There are so many misunderstandings with regard to mobile apps, but don’t worry; I’m here to help you through the process.
Do a quick Google search about church mobile apps, and you’ll see a lot of options out there.
- Subsplash is the one used by the big players out there, but if you try to find out how much it costs from their website, you will be disappointed. However, the last time I talked to one of their ministry consultants, their cost for my small church was going to be around $5000 for the initial setup and then roughly $100 per month after that. (That’s the main reason I built my own app for our church.)
- The Church App is actually just a second website used by Subsplash to market their apps.
- Nucleus puts a lot of effort into convincing you that you don’t need a church app. Instead, they want you to use their custom website platform that duplicates the functionality of most church apps.
- Elexio, Ministry One, Planning Center, and others are church management systems that include a “free” app for churches that use their platform. They all have advantages, but at the end of the day, you are locked in to their management platform, and if you decide to switch your church database, you’ll have to also transition your app and website as well.
That’s Why Custom…
Wherever your website is, wherever your church membership database is, a custom app can bring together all your important information and make it available to your people in an attractive way that is unique to your church.
However, as the Nucleus guys will tell you, developing a mobile app will cost you $100,000.
(Don’t believe them.)
The truth is that there are a lot of ways to get a good custom mobile app for not much money, but the best news for you is that I have already built one for my church, and I’m willing to simply repurpose and customize our app for your needs.
Your logo, your colors, your content, your sermons, your calendar, your announcements, my already built app.
By doing it this way, you get an app designed specifically for churches, customized for your church, at a fraction of the cost of other custom solutions.
(No Hidden Costs)
Here’s the real important part. All the mobile app providers I mentioned above are filled with hidden costs.
- Other app providers have payment methods so you can take donations in the app, but they tack on extra charges for that privilege in the form of transaction fees and monthly fees.
- Other app providers charge you for how many sermons you store on their site giving you a limit to how many you can host online and charging you monthly fees in the process.
- Other app providers charge you a general monthly fee just to keep your app in the app stores
There are so many ways app providers get extra money from churches, and I don’t do any of that.
With me, once I finish your app, that app belongs to you, and that’s it. Moreover, I develop my app in a way that you can customize it yourself through your own website.
Still, if you ever need a major update in some way or want a specific new feature, just let me know, and I’ll quote you an update cost.
Finally, if you ever get a developer in house and you want the source code for your app so you can customize it yourself, just let me know, and I will sell you all the code for a reasonable price.
So, the Process
It’s really simple:
- Search for Lafayette Community Church on the iOS app store or the Google Play store. Download it, mess with it, and then tell me what you like and what you don’t like.
- I’ll make whatever changes you want.
- I’ll install a plugin on your website to let you customize the app from that point forward and train you on how to do it.
- When you are happy, you’ll pay me and I’ll release it to the app stores.
- The whole process can take as little as two weeks.
What Can Our App Do?
Here’s where I’ll tell you something you won’t believe, but it’s the truth… since you are getting a custom app with me, pretty much anything you can imagine in your app, I can make happen. These are things I have already put into our church app:
- See worship lyrics in the app that match what’s on the screen for people who can’t read the screen.
- See worship chords in the app so small groups can use the app for group worship.
- See the latest Bible passage in the app when it shows up on the screen.
- Hear and/or watch your entire sermon archive in the app.
- Get push notifications.
- Handle check-in and check-out for the children’s program using the app.
- Manage family data in the app.
- Make donations to the church with extremely low transaction fees.
- Submit prayer requests.
- See the latest announcements.
- See your volunteer schedule
- Hide an Easter Egg (video game) in the app.
- Let church members create chat groups with each other.
- Handle sign-ups for church events right in the app.
- Let people create “Prayer Walks” in the app and let them see where other people have done prayer walks.
And here are other things I have put into other apps I’ve built for our church:
- We can turn the lights on and off in the church from our phones.
- We can control the heat in the church from our phones.
- We control our Spotify account from our phones.
- We control ProPresenter from our phones.
- We control our Sound Board from our phones.
- We control our vMix live stream from our phones.