With the recent events requiring us to worship from home in many places around the world during COVID-19, church apps are proving themselves highly valuable. Whether you have a church app, or you’re looking to get one, how do you encourage digital discipleship through the platform?

Interaction Over Information

Church apps traditionally focus on information, providing a hub for members to give, view event details, and watch sermon replays. These apps tend to slip into the background on a church member’s phone because there is no reason for them to engage consistently.

If your app is a clone of the information available on your website, it isn’t worth downloading. Adding interactive features is a powerful way to engage your congregation from anywhere.

Here are four Church App Features that Encourage Discipleship.

#1 – Fill-in-the-Blank Sermon Notes

Fill-in-the-the-blank sermon notes boost digital discipleship and give your congregation a way to stay engaged from anywhere. Taking sermon notes is a fantastic way to absorb the message.

Digital sermon notes give church members an easy way to find past sermon notes at any time. Using an app like My Sermon Notes, creating fill-in-the-blank sermon notes for your church members is simple.

#2 – Interactive Prayer Requests

Prayer requests are a common tab in church apps and websites, but they typically feel one-sided to users. What happens after they click submit? Instead, consider offering interactive prayer requests where your church body can leave comments on requests and support each other.

Using robust moderation tools, you can have an interactive prayer requests tab that lets your leaders approve requests before they go out and modify them if any information needs to be redacted.

#3 – Push Notification Announcements

Push notification announcements are the future of church communication. While email lists and social media marketing are important, nothing reaches church members more effectively than rich push notification announcements.

Adding an Announcements tab to your church app gives you a voice unlike any other platform. There’s no algorithm and no character limits. Here are some ideas for engaging push notification announcements:

  • Daily/weekly devotionals – have fun with it. Experiment with devotionals and try adding video or audio elements. Try having a call to action and encourage responses and discussion in the comments section.
  • Event reminders – is a big serving opportunity approaching? Remind your church members with an announcement.
  • Sermon replay notifications – when you post your sermon replay via video or podcast, send out a notification. Members who missed the service will enjoy a reminder to tune in.

#4 – Integration with your ChMS

Creating integration with your existing church management software is a great way to stay organized. Why re-invent the wheel using a proprietary connection card form if your ChMS already has an online form set up? Adding links from your church app to your ChMS when appropriate is a way to simplify things for both church members and church leaders.

Encourage Regular Engagement

To achieve true utility with your church app, it takes more than throwing up a slide in your service and hoping for the best. As church leaders, your congregation is looking to you to tell them how to stay connected with the church.

Remind your congregation that your app is the best way to stay connected with the church. Dedicate a small section in your service for this announcement, but be sure to tell your congregation exactly why they should download your app. Give church members a good reason – offer exclusive devotionals or content on the app to make it a worthy download.

Consistency is key to having a quality church app experience. Consistently plug it to your congregation, and consistently post announcements and content. Soon, your members will develop habits to use your church app regularly.

Next Steps

If you’re searching for a church app platform with rich, engaging features, look no further than My Sermon Notes. The My Sermon Notes app keeps a discipleship-first mindset, equipping your congregation with tools to stay connected from anywhere. The platform is fully customizable to fit your church’s needs, and they offer a 30-day free trial and live video call training.

Achieve a new level of digital discipleship with fill-in-the-blank sermon notes, interactive prayer requests, push notification announcements, connection cards, and more. Schedule a demo to see what My Sermon Notes can do for your church.