If you take a look around your church auditorium on Sunday morning, you’ll notice that many people—not just teenagers—have traded in their leather-bound KJVs and highlighters for a Bible smartphone app.
In 2013, 49 million people installed the YouVersion Bible app alone, and it was opened 1 billion times throughout the year.
As people continue to find the quickest, easiest way to complete every task and access information, they turn more and more to their phones, rather than waiting for their desktops to power up.
Mobile devices account for 55% of internet traffic and nearly 8 out of 10 internet users will access the web through a mobile device in 2014. Is your church adjusting to this shift in communication?
When hunting for a new church in the area or searching for details about your vacation Bible school, the first place most people will go is online—your website. Is your church website responsive or mobile-friendly? If people have a hard time accessing your information from their smartphones, they may just give up and move on. Make sure your website is easy to navigate so people can find exactly what they’re looking for.
Consider communicating with your people via text message. If you manage your church membership directory through a database where you can easily store contact information and send mass communications, you can easily send out a text to selected groups. People may only check their email once a day, but they usually have their phones glued to their sides.
If youth group is cancelled due to weather, shoot a text so people don’t show up to an empty building. If you’re in need of some last-minute volunteers, reach out to those who are earmarked as ministry volunteers. Especially when there is an urgent need to communicate with your church, texting is a great option.
Another method of adjusting to the mobile culture that is quickly increasing in popularity is using a mobile app. Integrated with your church database, a mobile app can incorporate some great features:
Many people don’t even carry cash or checks anymore. Allowing them to give anywhere at any time through a mobile app can bring consistency to your church contributions.
- Church directory
You not only want staff to communicate with your people, you want your church community to interact with each other. Control how much information different people can access and limit those privileges as necessary for security.
- Event registration and payment
Do you get a lot of interest in your events but poor turnout because people forget to register? Have them register for the event as you’re making the announcement. They can even pay for that conference or activity within the app.
- Church contact and location information
Make it easy for visitors to email you for more information about the church or follow you on Facebook.
- Media center
Have your most recent sermons available for your church to catch up on what they missed or make a special video series available to expand on the Sunday morning service.
Make it quick and easy for people to volunteer or join a small group—link to a form they can complete.
*Tip: custom brand the app so your community can easily find you in the AppStore or Marketplace!
At a time when people spend more hours a day on their smartphones than interacting face-to-face, it’s extremely important for churches to embrace the change and find creative ways to engage their communities.