“There’s an App for that.” I’ve heard that said and repeated it a time or two. As with the previous segment on integrating social media in ministry, consider the following as you begin to use Apps with your ministry:
- Decide who, where, why and how you want to use Apps with your ministry. To be most effective you need to have a purpose and plan for what you are going to do.
- Find out what Apps the people you want to reach use the most and start there.
- Recruit several people from your faith community who regularly use Apps to help you get started.
- Communicate with your members and parents regarding your App use a plans, specifically how you will use them and the benefit to them.
Two reasons to integrate Apps with ministry are to reinforce Bible learning and as a communication tool with parents and children. There are a variety of Apps for parents, children and youth to use, from games to Bibles, to help them support what they are learning at church each week.
Example – Cokesbury Deep Blue curriculum has an App that follows the weekly Bible lesson. Children can review the story and Bible truths during the week. The curriculum your church uses may have additional App options or suggestions.
Dropbox and Remind are two Apps you can use to share information. Dropbox allows you to share photos, files and videos with volunteers. Remind is a free text messaging App created primarily for teachers to communicate with students/parents. It is open for anyone to use with their group. If you use the App, your group becomes your “class” and as leader you become “teacher” since the App was designed for school use. Members opt in to your Remind group by texting “group name” to “number” so you don’t have to add names and numbers. With the Remind App you can send event reminders, schedule changes, or review questions from this week’s lesson, all via a text message.
Parents and their children are using electronic devices all the time for communicating, working and playing games. Encourage them to find Apps that will help them engage daily with their faith such as a devotional App, Bible game App or Christian music App. At your next gathering ask parents what their favorite faith-related App is.
Here are some other Apps to check out: Parent Cue (iTunes / Google Play); Deep Blue Adventures; Bible Quiz
Still keep in mind that social media offers opportunities to connect with members and your community during the week. It does not replace face to face conversations for building relationships but it increases opportunities to connect.
These thoughts above are from Mary Langley, one of our partners in the ministry. Her primary focus is working alongside churches in children and family matters. She is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.