Does having a dedicated church app seem like a nice idea but one that’s just a bit out of reach? Maybe you’re even convinced they’re not necessary for the ministry of your church. After all, the gospel was being preached and Jesus was changing lives long before phones and tablets.
True, but throughout history, followers of Jesus have availed themselves of any newfangled contraption or advancement that could help them do the work of the kingdom:
- The apostle Paul took advantage of the Roman system of roads.
- Christians in the centuries that followed recorded the Scriptures on codexes, an early type of book that proved itself superior to traditional scrolls.
- The Reformers used the printing press to get the truth of God’s saving grace out to the masses.
- Billy Graham pioneered the use of radio, film, and television to share the gospel with national and global audiences.
Those are just a few examples, and the legacy of harnessing technology for God’s glory continues today. So, when it comes to modern ministry, church leaders ought to be on the lookout for any tools that can reinforce what they’re already doing.
The Great Commission
Shortly before ascending to the Father, Jesus gathered His disciples and gave them their marching orders: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20).
If you were to read that sentence in Greek, do you know many imperative verbs you’d find? Just one—the word translated “make disciples.” Disciple-making is central to what we’re supposed to be about as pastors and church leaders. It’s why we have Sunday morning services, small groups, Bible studies, evangelistic outreaches. It’s all about making disciples.
Now, if you notice, Jesus didn’t tell His disciples what tools and resources to use. The teachings of Jesus have not changed in two thousand years, but the way that teaching is delivered certainly can.
Enter the dedicated church app.
Simply put, a church app allows your church leadership team the power to provide targeted content to your community throughout the week, however far your church family is scattered. Your church family can grow in Christ using the phones in their pockets.
The Great Opportunity
Here are just a few of the things you can do with a dedicated church app:
- Upload audio and video sermon messages
- Distribute video devotionals
- Deliver blog posts
- Make announcements
- Share Bible reading plans
- Host a prayer wall
- Use push notifications to grab your community’s attention
- Allow members to give with the push of a touchscreen button
- Open up online registration for in-person church services (think COVID!)
- And more…
With all that these apps offer, it can be easy to get lost in the technology. Just remember: the whole point is discipleship. People don’t need more distractions; what they need is more connection—and a dedicated church app used the right way keeps the lines of communication open all week long.
Perhaps the biggest argument against using a church app is that a screen just doesn’t compare with one-on-one or small-group fellowship. Perhaps that’s true, but God can use every means available to make His people more like His Son.
There’s also biblical precedent.
No, I’m not suggesting that Matthew or Luke used a dedicated church app in their ministries. But we do know what Paul and others did when they couldn’t be with the men and women they were called to lead and shepherd: they wrote letters.
That’s right. Letters are the original church app (sort of). The book of Romans or 2 Corinthians or any of the other letters in the New Testament are just content presented in a different form than in-person teaching. They allowed the apostles to preach and teach from great distances, even from prison.
Letters, like church apps, have another advantage. When a sermon is over, it’s over. But the content in a letter can be taken in again and again. That’s why, even today, the church is still feasting on letters sent to Christians in the first century. The archive in your church’s app can function in much the same way—not as Holy Scripture, but as teaching that can be enjoyed, learned from, and shared again and again.
Just about anyone you can meet these days has one thing in common with everyone else: there’s a phone in their pocket. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that phone were used for more than checking Instagram and watching cat videos on YouTube?
There’s kingdom work to be done, so let’s take advantage of every opportunity this world affords us.
Over to you
How might your church community change and grow if you had a dedicated church app? To find out more about Tithe.ly’s Church App, get in touch with us!