There’s a storm coming. A tsunami. Tornado. A hurricane. A teeming horde.
I’m talking, of course, about the tidal wave of people headed for your church on April 16.
It’s a time of traditions: spiral-sliced ham, perfectly good eggs covered in thick layers of paint, and going to church with grandma. But for those in ministry, it’s Super Bowl Sunday — an opportunity to reach members of your community who wouldn’t come to church otherwise. That means more first-time visitors, more people “checking out” your church, and, for many churches, the best evangelism opportunity of the year.
But not every church is equally ready for those visitors. Even people who call a church home are attending weekend services less regularly. With a new generation changing what they think about church attendance, we need to rethink the way we reach our communities. Going all-in with mobile isn’t about changing the message of your church; it’s about meeting people where they are — namely, at the supercomputer in their pocket.
This Easter is going to be one of your biggest outreach opportunities this year, and the mobile device is the most powerful means you have available to you to make these connections stick. Here are five of the top reasons your church needs to be on mobile this Easter:
#1: Your community is already mobile. Your community already uses their smartphones to communicate with friends, shop for groceries on Amazon, and catch ride shares with Uber. Research shows the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their smartphone. It’s not a matter of, Will the people in my church use an app? Rather, it’s a matter of, Will I have an app for the people in my church already using them?
Even the aging members of your congregation are getting smartphones — mobile defies demographics.
#2: An app isn’t a “nice-to-have” anymore. The iPhone was released 10 years ago. Apps have gone from being revolutionary, to being the next big thing, to being, well, the thing. Even five years ago, a mobile app was something that was “nice to have,” but that you would have to educate people about in order for them to use it.
But the world has changed, and fast. People not only know how to use apps, they expect you to have one. It’s a natural, ordinary way to stay connected and engaged with your church.
#3: Social media is mobile media. According to research by VentureBeat, more than half of Facebook’s users are mobile. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are mobile-exclusive. We hear about the power of social media all the time, but the power of social media is the power of mobile — being able to connect anytime, anywhere.
#4: It’s your best bet for follow-up. If people visiting your church for the first time this Easter could walk away from a service with one thing, it should be your mobile app on their phone. Why? Because it’s the best way you can follow up with them.
Anybody can throw away a pamphlet. They can toss your tracts into the backseat of their car on the way home. They can stick the mug with your church’s logo in the back of the cabinet. But nobody throws their phone in the trash.
What if you could get a first-time visitor to keep your sermons, connect card and contact info 3 feet away from them at all times? What if you could send interactive messages to their phones?
That’s the power of mobile.
#5: It’s how people want to give. Apple Pay, Google Wallet, the Amazon App — they all offer a simple, slick and quick
Giving to your church is often the first “next step” someone takes in investing in your church, literally and spiritually. Mobile payments are the norm for your community Monday to Saturday; why force them 20 years in the past when it comes to giving to your church? Mobile giving is faster, safer, and represents your church better. It’s the best way to make giving a spiritual moment, not a technical one.
No matter the size or location of your congregation, mobile is a powerful opportunity to reach your community. Whether you’re a seasoned social media legend or just learning what an iPhone is, it’s time to start leveraging mobile.
Let’s make this your best Easter yet.
The Pushpay content team works out of Redmond, Wash., to resource the Church in a changing age. Check out their free library at https://pushpay.com.