How to Create a Great Church App?
Interested in knowing how to create a church app?
This is a growing industry, particularly in the United States, which can be highly lucrative.
Let’s explore different approaches to making a great church app. First, we will look at the essential features of a church app and also, discuss an example church app to get a better understanding of the user market.
Features of a church app
When you create your own church app, include the following features:
- Your church app should easily identify with your church. It should, therefore, have the same brand guidelines as your church.
- Provide a customizable bible reading plan to your viewers. Translation and audio bibles should be part of the app.
- The app should help users to take notes and create their journal entries.
- Your church app should be able to send push notifications to engage your visitors between congregations.
- Consider a live polling feature for increasing interactions with the Church-goers.
- The app should provide custom forms so that you can easily collect information.
- You need to have multimedia capabilities in your app, which will help in sharing videos of sermons. Obviously, you can also use it to share other relevant content.
Read more about these essential features in “7 Church Mobile App Essentials”. Let‘s now look at examples of great custom church apps.
Examples of great church apps
Following are a few church apps, from which you can draw inspiration:
- Aware3: The app has all the important features, e.g. chat, push notifications, notes, journals, donations, live polling, etc. They provide you with an option to customize it for your church. To see a live app created using this platform, check out this ’Midwest Fellowship‘ app.
- UNIFY Church app: They have readymade apps that you can just customize for your church. They offer features like user profiles & registration, RSVP for events, prayer wall & message board, maps integration, church directory, document library, and more.
- SmartChurch: This is another ready-made church mobile app besides, they have a free version. You can customize it for your church. The premium plans have all the relevant church app features like prayer wall, push notifications, donations, etc. Their ’Custom App’ plan, i.e. an even more premium version, allows you to create and publish your own app in the ’Apple App Store’ with your logo.
- The Church App: Another ready-made solution for you to just customize for your organization. The platform allows standard features like engagement and donation. They provide a quote upon request.
I will now take you through a few church app development approaches.
Approach #1: Build a church app with the iBuildApp Church app template
iBuildApp provides you with a platform to build mobile apps for different use-cases. They also have several templates hence, you can get started quickly. With this approach, you don’t need to hire church app developers or a company that builds church apps. You get the ’Time-to-Market’ advantage.
iBuildApp church template features
You can get the iBuildApp Church template and customize it for your church. The template has the relevant church app features, e.g.:
- Bible-reading features;
- It provides church app users with the ability to donate;
- Broadcasting sermons are possible;
- Various community features are included.
How to build your church app using the iBuildApp church template?
After you purchase a template from this company, they provide you with step-by-step instructions. You can use their iBuildApp support center for searching detailed documentation if you have more questions.
Advantages of iBuildApp church template:
You can create both Android and iOS apps. You can use their good analytics toolkit to measure user engagement, besides, you can include in-app purchases if that‘s relevant. There is no limit to the number of edits and updates. The company helps with publishing your app to the ’Google Play Store‘, and the ’Apple App Store‘.
Cost of building an app using the iBuildApp church template:
You don’t need to hire church app builders, furthermore, you don’t need to get a separate cloud hosting account. iBuildApp has a trial period, besides, they have plans for professionals, businesses, and large companies.
The premium plans include good support options, also, they will train your team in the admin and management areas. The ’Company‘ plan also includes help with private app distribution, app content security, and a few other areas. Visit the iBuildApp pricing page for more details.
Approach #2: Create a church app with the Appy Pie app-builder
Appy Pie is a company that focuses on mobile apps. They offer a drag-and-drop app builder, hence, you can create your church app without hiring developers. Like the earlier option, a quick ’Time-to-Market‘ is a crucial advantage for you.
Features of the Appy Pie church app-builder
You can include the following features in your app when you create with Appy Pie:
- Your users can access the Bible in the app.
- The app allows donations from users.
- Embed YouTube or Vimeo video sermons in the app.
- SoundCloud allows you to embed audio sermons.
- The app can include relevant communication features.
- You can also include Internet radio in the app.
Read more about their features on the Appy Pie church app maker webpage.
How to build your church app using Appy Pie
There is no coding skill required for this app-builder, however, you may want to onboard an experienced designer to make the most use of the layouts this company offers. You need to sign-up for Appy Pie first.
After this, the app-builder provides you with step-by-step intuitive instructions. You need to choose a layout, subsequently, you need to select the relevant features. For each feature, you will need to enter the required configuration information, e.g. social media URLs, YouTube channels, etc.
