. Bluebridge was able to meet my needs.
BLUEBRIDGE: Now that your app is live, what features does Southside Church use most?
HARPER: Our favorites are push notifications, sermon notes, the calendar, and video player, which all have real-time updating capabilities so we don’t have to go through the marketplace resubmission process every time we change something. It’s an interactive tool to help our members do what they need, while being able to share with friends. Now, our members can have information in their hands whenever they need it.
BLUEBRIDGE: How have you promoted your app to members and new attendees?
HARPER: Our promotion has mostly been verbal, but we’ve also built awareness through email, our website, and our church ushers and greeters. We even hope to have a mounted iPad in the welcome area soon to serve as a tutorial for newcomers.
BLUEBRIDGE: What success have you seen since launching your app?
HARPER: Our app has been exactly what we’d hoped it would be. Bluebridge has kept me on track, setting realistic timelines, and making sure my role was very clear. We’ve experienced ideal adoption and upkeep—I’m even hoping the app will move us from our paper dependency by cutting down on the 700-some bulletins we print every week.
BLUEBRIDGE: What’s next for Southside Church?
HARPER: Right now, we’re working on our “Who Are Your 2?” campaign, which holds our church accountable for 2% of the people in Chesterfield County who don’t attend church. By inviting two new people to church, each member can make an impact on the goal. And our app gets us closer to achieving it. You want a way to reach out to your friends? We’re going to put it right in your hands with the mobile app.
Get the full story by downloading the Southside Church Customer Success Sheet!
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