Here at Subsplash, our heart is to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We do this through providing high-quality, customizable mobile apps for churches and ministries. It is through these partnerships with Jesus-loving churches that we see the real fruits of our labor. The Lord has been so faithful in guiding our business. Sometimes it’s easy for us to keep our heads down, working on the next feature or iteration, only to be brought to our knees by a story that can only be explained by the Glory of God. It was through a conversation with a small church in Louisiana that we found such a story.Metro Life Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, is a church plant that has been around for 5 short years.
"Gotta love technology that serves larger purposes. Thanks for a job well done. Great success. 600 downloads in first week and the first week of giving was 3 times the monthly expense. I will tell the world"
-Bob Seymore, One Life Church
One Life Church in Henderson, Kentucky, was started in late 2010 after months of prayer and preparation. In just 3 short years they have grown to 2,000 in attendance most Sundays. Not only that, but they are currently establishing their third campus and don't have any plans of slowing down!
When we began working with One Life Church in 2011 they were still a relatively new church with 1000 members. The One Life Church App launched right before Christmas in 2011, and the results were incredible. At the time of their launch, Bob Seymore, CFO at One Life Church, had this to say; "Just a quick report of our Subsplash App. We launched on 12/23/11 (2 days before Christmas) and even with the holidays we have seen 1008 downloads in the first month with almost $2000 in giving through the app."
We decided to do a follow up with Bob to see how they'd been able to maximize their app over the past 18 months.
Q: What was the purpose or focus of creating the app?
A: "I was searching for a year for an app that integrated with our current systems - that was the selling point for me. There is a very young demographic at our church and mobile is huge, so we wanted to be able to reach them. Our big objective was that we wanted to be sure that our app was not just a go to once situation but that is was part of the life of our church."
Q: What has been the greatest use of the app?
A: "The interaction with community with the daily bible reading has been really important to us. Also, giving has been crazy. We've seen over $100,000 given through the app alone in the last 18 months. The costs are absolutely worth it. For us, the bottom line (from a giving standpoint) is the young market doesn’t carry cash. Being able to connect with them through the app has been really valuable."
Q: Have there been any extra benefits?
A: "I don’t understand why churches wouldn't (get an app). It’s been a great integration of our resources. We've gone down to one page, once a month for our bulletin and seen a lot of savings through that."
Q: How many downloads?
A: Almost 6,500 downloads in less than two years. The response has been crazy."
Q: Have you heard of any stories through the app?
A: "The coolest stories are like the one where I caught a pastor in our office after he had helped a brand new believer come to Christ and he immediately asked her to get her phone out, download the app and showed her how to read our explorers resources and daily Bible readings to help her start her journey. Gotta love technology that serves larger purposes."
Q: What has been the commitment for maintaining the app?
A: "I love that we don’t need developers in house to maintain the app. If your receptionist can answer the phone, they can update the app."
Q: Any closing remarks?
A: “I think the interesting piece is that Subsplash has an infrastructure that facilitates some of the best and brightest in the country. You work with the best minds and top 10 churches in the country. With the framework we can plug and play and customize to make it ‘us’. You guys are pretty seamless in it all. It's awesome that we can customize what Saddleback does and make it One Life."
Download the One Life Church App here.
"Thank you to all the Subsplash staff who worked to get our mobile app live this week. We’ve received rave reviews already about it because it provides one more medium to extend our messages about the gospel out to the world. Your team worked tirelessly and patiently with us to get this accomplished. I cannot thank you enough for all you guys have done. We love you guys and pray the Lord’s rich blessings on you and your team members. May the gospel be shared over and over through the work you guys do and may our great King’s name be glorified.”
-Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church
The Village Church, lead by Pastor Matt Chandler, is a church of 10,000 people across four campuses in the Dallas, Texas area. "The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication. The gospel is the story of God reconciling and redeeming a broken creation and fallen creatures to Himself through the life, death, resurrection and future return of Jesus Christ. Our hope and desire is that the gospel would stand at the center of all that we do. It is what directs and defines us. It is our identity." Since launching in May of 2012 The Village Church App has had almost 150,000 downloads, 15x more than their congregation.
I was able to catch up with Scott Ballard, Web Manager at The Village Church, to talk about the impact that The Church App has been having on their church.
Q: What was the heart behind creating your app?
A:“The purpose of creating the app for us was another way to get the Gospel out to an audience we may or may not have been reaching in the first place. We really appreciate the ease of getting the Gospel in the hands and hearts of people through The Church App. We’ve really enjoyed the experience so far and it is serving us really well.” said Ballard.
