Mobile apps make it possible to reach wide audience and today it is no exception for religious aspect as well. Thus, it didn’t really come as a surprise, when we heard of a mobile app for churches. Yes, it is true. Churches and other religious organizations are befriending technology, endeavouring to use this mean for enhance interaction with congregation. This certainly opens a pool of opportunities for churches.
First things first, creation of a church app can be a tricky affair, but it can be greatly beneficial too. All that’s needed is to take few things into accounts, such as specific features must be added, and once these certain aspects are taken care of, you really can present a church app, that’s not just great to use but will also receive accolades from the users.
One number of churches are already using these apps to ensure improved communication with the congregation & many other purposes. Few choose to tape sermons, other prefer broadcasting them to the remote location via their platform. All in all, by having a digital presence, churches are able to offer and give more to their people and successfully integrate religion into modern life that is full of technology.
In this article, we will suggest ways following which you can develop a unique church app. So, let’s begin this ride by first exploring why do ministries require church apps.
How ministries can benefit through church apps?
Integrating church mobile app development has many benefits, like to begin with it allows the church owners to stay connected with their audience. Besides, it’s great to effectively manage upcoming events and celebrations, like all that’s needed is to send alerts or push notifications to update the people regarding any crisis or important situation.
Another great benefit is streaming videos, as they add value to the church app development when in certain situations people are unable to attend church, but really want to participate in some way. In fact, as per the research, 54% of practicing Christian Millennials tend to regularly watch these religious videos while 70% even read scared Scripture from a mobile phone or a laptop.
Here, we have provided few reasons why church apps are a hit among people and why you should have a mobile app for your church:
- Effective & Seamless Communication: Church apps are a great way to make communication easier by helping users to stay up-to-date regarding latest occurring within the community. Besides, a mobile app also proves handy to directly influence new audience and to increase the visibility of your church locally and globally.
- Offers a myriad opportunities:It is not easy to manage donations, noting the fact that churches constantly receive donations. In fact, it is believed that 40% of Christians done to churches once in a month. By having a mobile app for your church, you won’t require to worry about payment-related hassles. As with a mobile app, payment processes will be a lot simpler, secure & comfortable, and app users will be able to receive payments from just anyone securely & instantly, sans any hassle.
- Easy access to Sermons: Your app users will certainly love the fact that by installing a church app they will have 24/7 access to Sermons, Holy Bible, & videos, at just a touch of their finger. How cool is that? All that is possible with a church mobile app. So, go ahead and spread the holy message of God to your people, simply via an English version of the Bible to daily messages & sermons.
- Cost & Time:A lot of time churches spend huge sum of money on getting newsletters printing and emails in order to inform people regarding latest causes/events, which eventually goes into trash bin of course. Thus, by having an app, this scenario will change forever, enabling the church to save time & money as you can draft & send alerts or messages via push notifications about just anything in literally no time at all.
- Enhanced User-Engagement:Through a mobile app, it gets easier to inform users in case of an important event or special prayer session through push notifications, which are also a great mean to keep the users engaged. Users can also be encouraged to take part in special causes with push notifications.
Other than the above, there are several other benefits, like:
- It helps you in connecting with your community whole being on the go.
- It enables the congregants to view & share latest updates on social media platforms.
- It allows you to send texts, pictures, or videos to your app audience with just a single tap.
- Prayer requests can be submitted to your congregants.
- Offers clear-cut directions to your congregants of your church with a GPS-feature.
- Tracks user-behaviour
- Enables the church to maintain digital record of all the members.
- Feedbacks can also be received via surveys, polls, or RSVPs.
Now, as you have got the exact idea of how your church can benefit from the mobile apps, next we will explore the types of church mobile app solutions.
What types of Church Mobile Apps can be developed?
Basically, there are three types of prominent church mobile apps:
- For the church members
- For the spiritual leaders
- For the Clerics
Mobile Apps for the church members: By getting a mobile app developed for the church, it will be easier to spread God Book and God messages among the church members. Instead of translating on TV channels, you can instead use the Vimeo or YouTube as a medium to translate to the members. Church members will be able to register for events, propose podcasts, record the preaching as well as donate via app. In case of big churches, they can offer a campus map as well as map for events taking place in different rooms/classes of the church.
Meanwhile, a church mobile app can also offer one single feature, like report church’s news or allow to read the Gospel & other religious texts.
For the spiritual leaders:These apps are focused to manage the groups of parishioners in the church. The app can track attendance and allow spiritual leaders to make notes regarding participants of various groups. Authorization is a useful mean to protect the app as that way no one will be able to access personal data of the parishioners
For the clerics: These are the apps that allow the church leaders & clerics to converse with one another in a productive manner and also have a sole access to church database, which can then be protected by a password. For instance, in case a leader enters attendance data along with few notes, they will be updated & synchronised automatically, so that clerics are able to see changes via their personal profiles. This also gives the clerics a chance to make attendance reports, evaluate level of the parishioners’ participation in various events, etc.
Features of a Church Mobile App:
Church app is one of the hottest trends in today’s market with developers creating it both for iOS and Android versions, such has been its popularity. If you are one of the person looking to develop a church app or a company trying to go with the flow you need to know the basics behind creating the app.
