It’s becoming more and more rare to encounter a church that hasn’t embraced technology’s power for driving ministry. As the world around us increases its reliance on tech solutions, church leaders must actively seek out the best tools for fostering connection and nurturing engagement in their community.
To address that need, dozens of tech providers sprang up to develop digital solutions tailored specifically to the needs of the Church—Pushpay being one of them.
But there’s also a wide range of versatile digital tools that aren’t necessarily specific to ministry which can still add huge value for churches. Tools that exist to enhance your marketing reach, increase digital security, fuel growth within your congregation, and so much more, all of which can play a valuable role in the future of your church.
The 13 best apps for churches are:
1. Pushpay’s ChMS
2. Google Voice
3. Text in Church
4. LEAD App
5. Pushpay Giving
8. Adobe Creative Cloud
9. Dwell App
10. YouVersion Bible App
11. ESV Bible App
13. Authenticator Apps
Apps for Improved Church Communication
No church can thrive without effective communication. Even before the printing press enabled mass publication of the Bible, the Church’s growth necessitated leveraging the available tools of the day to drive its mission.
In the twenty-first century, the “available tools of the day” flow through technology, and there are a variety of options leaders should consider for improving communication and building connection with their people.
Empowering communication between leaders and their congregants is core to Pushpay’s technology suite. We’re constantly innovating to deliver industry-leading solutions that engage people the way they want to be engaged.
Pushpay’s ChMS enables direct text messages, templated or personalized emails, and rich push notifications to make sure no one in your community is out of the loop. Combine those features with polls and automated reminders to your people, and you’ll never need to worry about a message slipping through the cracks.
2. Google Voice
Google Voice is another solution that aids many churches in staying connected. Besides enabling standard phone, voicemail, and texting services, this tool transcribes voicemails—a fantastic feature for increasing accessibility—and easily integrates with other Google services such as Gmail, Calendar, and more, which makes it simple for staff and congregants to adopt.
Text in Church is another easily digestible option for users. The service provides a 2-way texting system that uses automated processes to enable back-and-forth communication via email and SMS messaging.
Church Management Apps
Church Management Software (ChMS) does so much more than facilitating communication. A unified, all-encompassing, fully integrated suite of technology solutions is a boon for staff and members alike.
Seamlessly integrated, church-specific tools whittle down the workload for your staff, while providing deep insights into the health of your ministry. With this added time and information, your leadership will be uniquely equipped to nurture the health of your congregation.
What sets Pushpay apart, however, is the ability to see and do all of that on-the-go.
4. LEAD App
Pushpay’s LEAD App was designed for church leaders who understand that ministry often happens away from the computer. While you’re out among your community, our mobile LEAD App enables access to member profiles, volunteer schedules, worship plans, and more, better enabling you to engage those you serve.
Church Giving Apps
Nothing should stand in the way of your donors’ desire to give, including the days of the week. Online giving—the most popular tech among churches, according to the 2023 State of Church Tech report—is convenient for your donors and proven to increase the amount of funds your ministry receives.
Church Giving Made Easy
12 years ago, Pushpay was founded specifically to bridge the gap between in-person and online giving for churches. That original mission has driven our team, products, and innovative spirit from day one.
Today, Pushpay’s proud to offer many giving features that no competitor can match. Our recently announced Everygift™ proprietary system simultaneously secures potentially at-risk donations from failure, while also encouraging further donations in the future—to the tune of $213 million secured for churches in 2022 alone.
Add to that our best-in-class analytics—easily digestible through our Donor Development Dashboard—alongside unparalleled customization options that allow your team tailor every aspect of your online giving process, and you’re sure to experience a lift in giving that’s just as joyous for your ministry as it is for your givers.
The front door of your church is no longer a physical entryway. Studies show that new visitors to a church engage with your digital properties several times before ever considering attending in person.
Post-pandemic, every leader is looking to refill the seats inside their four walls. But, in this digital era, attendance doesn’t drive engagement; engagement drives attendance. Your digital marketing strategy is critical to boosting in-person participation.
Have you ever checked the website of a restaurant before stopping in for dinner? Potential guests to your church are doing the same thing!
There are many user-friendly website builders out there, but Squarespace might be the most accessible starting place. Everything your team needs to put your best (digital) foot forward is available, supplemented with tutorials, analytics, simplified domain registration processes, and more.
Still, you need to stand out beyond default site-building tools. Canva is a graphic design platform that offers an extensive variety of tools and templates that make it very approachable for those without much digital art experience. Your announcements, sermon visuals, event materials, and all the rest will instantly look professionally stylized.
But if you’re fortunate enough to have some experience and talent on your team, you’re already aware that Adobe Creative Cloud remains the industry standard for design functionality. It requires some know-how to fully utilize, but if customization is central to the marketing vision of your church, then finding someone with Adobe credentials is the way to go.
Personal Growth Apps
No matter how many services your church offers a week, and no matter how much digital content your church creates, there’s already so much more available that can support your community along their spiritual journeys. When people spend time with one of the apps below, not only are they moving closer in their relationship with the Church, but they’re likely to appreciate you directing them to these resources, and trust your ministry even more deeply in the future.
9. Dwell App
The Dwell App is so much more than a run-of-the-mill audio Bible app. Besides offering various translations, the app allows listeners to select specific voices for the readings, along with calming background soundscapes to further personalize the time they’ve committed to reflection.
For an even more customizable and community-centric experience, YouVersion Bible App provides a comprehensive set of features. By offering notations, devotionals, the ability to participate in reading plans together, and so much more, YouVersion is an option more suited to those communities seeking deeper engagement in an app.
11. ESV Bible App
That said, sometimes quietly sitting with scripture is all we need. The ESV Bible App does include some bells and whistles, but in line with the spirit of its translation, the app focuses on simplicity and is available for free through multiple online stores.
As churches further embed themselves in the hybrid model of worship and engagement, digital security becomes increasingly important—yet too many people still use the same simple passwords they’d adopted for their first AOL account.
Jokes aside, it’s doubly important for churches to take online security seriously, to protect the information and financial data of those donors who often simply assume they can trust platforms to securely manage their gifts.
The usual sticking point for convincing people to use unique, complicated passwords across their online services is their ability to remember those passwords. 1Password solves this issue by self-generating and securely storing passwords for each of a users’ accounts. While useful for individual donors to your church, this app shines when adopted by staff, as it includes features for managing the team’s access to sensitive financial data and social media platforms, while helping maintain compliance with the latest data protection regulations.
13. Authenticator Apps
Taken one step further, you can ensure your donor’s financial security through an Authenticator App. By enforcing two-factor authentication, someone wishing to donate to your ministry must take one additional step—usually a confirmation code via text—to signal they’re truly the person who initiated the gift.
Security measures like these may sound like overkill—until they’re not, and someone who’s engaged with your church with an open heart and generous spirit finds themselves taken advantage of by bad-faith actors.
So… What Happens Next?
If you made it all the way down here, you’ve already taken a great stride in advancing your church’s digital acumen. Even if you don’t implement anything you read about, your ministry and the community that depends on you to lead are better off, because you now have a fuller understanding of the best tech available to support the Church!
But if you do want to explore further on any of the subjects touched on above, Pushpay’s award-winning Customer Success team is ready to answer any questions you may have, so that together we might build community, connection, and belonging.
Pushpay is not affiliated with or sponsored by any third party brands listed herein. Links are provided for the reader’s convenience only.
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