Your church shouldn’t get an app. Seriously, don’t do it.
Before you shun me let me explain myself. It seems like there’s a new church app company that sprouts up every week, so surely I’m mistaken about church apps right? Unfortunately, most of these companies are just reusing the same underlying system and aren’t creating anything new.
Most church apps contain the exact same content as their website. That means anytime that you update information on your website, you have to update it on your app as well. Church staff members are already some of the most overworked and underpaid people on the planet, why add to their plate?
But, don’t the upsides of the app outweigh the downsides?
The harsh reality is that there are little to no upsides for church apps. The majority of smartphone users do not download new apps in any given month. Even if you get people to download it, most people only use 3-5 apps regularly giving you a very slim chance that people will become regular users. That’s a lot of work creating and maintaining something that most people will never use.
It’s extremely hard to get people to download your app and if they do download it, most will not become active users. Sure, you may have a couple of people that end up using the app, but the cost isn’t worth it. Especially when you can have the same information available on your website that can be used for both new visitors as well as members.
The audience for a church app is extremely limited. Only the people that know about your church and attend your church will be interested in downloading your app. That’s a lot of money each month for a limited reach. Visitors will never ever ever ever ever ever download your app before coming to your church. They will Google you, take 8 seconds to look over your website and decided whether or not to visit you in person.
Your website is the number one source of information for new visitors and members. Instead of spending time and money on an app that most people won’t use, you should put that towards improving your church website instead. You need a mobile friendly website that is visually appealing, has relevant content, and is well written. This is so much more important than a church app.
Brady Shearer, founder of Pro Church Tools says that unless your church’s app is significantly different than your website, you don’t need an app. Focus on your website and you will reach more people. It may not be the cool thing to do, but it is the smart thing.
If you already have a great mobile friendly website and are just itching to spend some money, put the money that you would use on an app towards Facebook advertising. You will see a much higher return on investment from Facebook ads than you ever will from an app. Unlike an app, Facebook ads will put your church in front of new people that may otherwise never hear about you.