After you have configured all the features you need, you need to submit the app to the ’Google Play‘ or ’Apple App Store‘. You need to follow the guidelines I mentioned earlier in this article.
Advantages of the Appy Pie app-builder
Their app-builder can be useful no matter which industry you are in, also, you don’t need to be an expert in mobile app technologies. Coming to the church app use case, they offer all relevant features like access to the Bible, sharing video and audio sermons, donations, and communication. Their premium pricing plans also include good support packages.
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Cost of building an app using Appy Pie
The company presents its price here. While their basic plan allows you to make a custom church app for android only, higher-priced plans offer iOS, Windows, etc. too.
All paid plans include their analytics suite and monetizing capabilities, however, you can use your own branding information only in the ’Platinum‘ plan.
Bandwidth and storage quotas increase with higher-priced plans. While most plans have some useful support options, the ’Platinum’ plan also includes assistance for submitting an app in app stores. You don’t need to arrange for separate cloud hosting.
Approach #3: Create a church app that consumes ’ChurchSuite‘ APIs
Unlike the approaches I have mentioned earlier in this article, this approach involves custom church app development. For Church-specific functionalities, the app will need to use the ’ChurchSuite‘ APIs, i.e. ’application programming interfaces‘.
What is ’ChurchSuite‘?
ChurchSuite is a full-fledged church management software for church app providers. The company offers the following:
- Church database software.
- Church management software.
- Church donation management software.
- Web-based church database.
- Church membership software.
- Church management system.
- Church membership database.
- Cloud church management.
- Church attendance database.
Now, the good news for your mobile app is that they also offer APIs for the church app platform. You need to buy the full suite of all their products to access these APIs. Check out their pricing for the full suite here. You can consume these APIs from your mobile app, however, you need to develop your app!
Assemble your development team
This is a more complex development project hence you need to onboard a team with the following skills:
- Business analyst, for requirement definition.
- UI/UX designer.
- Android and iOS developers.
- mobile app testers
- Project manager.
I recommend that you use a ’Mobile Backend as a Service’ (MBaaS) provider. Mobile backend development is a complex and lengthy affair, hence using an MBaaS provider helps you in achieving a quick ’Time to Market’.
Google Firebase, AWS Mobile, Kinvey, SashiDo, and Kumolos are good MBaaS options. Check out our guide “How To Choose The Best Mobile Backend As A Service (MBaaS)?”.
Note that depending on your geography and local labor market, some of these skills could be niche. Get professional help if you face staffing challenges.
A summary of your development phases
Your PM needs to manage the following:
- Requirements definition;
- UI/UX design – as you need an intuitive user interface, it’s best to have it checked before you launch your app;
- iOS/Android development (I recommend developing both Android and iOS apps first up, since converting an Android app to iOS later isn’t straightforward);
- MBaaS set-up:
- Integration with ChurchSuite APIs;
The PM needs to have good knowledge of modern project management methodologies. Read our guide “Top 7 Project Management Methodologies”.
Cost of building a church app using this approach
ChurchSuite API price is available on the pricing page that I have referred to above. MBaaS providers have their pricing plans for different usage-level, and you need to visit their websites.
This approach requires full-fledged development hence you need to budget for UI/UX designers, iOS/Android developers, testers, PM, etc.
Your requirements and complexity will determine the man-hours, while your geography and the local labor market will drive the manpower cost.
Planning to create a church app?
In this article, we discussed different approaches to undertaking a church app development project. If you wish to make a highly customized church app with unique features, then following the last approach using the ChuchSuite APIs will be your best course of action.
However, this is a more complex approach, hence, consider taking professional help if you find the staffing of experienced and top church app developers a challenge.
You may take a look at the field-expert software developer community at DevTeam.Space experienced in creating market-competitive custom apps for a range of businesses following an Agile app development process.
Write to us your initial church app specifications via this form and one of our account managers will contact you at the earliest.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a type of religious app that allows church members to access a range of services relating to their church. This can be anything from upcoming church events to daily teachings from the Bible.
In order to build a great church app, you will need great developers. Put together project specifications and onboard experienced developers from a reputable software development company like DevTeam.Space. Outline the tasks required, set up the infrastructure and communication channels, then set the ball rolling.
Church apps have been shown to boost member engagement with a church as well as bring in new members. Since the app can provide members with notifications of events as well as a range of other services, a church app only provides positive benefits.