WEB-EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE: Walmart and McDonalds have apps. Why doesn’t your church?WEB EXCLUSIVE Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
By Mark Brooks
If you don’t have an app for your church, you’re missing out on one of the key ways to communicate effectively with people today. Soon, nearly everyone on the planet will have a smartphone. They allow us to do just about anything from the palms of our hands.
One of the key features of a smartphone is its apps, or “applications.” There are hundreds of thousands of apps available; some are free, and some have a small price. All are designed for ease of use and increased productivity. Every major company in America has an app.
So, if corporate America sees the need for instant communication with its customers, why doesn’t the church?
Mobile America: staggering statistics
Consider these statistics:
- There are 181 million smartphones in the U.S. alone.
- Eighty-three percent of Millennials have a smartphone, as do 42% of 55-year-olds (and up).
- Seventy-three percent of smartphone users use their mobile browsers to shop and search the Internet. Phones aren’t simply for calling home anymore.
- In 2017, there will be more mobile devices on the planet than people.
- In 2013, 58 BILLION apps will be downloaded to smartphones.
Have I got your attention yet? If not, consider what a recent study found out about app use: 47 % people said they download apps because they’re easier to use than a mobile browser; 46% do so because apps are the most entertaining way to use their mobile device; and 44% said apps are “the fastest way to get information.”
Effective churches make connecting with them as easy as possible. Did you see that 47% of app users download apps because they’re easier to use than a mobile browser? A good app allows those who attend your church to easily access your website, including your giving page.
What an app can accomplish for your church
Let me list some of the reasons why your church should consider an app.
Relevancy. While churches’ main goal shouldn’t be to be relevant, there’s nothing wrong with being technologically relevant. Again, having an app shows that your church understands it’s the 21st century.
Effectiveness. Look around you the next time you’re in public at how many people are fiddling with their smartphones. To be effective with our message, we have to take it to where people are. One way an app can increase your effectiveness is by the ease of use it provides.
Ease of use. Apps give you a one-button-touch to all your online portals. An app allows you to gather all your online activity under one place, making it easier for your members to access. When access is easy, use goes up.
I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. If Walmart and McDonalds have apps, why doesn’t your church?
Apps are inexpensive to set up and to use. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all this technology is hugely expensive, and only for those “rich,” big churches. Apps are for every church!
Mark Brooks is founder and president of The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions (www.TheCharisGroup.org).