3 ways mobile apps can connect your church with those in need

by Gunnar Simonsen, Custom Church Apps on August 25, 2015


“Am sick. Am suffer for malaria”. These were the six words that recently greeted me via a private message on Facebook. Sent from a longtime friend who lives in the heart of Africa, he needed prayer and he needed help.

Since receiving this message, I want you to know, my friend is going to be okay. He received the help he needed and of course, he also received the prayers he needed, too.

As I think back on those six words, it amazes me how far and how fast we’ve come to this place on planet earth where two people separated by thousands of miles, two smartphones, and an app could bring them together in real time to address real needs.

The world is getting flat

Technology has flattened the world we live in. According to emarketer.com, more than one quarter of the global population will use smartphones in 2015. In America alone, 64% of adults own a smartphone of some kind. By 2020, smartphones will account for 80% of all mobile data traffic.

The world is getting flat. Well, as flat as what fits in the palm of your hand.

With this, access to information globally has exploded to new heights making the internet increasingly accessible amongst citizens residing throughout the most remote parts of the world. 

Here in America, the smartphone has simply become a way of life. Recently, Pew Research released their latest finding on smartphone usage in America. In this they found that smartphone usage is not just about playing games, checking Facebook, or that which in some minds would call wasting time. It’s much more than that.
  • 68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events, with 33% saying that they do this “frequently.”
  • 67% use their phone to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community, with 35% doing so frequently.
  • 56% use their phone at least occasionally to learn about community events or activities, with 18% doing this “frequently.”

Mobile Apps Build a Bridge

With everyday life and everyday transactions becoming increasingly mobile-centric, where does the church fit in? Is there a place on the smartphone for the church? Or, furthermore.. our faith?

Here are 3 ways pastors are using smartphone app technology to build a bridge from their church to the frontlines of need in their communities.. and beyond.

1. Push Notifications

Push notifications are a big deal! A push notification can be used to notify people of immediate needs when a tragedy strikes, either locally or globally. They are a great way to mobilize your church in minutes regardless of what day it is. You can also push information like special announcements, service reminders, new app content, prayer requests, or anything else you want to share directly to your app users and their smartphone.

2. Online Giving

At Custom Church Apps, we have several churches that have been using their in-app experience for real-time online giving. (Talk about meeting people where they’re at with instant access.) Online giving is very quick and convenient for your members to give to missions, compassion efforts and tithing. And it saves you a lot of administration time on Monday! Many churches that use our app platform see a 10% or more growth in giving when they allow the convenience of in-app giving.

3. Customized Daily Bible Reading and Devotional Plans

What if for that next sermon series you are planning, you could create a customized chapter by chapter daily Bible reading plan for your church community? Leaders, members and even missionaries could read along with you from Sunday to Sunday right inside your church app? 

What if for your small groups ministry you could create a customized daily Bible reading plan and devotional for your community to follow along with throughout the week?

What if we got people reading the Bible again and not just while they’re in church, but also… once they leave church... everyday, wherever they are and stay connected to the church at the same time?

Of course, there are many other ways pastors are using technology to reach the world we live in and we’ll share some of those in future posts. But in just these three ways, it truly is amazing how an app can bring us together with others in real time to address real needs that will impact real people… right where they’re at.


 
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