Engaged, active members are more willing to donate their time, talent, and treasure to help your church grow and reach the community with the gospel, Here’s how to use a church mobile app to help them be more engaged in the conversation at your medium-sized church.
A well-developed and marketed app can be a critical tool to increase member engagement. More engaged members stay at the church longer, volunteer more often, give more, attend more church services and events, and have a deeper relationship with God. So how can having a church app at your medium sized church have that much of an impact? Here are five ways to create a church mobile app to increase member engagement.
- Target It
Who do you want using your church app? The features and content in your church mobile app are best built around the needs and behaviors of the people you will expect to use it.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the early adopters of your church app will be from the younger generations. They also may come from those members who may not yet be invested fully in the church, but loyal to their devices. However, the software solutions giant Adobe suggests an alternate target that is not defined solely by age, but by behaviors. These individuals make up approximately 20 percent of the general population and are further along in the mobile adoption curve than the rest of the population.
To the surprise of many churches, in their recently released 2015 Mobile Consumer Report, Adobe found that these highly active mobile users come from every age group, as follows:
- 34 percent are 18-29 years old
- 36 percent are 30-49 years old
- 30 percent are 50-64 years old
- Define It
What does increased member engagement look like to your church? Is it based on your church donations, your weekly attendance, increases in event registrations, or something else? Perhaps it can be seen by more bible studies, more visitors, and an increase in new members who what to be part of a more active church.
How your church is unique plats a big role in how you will want to design your church mobile app and increase member engagement. Do you offer podcasts and online videos of your sermons? Then your app should include podcasts and broadcasts, whether they are live or archived. Your church app also should facilitate events and mobile donations. Does your church reach out to the community? Then your church mobile app could be a way to organize and mobilize people in your church that want to be a part of your outreach. Does your Pastor, church leaders, and members post blogs or other content for your church and others? Your church app should be an additional place where members can access this content.
- Separate It
The so called Mobile Elites are primarily focused on their smart phones, so resist the temptation to develop your church mobile app as simply a copy of your website. The evtra effort devoted to church app development gives your church a fighting chance for their time spent on the screen. According to a Nielsen Cross Platform report, mobile users spend the majority of smartphone time in apps: 88 percent of time spent is in apps, while only 12 percent of their time is spent browsing on the mobile web.
Your members still connect to and interact with your church in your church mobile app, and with a well-designed interface and the use of features like push notifications, you’ll keep them immersed in and connect to the fellowship of other believers longer. Anne Lewnes, senior vice president at Adobe, explains in a recent Adobe blog post that an app’s inherently immersive environment allows organizations to “engage with [people] in ways that the mobile web experience can’t.”
- Simplify It
With professional, personal, and technological distractions all around us, design your church app for ease of use. Keep the following tips in mind to help streamline the user interface and increase engagement:
- Make it easy: Eliminate logins if you can in your church mobile app
- Make it clean: Keep the interface of your church app simple to use, and avoid flashy (distractive) content and design
- Make it short: Monitor the word count in your church mobile app content. Reading lengthy content on smartphones is tiresome. Some experts recommend five paragraphs or less per page.
- Provide videos for in-depth content: Short videos from your church app deliver great volumes of content that would otherwise overwhelm readers in text format.
- Personalize It
Your members all have one thing in common: they want to be a part of your church. Beyond that, each member is different and likely expects a unique experience based on level of engagement and interests. To help increase engagement, create a church mobile app that provides features based on what you know about your members and the ones that you expect to use your church app.
Provide content that addresses different groups of members. Some content might be best for those looking to take part in your church’s outreach efforts, and other content on your church mobile app might be best for those that are still beginning their faith walk.
Don’t forget to include your leadership team in your church app personalization efforts. The goal is to increase the relationships between your leaders and members, and also among all your members. A church mobile app can be designed to ensure that many more of your members become engaged and active in the lifestyle, mission, and vision of your church.
MORE Blessed has an outstanding church mobile app available to churches of all sizes that will allow the integration of about any feature imaginable. Each app is custom created by our professionals at no charge to your church, and only $25 a month, which makes the mobile app affordable for every organization!