Today it’s really hard to find a person who doesn’t use a smartphone, never checks email or has no accounts on social networks. Any audience can be reached through the wise use of mobile resources, and religious people are no exception. This is a reason enough for churches or religious organizations to befriend technology and use it for better interaction with the congregation. The whole variety of opportunities can be opened with this approach.
Creating a church-related application can be tricky, but there is nothing impossible for people that are ready to try. Some things should be taken into account, particular features should be added, and you have great chances to develop a mobile application for church that will be appreciated and used.
There are many churches that have already started using the mobile applications for better communication with their congregation and other purposes. Some of them tape sermons, others broadcast them to remote locations through their platform. Digital presence allows church to give more to people, and to successfully integrate religion into the modern life full of technology.
Regardless your confession, here we want to suggest some general advises that can be used in order to build a church app of your own. You can adapt these adviсes to any needs and goals, and make everything work exactly the way you think it should.
Why is it important to create church apps
There are many benefits that modern technology brings to people. Thinking about churches, there is a whole list of purposes that custom church apps can serve for. Take a look at this list to make sure that it’s a good idea to create a mobile app for church:
- Streaming events for more people to attend at least virtually;
- Better communication between ministers and parishioners;
- Charity and volunteering organization;
- Donation collection even from remote locations;
- More support in difficult situations;
- Ability to notify congregation about upcoming events.
Parishioners are usually ready for participating in their church’s life more through different technologies in case there is such possibility. It is very likely that the channel of communication may be created for ministers to address people, but then people will probably also start communicating with each other. It may serve well for creating a friendly and supportive atmosphere that is important in this area of life. For some parishioners, active online community can add significant value. Knowing people with similar beliefs is a true benefit that church app can bring to the world.
Streaming videos is also a great benefit that adds value to church app development as there are situations when people cannot attend the church, but truly want to participate at least in some way. It is known that 54% of practicing Christian Millennials regularly watch faith-related videos and 70% read sacred Scripture from a mobile device or a laptop.
The cost of church app development
There are many different churches. Some of them are big congressions that can hire the team of the best developers to create something big. Other churches might look for more cheaper options.
The cost of development varies from one country to another and is based on a number of hours that will be spent on development and the complexity of the app itself. The cost can be somewhere in between $10-100 per hour. Hiring an agency to do this business, you can be sure that it has enough experience to perform all the task on the high level.
However, if there is a need to save money, sole freelancers can do good for the project too. Just make sure to check the portfolio and be understood right by the developer. Having a detailed plan of action s also a good idea that might help you save money.
How to make a church application really useful for congregation
Whether you are a company that wants to make a custom church app for android or ios, or you are a church representative, here we want to share the list of important features that are worth considering for your future app. It is always better to plan everything in advance. First of all, because it will allow you to predict a price of development more accurately. Secondly, it will save time and help you developing team understand what you want faster to implement it faster, too. So here are some of the basic essential features worth attention and implementation.
Dashboard and general information about church
With so many different religious movements it is important to provide people with the information about your church right away. It may include history, goals, ministry programs, maps of the church and surrounding territory, etc. Everything that helps people understand what is the church in discussion should be right there in the very beginning. Try not to confuse people, they will be grateful. Give the definition before proceeding further.
With their help, you will be able to deliver any kind of information that congregation is supposed to get. There can be email subscriptions or push-notifications. In any case, according to Christian Web Trends survey, 75% of respondents called notifications among the most important church mobile app features, while 89% respondents also called news.
Notifications may not just provide people with information about upcoming events and news, but also remind about important spiritual dates or even a time for prayer. With the crazy speed of modern life, it can be too easy to forget about spiritual moments. People appreciate small reminders that take them back to reality and spare the remorse of wasted time.
Not always it is in order to carry a large book around. However, reading Bible is a big part of a spiritual life that cannot be neglected. Integrating the opportunity for reading Bible from a mobile device can be very popular among people. Add the possibility of making notes, and no doubt it will be heavily used. It is not likely to change the church app development cost too much, but the value it adds to the app is immeasurable.
It is important for any non-commercial organization to be able to collect donations effectively. Sometimes people want to make a donation, but coming to the event they forget money at home. Providing them with the possibility to donate at any convenient time is a great idea. There are many ready-made solutions that can be integrated into apps on iOS or Android even without the necessity of creating custom ones.
Social media integration
Everyone in the development industry knows that integrating an app with social networks is almost a must. It can be used for registration and login, or to share important information from the app which also serves well for promotion. Creating community is important for many reasons though. It can make the church more popular, bring more people in, let the congregation share daily devotionals and invitations to the events.
Podcasts, media libraries, sermons
The more your app can give people, the more appreciated it will be. No doubt that church app developers should pay attention to the feature of delivering good content to the users. It can be:
- worship services;
- bible studies;
- educational videos;
- religious songs;
- spiritual movies.
Implementing a podcast and media library, you give people a chance to not miss anything even if life makes them travel or stay home sick or attend other events. Also, think about people who live too far to visit the church physically, but want to be a part of it as much as possible.
Digital bulletins and integrated blog posts
It’s hard to imagine a religious community without bulletins such as, for example, The Sunday bulletin. This is an old tradition that is important for many generations. Making a bulletin digital and bringing it into your custom app can also help the church save money as even if it will still print, the number of copies will significantly decrease. With push-notifications, your congregation will never miss it.
Blog posts can also be very useful to share ideas and thoughts. It may have different forms. For example, the church may allow parishioners to write articles themselves. It might be another way of helping people to unfold their talents and get more good content all at once.
Features for children
To build a church app even more useful than it can already be with all previous advises, you can add special pages for children. It is obvious that approach should be different, and children might be bored with just reading the text of Bible. To make it more interesting, you can add interactive content, games, and puzzles entertaining and educating at the same time.
Making a church app for your congregation can be a wonderful journey full of new opportunities and interesting discoveries. To make sure that everything will work out the way you want it to, you need to plan the church app cost, think about a technical task describing the features, hire a development team and make your idea a reality for more people to enjoy it.
In Lunapps we are familiar with a church app development, and we are always excited to discuss new opportunities. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line and we will share our knowledge to provide your church with a great mobile app.