Your church is filled with smartphones. Whether your members are keeping them out of the way or getting distracted during services, it’s time to address how to incorporate mobile into your church.
Instead of just banning phones or limiting them to a Bible app, encourage them to use their phones, but in a more productive way than just covertly checking out Facebook.
Mobile doesn’t mean you’re going to the proverbial dark side. It’s just a modern way of engaging your members. You might be surprised at just how much more attention everyone pays.
1. Use Online Giving
For safety reasons, many people don’t carry cash anymore. Outside of putting an ATM in your church, you need a better way for members to give. Having an option on your website is great, but you can also incorporate online giving via mobile. Not only is it more convenient and secure for your members, but they can give discreetly without feeling judged if the people next to them give more.
2. Create A Mobile-Friendly Website
Mobile usage is surpassing desktop usage. Ensure your members can access your church’s site on any device by creating a mobile-friendly website. Honestly, mobile isn’t optional anymore. It’s a requirement. This is also a great way to encourage live interactions during church by adding polls to your site or letting members submit questions on a forum during the service.
If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly or not, use Google’s free tool to test.
3. Develop Your Own Church App
If you want to go beyond a website, develop your own church app. It’s one of the more immersive ways to incorporate mobile into your church. Your app can include nearly any feature you want. The best part is it gives your members access to church details in a single tap. You can hire a developer or use an app company that specializes in church apps.
4. Use Real-Time Social Media
Ask your members and you’ll quickly find most of them have at least one social media app on their phones. A quick and easy way to incorporate mobile into your church is to encourage social media use during services. It might sound counterproductive, but it’s not.
For instance, post a question on Facebook or Twitter. Let members post responses throughout the service and near the end, address those responses. You can also host real-time trivia via social media with prizes given out at the end of each service.
5. Encourage SMS Q&As
Everyone’s not a fan of social media and that’s fine. Instead, let your members text in their questions. Carve out 15 minutes or so each week just for a Q&A period via text. You can keep it anonymous if you want or display members’ names as questions come in.
6. Send Out Messages Via Text
Sometimes social media posts get lost on an endless newsfeed and members might not always check your blog for the latest posts. Offer members the opportunity to receive daily texts (frequency can obviously vary based on your church). Use these texts to send out daily scripture, prayer requests or just an inspiring image.
7. Host Selfie/Unselfie Sundays
Selfies are huge. Love them or hate them, many of your members have selfies on their phones. Instead of writing off the trend, embrace it and use it as a way to incorporate mobile into your church.
Encourage members to create their best selfies one Sunday a month. It’s not only fun, but it’s great marketing for your church. After all, as members post to Instagram, Facebook and more, word of your church is spreading. Ask a few volunteers to gather all the selfies to create collages for your website.
On the other hand, host unselfie Sundays if selfies seem too selfish. This is where members and leaders take selfies that also bring attention to a specific cause or issue, such as the local food kitchen running out of food.
8. Use A Mobile Bible
Odds are, some of your members already have a Bible app on their devices. It’s easier for them to carry around and many apps include ways to highlight verses and take notes. Encourage your members to download the best Bible or worship app for their needs. YouVersion is a popular interactive Bible app that allows your church to upload outlines, sermon notes and more.
Are you ready to incorporate mobile into your church? Start today by ensuring your website is ready for mobile devices.