Summer keeps your congregation busy – vacations, reunions, youth sports, and other activities can have church members on the road and away from your services. We’ve heard plenty of church leaders asking an important question: what are the best ways to re-engage our members once life goes “back to normal” after the busy summer months? It’s a great question, and we think a mobile app is a great source for solutions!
Why an app? Because your church members are almost always connected to their mobile devices, whether they’re on the go or winding down after a busy summer season.
A dedicated church mobile app lets you meet your members where they are, on their phones and tablets, and give them the information and inspiration they need to reconnect with your ministries.
We have identified five app strategies you can implement now to be ready to welcome your congregation back from summer break.
- Raise Awareness for Your Church App
Your app won’t have an impact if the congregation doesn’t know about it. Start getting the word out now. Start mentioning the app during your Sunday services and let everyone know it’s a great way to stay connected. Highlight the app before and after your livestreams, so people can grab their phones and download it.
It’s also a great idea to promote your church app via social media – especially since most people will be following your feed from their mobile devices and can quickly download the app once they see your post. And if you don’t yet have an app, there’s no time like now to get started.
- Showcase Your Summer Sermons (and Lean in to Livestreaming)
Your mobile app is an awesome platform to share summer services that your members may have missed. Your archives can highlight the special themes your sermons covered, or any dedicated services you held for Memorial Day, Juneteenth, or the Fourth of July.
And don’t forget to keep a strong focus on livestreaming through your mobile app. Even as summer winds down, some of your families may still have weekend travels for school activities or fall sports. And as COVID-19 lingers, some of your vulnerable members may still be uncomfortable with large gatherings. They’ll appreciate your livestreams being available via the app and all your online channels.
- Stay in Touch with Notifications
Through your app, you can schedule messages for the upcoming fall season that will remind your congregation of the ministries and programs you offer. You can also share themes and Bible verses from your upcoming sermon or offer a daily Bible verse or devotional to those who opt in to receive notifications.
This is a useful feature throughout the year – in addition to scheduled messages, you can also send push notifications to your congregation if there’s a schedule change, uplifting prayer updates, or weather alerts. But especially after the busy summer months, notifications can help your members reconnect to the Christ-driven mission they care about so much.
- Get People Active in Small Groups and Ministries
After the hustle and bustle of summer, many church members will be looking to slow down and refocus on their spiritual growth. Promoting small groups through your mobile app will help loop people into the opportunities your church is offering – and you can have quick sign-up options right through the app, so church members can get involved.
Your app is also a great way to let parents know about your church’s back-to-school programs. Whether it’s a special service, small groups for high schoolers, or a celebration for students, parents will appreciate a heads-up about how to get their kids reengaged with your church community, as well.
- Put a Post-Summer Spotlight on Stewardship
As summer winds down, it’s important to remind church members of the importance of online giving – especially the benefits of setting up recurring gifts. It will be fresh in people’s minds how many offerings they missed because they were out of town on Sundays; an opportunity to automate their giving will make sense and your congregation will appreciate it. Most everyone is used to giving online, and your app provides a great platform for members to set up recurring gifts.
Autumn is also a great time to remind your congregation that app-based donations (as well as text-to-give options and giving opportunities during your livestreams) are great ways to give if they miss a worship service. It’s something people will remember if travels, bad weather, sickness, or other circumstances make them miss church at any point during the year.
This information is courtesy of Shelby Systems, a trusted provider of premium software solutions to churches and faith-based nonprofits, with over 45 years of experience in helping churches use the latest technology to strengthen ministries, www.shelbysystems.com.