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How to make a custom church app: Benefits, features, pricing, and more

Because of smartphones, the internet (and more recently, the pandemic) our lives are increasingly digital. Making a church app allows parishioners to come together despite today's challenges. You can also deliver sermons and collect donations online. In a virtually connected world, religion doesn't need to be disconnected. 

Today we will be looking at everything you need to make a custom app for your church. Let's begin!


A custom church app - what is it?


Now you might be wondering what a custom church app is. It is exactly what it sounds like - a custom-built app for your church! There are over 3 billion smartphone users in the world. They all use mobile apps on a daily basis. A custom church app helps your congregation be part of a religious community. They can attend virtual sermons, get guidance, and send donations - even if they can't attend in-person. 


Why do I need a custom church app?


We live in a digitally connected world. While your church may already have a website, it's simply not as accessible as an app. A custom-built app enhances user experience. It actively engages people on a platform they use every day - their smartphone. 

Let's look at some benefits your church app can bring.

Staying connected


A custom app can help members of your church stay connected in tough times. It can help ministers stay in touch with the congregation. Church members can also use the app to communicate with each other. This way an active online community can begin. A church app can also help disseminate news and information quickly and easily. 

Donations made easy


Today, more than 50% of donors prefer online contributions. The reason is quite simple - it's convenient! In a church app, for instance, the user will only tap a button. Within seconds the donation will be securely transferred! An app also makes it easy to run online charity drives. You can even send each church member an automatic notification! 

Digital bible on tablet

In-app Bible


A lot of people prefer to read The Good Book on their phones nowadays. Your app can provide a convenient way of doing so. You can also include commentary or sermons relevant to the scripture. 

Save time and money


Websites aren't cheap. Especially websites that require as much functionality as an app can provide. You can't build a web version of your custom church app on WordPress - it would simply cost too much. 

Custom apps are easier to build and cheaper to maintain. They're also faster - you can even build one in just two weeks! 

Engage your church


A custom app can ensure high levels of user engagement. You see, all those activities people couldn't come to church for? They can now be a part of them virtually. 

International Reach


Even if you are a small church, you might have members of your congregation who have moved abroad. Apps don't come with border restrictions. A custom church app can help you spread the Good Word internationally.


Top Features in Your Church App


We have seen how a custom app can benefit your church. It's time to look at some key features your app must include.

Social media integration


Your custom church app needs integrations with social media. This will make it easier for parishioners to share news, events, and religious material. This will also help bring the church community closer together. 

Push Notifications


Push notifications can help deliver important news instantly. Charity drive, online sermon, or a group chat - your parishioners are never too far away. 

Church calendar


A church calendar is one of the most important features to include. This will help your congregation keep track of all church events. 

Communication


Your app must have at least one in-app communication tool. An in-app chat or live call feature can connect members to the clergy. 

Blog


Keep your parishioners aware of the latest news and happenings by maintaining a regular blog. 

Polls and surveys


With an in-built poll or survey feature, you can be aware of your members' issues in real-time. 

Analytics


Analytics can help you understand how your app is performing and where you can improve. 

Types of Church Applications


There are many different kinds of church apps you can create. Each one serves a different purpose and has different features. Today we will look at 4 main types of custom church apps. 


1. For your congregation


Creating a church app for parishioners serves several important purposes:

  1. A custom app makes it easier to spread the Good Book among your congregation
  2. It helps bring the congregation together in a close-knit online community
  3. It helps you deliver sermons and conduct events virtually. This will ensure higher engagement levels as connecting online is easier. 
  4. You can also broadcast important church events and share them on social media 
  5. The church can also conduct online charity drives and donation runs via the app. More and more people find donating online to be secure and convenient. 

2. For church leaders


An app for spiritual leaders can also perform important functions: 

  1. A custom app can help spiritual leaders remain more connected with their congregation
  2. It can digitise a lot of their commitments including Bible study and sermons
  3. Spiritual leaders can conduct counseling sessions for members that need help via the app. This can be very useful if it's difficult for members to come to church.
  4. Spiritual leaders can also keep track of progress made by individual members in study groups. 

3. For church clerics


A custom church app for clerics can allow effective engagement with church leaders:

  1. It can allow virtual access to the church database
  2. Clerics can review automatically updated attendance and performance reports
  3. They can evaluate different performance indicators and participation numbers
  4. They can review, scrutinize, and distribute charity funds from within the app

4. For children and toddlers


A church app for children can help bring them closer to religion and God from a young age. However, there are several things to keep in mind: 

  1. The app must be highly engaging and entertaining. Children should not get bored. Interactive religious games and reward-based milestones can help
  2. Include as much interactive content as possible. This includes videos, cartoons, and even interactive scripture
  3. All information should be made easy to understand and grasp for children. Colorful images, cartoons, and simple concepts should be included. 


How to make a church app


Regardless of the kind of app you are trying to build, the development process remains similar. You start off with an idea and take it through several important stages. These include:

  • Research
  • App-scope
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing and deployment

There are several techniques and tools that you can use at each of these stages. A lot of these also vary with your development approach. But before you get there, it's important to decide on the features you want to include. Let's look at some basic and advanced features you can have. 
   <H3> Basic features for your church app
Some basic features that you should include are:


  • Church information - anyone who downloads the app should get detailed information about your church. 
  • News - your app should keep your members informed and updated
  • Streaming and media - members should be able to access sermons and materials

Advanced features for your church app


Advanced church app features can include:

  • Gallery 
  • Church map
  • Interactive Bible study
  • Online activities

Custom church app pricing

 
How much your custom church app costs depends on quite a few factors. We have already discussed features earlier, but other factors include:

  • Your development team
  • UI/UX design - apps for children need to be more interactive
  • App platform (iOS/Android)
  • Where you are in the world - development costs vary geographically 

But despite all these factors, the truth is that software development is expensive. When it comes to apps with custom features and requirements, developers tend to charge exorbitant amounts. The good news is that you don't need expensive developers any more. Opting for a NoCode approach is not only cheaper, but also faster, and more efficient. Find out how you can cut custom development costs with no code in our blog. 


Conclusion


We live in an increasingly digital world. Most people rely on smartphones and apps to perform a variety of functions. In a virtually connected world, there's no reason why the church should remain behind. A custom church app offers a variety of benefits. You can conduct sermons, stream events, and collect donations online. It also brings church members together in an online community. Investing in a custom app for your church is definitely a good idea!


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