“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.”
In today’s busy world sometimes it can be difficult to know how to find your flock, let alone provide them the attention needed. That’s where technology is a real friend to ministry. With more than three quarters of Americans now using smart phones churches must not resist such an important tool in broadening their reach. Churches often struggle to understand just how revolutionary and critical mobile technology can be to their mission. By offering people the tools they need to stay connected to their church, where they will actually use them (on their phone), churches prove a true understanding of their congregants and a real willingness to attend to their needs anytime, anyplace.
But, what features really matter most to you and your church? Let’s break it down so you can decide:
Awareness Leads to Engagement
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15
Quite simply, you cannot hide your light (or your app) under a bushel. Let’s face it: if your members cannot find your app or are not aware it exists, there really is no other feature that matters. This is where branding comes in. You may not think of your place of worship as a “brand” but in reality your church’s name and the feeling it evokes in your members defines you. The more your members see it the more they identify with you.
Many church apps fail to recognize just how crucial this correlation is. Some apps don’t allow churches to use their own name on the mobile app as it appears on the phone. Instead, the church is made to use the name of a third party developer, which can be confusing for members. The ideal app allows you to stay true to your brand: your own church! Mobile apps like the Seraphim ChurchApp provide options so you can actually name your app after your individual church, making finding your app stress-free and using it a less intimidating experience. Those who use your ChurchApp will feel an instant connection. Only core personnel and back office staff should be aware of who actually developed your app. After all, does anyone else really care?
The Seraphim ChurchApp even goes so far as to offer churches the ability to use their own vernacular in labeling within the app. Each church can change the navigation and use terms that pertain solely to the church. No longer is there any need to compromise your brand by working within a template that does not meet your needs, or requires you to use terms and vocabulary your church does not use. What to display can be up to you!
Integration Extends Your Reach
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
Your mobile app must not provide only one-way communication or serve as a static billboard. It should provide a fully dynamic approach to interacting with and empowering your members. Look for an advanced integrated application that works seamlessly as it connects your back office directly to mobile users in real time. An option like the Seraphim ChurchApp automatically publishes live content from your database to the app. For instance, put a couple’s anniversary in your database and it can instantly be seen in the ChurchApp by your pastor who might just happen to be with that couple and can now offer them a prayer for their marriage then and there.
An integrated approach will provide you and your church with the tools it needs, at the time it needs them, and in the forms that make the most sense. Other app features to consider from apps like the Seraphim ChurchApp include:
- Event management calendar – Offers event mapping in addition to calendar
- Online Giving – Happens instantly and maintains financial history
- Directory – Updates instantly as members create/edit their own address book
- Task Tracking – Monitors tasks as assigned
- Small Groups Management- Engages and allows better workflow
- Prayer Requests – Happen immediately when needed
Support is Mission Critical
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Not everyone in your community will be interacting with your mobile app the same way. With so many different roles and responsibilities at your church –ministry management, volunteers, congregants, administration– you need to find an app that not only recognizes who is using it and why, but that truly cares.
Whatever path you choose – be intentional in your mission as you cultivate and build your church culture. Give the gift of a strong, connected church to your congregation and all will benefit.