Diversity. Mobility. Accessibility. For parishioners on the go, having access to information at their fingertips is a necessity. 95% of Americans own a cellphone, and for 77% of us, our smartphone allows us mobile access to any information needed. Millennials get roughly three-quarters of their news from online sources. Most parishes have recognized the need for a website. (Still unsure? Here are a few thoughts for your consideration.) Even if your website is mobile friendly, we still recommend having a dedicated parish app for your church community. But why?
Hunting down your parish website — even a mobile-friendly one — requires a series of steps. Opening your browser, painstakingly typing your search, finding the right church, then locating the information you need … these things take time. If someone is in a rush to find a Mass time or an updated liturgy schedule, this isn’t the most efficient option. With a parish app, you give your parishioners access to the information they need in a single click.
Parish apps provide opportunities to connect to groups and ministries. Rather than having information be lost in an inbox pileup, apps allow for push notifications with relevant information. Parishioners can receive targeted messages for the groups they’re involved in or interested in. Whether it’s a request for volunteers or a youth ministry cancellation due to excessive snow, there’s no guesswork or gambling on someone checking their email in time.
Parish apps also allow for events, activities, and ministry meetings to be represented on a common church calendar. Not only can a parishioner check to see when their event is happening, but it allows them a window into the broader life of your parish. By discovering new events, parishioners can expand their engagement according to their interest, availability, and God’s prompting.
Most Catholic organizations have their own app these days. Help your parishioners clear up their home screen! Parish apps allow you to provide RSS for your top, favorite-to-follow Catholics like Pope Francis, Catholic Relief Services, Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire, Catholics Answers, or EWTN. If your parish keeps a dynamic blog, you can connect to it here. Many apps also directly allow you to access a library of Catholic prayers and even daily readings from the USCCB.
As any parish staff member knows, double-entry is a headache. Spending time inputting information in two locations means less time in ministry and other pressing responsibilities. There are a variety of web hosting platforms and app providers, and few of them integrate smoothly. Parish App by WeConnect is an exception. In conjunction with WeConnect, it offers a single digital communications solution for your parish. Relevant updates to the website push directly to the app, saving you time and energy and freeing up one more spot on your to-do list.
Efficiency and engagement, catechesis and convenience. What are your favorite reasons for using a parish app?