These features will prove vital in future journey of app creation and will help you in assembling a masterpiece. If the total cost that goes into app development can be known in advance than it becomes quite easy to go about your work. Also these features will let you & your team get to know about the process very quickly which in turn will speed up your app development task. The features that we will be talking about are as follows:
- User App Panel
- Church web panel
- Admin pane
User App Features:
Church App & Web Panel Features:
Cloud Storage Integration: This feature help system in storing user data with purpose of safety and privacy. It is also required for live streaming
Reporting & Analytics: In all apps nowadays real-time reporting is crucial and so is with Church apps, where admin can get updates and analyse overall app summary such as posted video, registered users, audio with time range, surveys & donations.
GPS Integration: This feature is greatly useful as it can identify the current location of the user and accordingly display nearby churches on the mobile screen.
Live Streaming: Again a greatly useful feature as it allow user to go live & broadcast the sermons in real-time. For this purpose, Live streaming API can be integrated for the live streaming.
Third-party API integration: To ensure bible reading can be viewed by the app users in real-time, third-party website API can be integrated.
Collecting donations: Collecting donations effectively is the prime task for any non-commercial organization. People at times want to make a good gesture by donating for the organisation but they forget the hard cash at home, so helping them out in making the donations can turn out to be a great notion. A lot of ready-made solutions are out there that can be easily integrated with apps on Android or iOS. Creating customized solutions is not necessary for that.Mobile Bible
Carrying around a heavy and large book with you all the time cannot easy and it certainly cannot be deemed as smart. But bible reading is a vital part of spiritual life that certainly can’t be brushed aside. But if people can read bible from their phone devices than it will for sure become a hit overnight. And if one can have the leisure to make notes, than you can create play a masterstroke. The church app development cost won’t be changing too much with this innovation but the amount of value it is going to add to the app is unparallel.
Digital bulletins & integrated blog posts: A bulletin such as The Sunday Bulletin has been an important part of any religious community for a quite a while now. Not only for this generation but this tradition is here to stay for many upcoming generations. If you put the option of bulletin digital into the custom app then it will help also help out the church in saving money as it will have to print less number of copies than earlier. With push notifications, the chances your congregation missing out will decrease significantly. Different forms of blog posts can also share useful thoughts and ideas. Like, Parishioners can be allowed by the church to write articles by themselves. This can turn out to be fruitful in getting good quality at once and also unearthing some fresh talent.
Notifications: Notifications are known to provide all the basic information needed to be given to congregation.
These can be provided in the form of push notifications and email subscriptions. According to a survey, notifications were voted as the most important feature of church mobile app by 75% of the voters with news voted by 89% of the respondents. The benefit of notifications is not just that it keeps you updated with the upcoming events but also that it reminds you about spiritual dates important to you or even prayer time. People often miss out on spiritual time in their busy life so if something remind them to have a date with reality, they will certainly appreciate it.
Podcasts, sermons, media libraries: The most basic aspect of creating an app is the value it can provide to the people. Providing brilliant content and quality usage to their users should be the prime motive of church app developers. This can be in the form of:
- – Worship services
- – Sermons
- – Bible Studies
- – Educational videos
- – Lectures
- – Spiritual movies
- – Religious songs
There can be a lot of reasons for which people can miss out on information provided to them be it travelling, getting sick or attend some event. But if a media library and podcast is implemented in the app then people won’t be missing out on anything, even on the go. It can also provide great help to the people who live far away from the church and can’t visit it on a regular basis.
Dashboard and general information about church: Providing people with the right amount of information about church at the earliest has become paramount in this recent chaos of different religious movements. This information is a collection of history, ministry programs, goals, maps of the church and surrounding territory and many more. Every detailed information that will help out people in getting a better understanding of the church should be shared at the very beginning lest they will get confused. Give the proper definition before moving onto the next chapter.
Social media integration: Integrating your app with the social networks is one thing that no app developer should miss out lest it will hurt them big time in the future. This part can be helpful in registration and login plus also in sharing important information via the app. This will also serve tremendously in promotion of the app. Creating a community has its own benefits in the form of making the church popular, bringing in more people, allowing congregation to share devotionals on a daily basis and also invitations to important events.
Features for children: Adding special pages by keeping children in mind can be one of the other useful advices for a church app developer. But you have to come up with an innovative approach to keep the children interested in reading the bible. In order to make it a hit, you can add games, interactive content and puzzles than can entertain and educate at the exact same time.
How much it costs to develop a Church Mobile App?
So, there are a number of churches out there and for all of them having a church mobile app can be greatly helpful. Now, many these many churches, some are big congressions which can very well afford hiring a team of best app development in order to develop a brilliant app. However, other churches can look for cheaper yet effective church app development companies or developers options.
Now the cost of church mobile app development differs from one nation to another and on basis of the number of hours spent on the creation process and mobile app complexity. This way, cost can fall somewhere around $10-100/hour. Now, it can be beneficial to hire a development firm for this purpose as this way one can also ensure that they have plenty of experience and skill set to perform many tasks on high level.
Meanwhile, as you go on to hire a app development firm, ensure that you check their portfolio and has the team of good app developers, designers and QA Testers. Besides, having a detailed plan of action is also a good idea to save some money. The average cost to develop such an app is expected to be from $20000-$35000, whereas if you choose to include advanced features and develop app for both iOS & Android platforms both, then the cost is certain to reach $50000. However, spending that much money ensures that you get an amazing feature-rich church mobile app.