4 Ways to Use Your Church App to Engage Your Community This Holiday Season

4 Ways to Use Your Church App to Engage Your Community This Holiday Season

In the final quarter of the year, your church has to be firing on all cylinders. You depend on the increased giving from #GivingTuesday and the holidays. You need more volunteers to support seasonal programs and ministries and to facilitate larger services. You want to capitalize on the increase in visitors.

The holiday season is an important time to engage your church and guide people further along their member journey. Your church app gives you a lot of tools to do that, but a lot of churches underutilize their app during the holidays. They may use it for hosting sermons and giving, but don’t take advantage of valuable engagement features.

Here are four ways you can use the Pushpay app to engage your church over the holidays.

1. Create attitude polls

It’s hard for most churches to get reliable feedback. For every person who voices a frustration or desire, there could be many others who agree—or disagree. Your staff likely gets plenty of feedback from the people they have relationships with, but does that feedback represent the feelings of your entire church?

Attitude polls let you create simple surveys your congregation can access in the app. They can anonymously answer your questions about things like:

  • Things that worked (or didn’t work) in past holiday services
  • Expectations and desires for future services
  • Barriers to volunteering
  • What would motivate them to invite friends and family
  • Logistical challenges you’re trying to navigate

You set the questions, then sit back and see how strongly your congregation agrees.

church app

This helps you get reliable feedback from as many people as possible, and you can view the results in real-time. Creating an attitude poll leading into the holiday season will help you focus on the areas you need to improve or address, and it helps your congregation feel like their voice is being heard, which makes them more invested in your ministry.

2. Send push notifications

When you upload sermons and other content to your app, your congregation only sees it if they’re in the app, looking for that content. In that way, uploading new content is a passive way to engage your congregation through your church app. You have to wait for them to come to you. But with push notifications, you can proactively engage your app users—whether the app is open or not.

Push notifications pop up on someone’s phone with a brief message, and tapping them takes users to your app to learn more.

Here are a few ways you might engage your congregation with push notifications over the holidays:

Geofencing

Geofencing lets you set a push notification to activate based on someone’s geographic location—such as your church campus. So as your church members arrive for your weekend services, you can send them a message that reinforces what you’d like them to do or think about:

“Welcome to [church name]! Be sure to greet someone new today as you get ready for worship.”
“It’s time for our annual food drive! You can drop off your items in the foyer each week. There’s still time to reach our goal.”

Event reminders

Whether you’re putting on a Christmas pageant, planning a Thanksgiving meal, or partnering with a local nonprofit and doing community service, you can use event reminders to make sure people remember to register, attend, or sign up to volunteer at your event—which they can learn more about in your app.

Scripture

When Advent season begins in December, your whole church will be reflecting on the same passages together as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. You might already be encouraging church members to read and reflect on particular verses or passages during your weekend service—why not remind people to read during the week, while they’re at home?

3. Share an Advent devotional

If you want people to engage with your church app, it helps if you give them a reason to come back regularly. Each week, you’re probably already preparing Advent reflections to share during December services. Why not expand on these to create a short devotional to guide your congregation through the Advent season?

You could even pair this with push notifications to let people know when new devotionals are available. By giving your church something to focus on throughout the week, you’ll help make this season more meaningful and keep your church top of mind.

4. Use impact cards

Impact cards are special content cards you can display on your home screen to highlight what’s happening in your ministries. For members who give regularly, impact cards reinforce the value of their giving by providing tangible examples of what their giving has helped accomplish, such as meals served, progress toward goals, number of people involved in a program, and other metrics.

For those who don’t give regularly, impact cards can highlight areas where your ministry is already using resources effectively and encourage them to get involved. During the holidays, many people are looking for opportunities to be generous—but they want to know they’re making wise choices about how they use what God gives them. If you can demonstrate the important work your church is doing with what you have, that can motivate people to give more—or to give for the first time.

A constant connection to your church

The holidays are an important time for your church to rally together. You may have more opportunities to serve and a greater need for participation. You probably have particular passages you’d like to focus on together. And people are already more inclined to be generous. With your church app, you give your congregation constant access to what’s going on in your church and how they can be more involved.

To learn more about how your church app can do more for your church his holiday season, click here to talk to one of our church tech experts today!

Jayson D. Bradley

Jayson D. Bradley is a writer and pastor in Bellingham, WA. He’s a regular contributor to Relevant Magazine, and his blog JaysonDBradley.com has been voted one of the 25 Christian blogs you should be reading.