As of 2020, the National Congregation Study Survey has estimated there’s around 380,000 churches operating in the United States.
We estimate that less than 1% of those churches make use of any kind of technology.
It’s understandable. People still tend to put churches and technology into two completely separate categories, like pineapple and pizza, or whether you think the best place to live is Irvine or Huntington beach.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other: church tech is useful for any church that wants to reach a wider audience. If you’ve read our case study on the Daily Hope app, you know where we’re coming from.
If you haven’t, here’s the low-down on what church tech is and what it can do for you.
Church tech is normally an app, or a website, that’s used to connect a church with its audiences. Normally, the app has a donation page and a place to record online sermons, but some apps can even go into online check-ins.
Finding a company that specifically makes church tech isn’t difficult, but those companies usually keep church tech as a subsidiary of their main function. If they make apps for other businesses, they’ll reskin some of the functionalities to create a bare-bones app that can be put on any app store to reach a church’s audience.
Most apps made by these companies are basic, reskinned versions of what they offer in different industries. They’re functional, easy to use, and will normally have integrations such as pushpay or a bible app in-built. Editing and customisation is not normally a feature, which means that your competition could have the exact same app that you do, but with a slightly different name.
It isn’t yet, which is why it’s a great opportunity to invest in it now. The church and faith industry in America is robust, but in terms of innovation it’s still quite behind. To a certain extent, it’s understandable - but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown everyone how much more convenient a world online is.
Integrating faith and technology is tricky, if only because of belief. Churches don’t traditionally opt for technology. Even now, technology is mostly found with the bigger megachurches, and even then it’s difficult to find a variety. The market is competitive, and there’s room for growth: all that’s left is for churches to lean into innovation.
A custom-built app does what you want it to, and it uses technology that works. When it comes to out-of-the-box apps, there’s always the risk that trying to integrate third-party functions will break the app or the function - so the best way to go for any app is something that’s built to spec. The out of box solutions offered by bigger companies work for people on a budget for whom the app just has to be a landmark on the store.
Companies who want their app to really strike a note with their audience have to do a little more to make an app that’s beautiful, easy to navigate, and customised to their needs. Churches are the same.
Every company can benefit from an app; churches are no exception. An app can help bring younger people into the church, and build easier ways to donate and connect with the church. Some apps can also include a streaming element, making it easier to see sermons from home.
If you’re interested in building an app for your church - or for your company - we’re happy to work with you to find a solution you’re happy with. Drop us a message, and let’s talk!