This summer the mobile app industry turns 10. The past decade has seen the number of people downloading apps onto their smartphones (or even owning smartphones) increase from hundreds to nearly 200 billion in 2017. The statement “There’s an App For That!” has gone from a simple catchphrase to a fact of life. And yet, many churches are not embracing this technology as a tool for engagement and evangelism.
Before you reject the idea of using technology as an evangelization tool, let’s consider the fact that nearly five billion people worldwide have smartphones. This creates a wonderful opportunity for sharing the message of Christ through digital means.
Here are 10 reasons why you should engage members of your parish with an app
Having access to apps allows people to integrate spiritual messages via an app anywhere and anytime.
The average smartphone user has an average of 10 apps downloaded onto their phone. According to the app analytics site Medium the number one reason why people download an app is to solve a problem.
An app is an easily accessible place for people to read and review the bulletin. Our Holy Father has asked us to be better about limiting our carbon footprint in his writings of Laudato Si’. With access to the bulletin digitally, you can reduce your use of paper and save money on printing costs.
Having the calendar always available and in the palm of a parishioner allows them to more easily plan on attending parish events and Holy Days.
Apps are awesome for sharing daily devotional messages, reminders, announcements, and the prayers of the faithful.
Apps also make it easy to link audio or video messages of the homily to be shared on the app every week.
You can use your app to guide people through contemporary and traditional prayer practices within the Holy Catholic faith. This is a great way to help parishioners develop their prayer life, and they will have it in their pocket everywhere they go.
You can set a tab on your app to include an Examination of Conscience in preparation to confession, review the schedule of available times for confession, and even have a copy of the Act of Contrition available in the palm of your hands if you don’t know it by heart.
Eliminating the need to remember to write a check and put it in an envelope is a great option for many GenX and Millennial members. Being able to do an autopay or in-pew offering from the phone is so much easier and in alignment with Laudato Si’.
One of the most valuable elements of a Catholic App is a tab for saying the rosary. So many say they don’t have the time to say it. Folding it into an app that sets a timeframe for completion that is audio-driven enables people to incorporate it into their busy day.
Considering a Parish App
Before you bring the idea of using an app to your parish leaders, be sure to visit the appropriate app store for your device and download a few different parish apps to share as an example. (Like this one.)
Creating contemporary means of practicing our Catholic faith has even been encouraged by Pope Francis, as referenced in his address last year on embracing the digital convergence.
Ready to implement a custom app in your parish? Talk to an expert today to see how an app can increase parish engagement and generosity.