A mobile app, no matter how fancy, doesn’t do much good if no one downloads it.
That’s why church officials who use apps say it’s important to already have a multimedia program in place before paying someone to develop a mobile app for your house of worship. Churches that already post to the web find it’s easier to spread the word about the app.
For example, Vision Church in Miami tapes its sermons every week and posts them on site-aggregating websites. North Coast Church in southern California and Mars Hill in Seattle broadcast their sermons to satellite locations throughout the week.
All of the churches advertise their upcoming apps on sermon videos, through updates on social media sites, and posts on their websites—tools their congregants were already using.
Having a multimedia presence before launching an app helps train churchgoers to use technology, says Seth Faxon of Mars Hill. “I think it’s something that people will look for,” he says.
Mathias Grehn of Vision Church Miami agrees. “We already had an extremely connected congregation,” he explains, “and they told their friends and put [information about the app] on Facebook and Twitter.”
Both Faxon and Grehn say that regular multimedia production becomes an extension of a church, making it that much easier to launch a tool that has the potential to reach thousands more.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been on top of using the latest communication technologies to expand their reach and have employed iPhone, iPad and Adroid apps to help spread the word.