Q: Have there been any surprising benefits of the app?
A:“We have been especially pleased with the amount of traffic/impressions coming through the app. Social traffic has been huge and much greater than anticipated. Not only that, but the global impact has been really tangible through the app.”
Q: Do you have anything you'd like to share about your experience with The Church App?
A:“Your level of service has been exceptional. TCA is fantastic and your heart to get the gospel out really struck me. We like to partner with people that love the Lord and the Gospel. There is nothing remotely negative to list. The Church App has been a welcomed addition to our family, and has really met our need and served the body well.”
Download The Village Church App here.
“I am completely sold. For us it’s a no-brainer. Our app is as important as the website and social media level... it’s part of our everyday life.”
-Adam Legg, ChangePoint Church
ChangePoint Church in Anchorage is doing some incredible things to share Jesus' name in the state of Alaska. I had the privilege of talking to Adam Legg , Creative Arts & Communications Pastor at ChangePoint, and let me tell you - Adam is such an encourager and it has been a total blessing to work with him and build relationship over the past two years. When Adam first began his (now full-time) role at the church several years ago, his first big risk as the Communications Pastor was getting their team on board with the idea of an app - and the results have been incredible.
Before the app, ChangePoint was averaging 1,200-1,500 downloads per week of their online messages. After the launch of the app, that number doubled in a matter of two months. They are now averaging 6,000 downloads/week of their messages - wow!
ChangePoint is a church of roughly 2,500 people. In the two years since the app has launched ,it has been downloaded over 6,100 times, more than twice the amount of church attendance. Anchorage is a very transient town, and this trend has lent itself to church attendance as well. On any given Sunday, ChangePoint has only 2/3 of its core members, so it has made a huge impact that people are still able to be connected through the app. The hope and goal was 2,500 downloads, and that number was achieved and passed almost immediately - much to Adam’s surprise and delight.
ChangePoint has heard about some really unique stories that took place because of the app. "I have talked with people that have been relocating to Alaska and used the app to connect with us before they even got here, so when they arrived it already felt like their church home! I have talked with a number of people that travel often for work and use it to stay connected with their church family while they are away. I have talked to people that used the app on family vacations to listen to the Sunday messages that they missed" said Adam. They have seen story, after story, after story of how God has kept people connected. The mission of ChangePoint has always been “Life in Christ for every Alaskan and the world beyond”. Through the app, they have been able to reach people not only in Anchorage, but also the rest of the world.
ChangePoint has also seen some very tangible benefits of the app in just the last two years. After four years of declining giving, ChangePoint has seen year over year giving increase in 10 out of the last 12 months.
Not only has giving increased, but costs have decreased. Before the app, ChangePoint was spending $27,000/year printing the weekly bulletin. Because just about everyone was bringing their smartphone to church, ChangePoint incorporated their bulletin into the app and subsequently reduced printing to $4,500/year–saving them over $22,500/year. The app has been “more than they ever expected” said Adam.
In closing, Adam’s last thoughts on The Church App platform were: “What I like most about The Church App is that you don’t have to have a dedicated tech person on staff to update it. It is so simple that I recommend it to everyone. It is easy to use, and fast. I am completely sold. For us it’s a no-brainer. Our app is as important as the website and social media level... it’s part of our everyday life.”
Download the ChangePoint app here.
Most churches make it a goal to reach out and serve their cities and communities well. What does that look like when your church just so happens to be located in Manhattan? In the case of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, they actually formed out of a heart for serving the city instead of the other way around. In 1989, a group of 15 Christians were meeting as a home bible study group and were praying for an opportunity to start a church. By 1993, 400-500 people were meeting for church each Sunday, and Redeemer Presbyterian Church was thriving in the city center with Tim Keller as the Senior Pastor.
“While no one had doubted God's direction in establishing a new church in Manhattan, neither had anyone expected an authentic revival. But so it seemed. New believers were being added weekly, skeptics were thronging to the services, every decision seemed blessed, and God provided for every need, sometimes before we even knew we had it. From its first morning worship service, Redeemer has grown to an average Sunday attendance of around 4500 per week, although it would be more accurate to say that there are about double that number who attend on a regular basis. Sunday services are held in different locations around the city and many ministries have been developed to address human needs in the city. ”
As our culture has become most readily accessible on mobile, Redeemer knew that was exactly where they needed to be. In 2011, Redeemer built the Redeemer Presbyterian App with The Church App Platform. Since the launch in 2011, they have just recently passed 100,000 downloads.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Cregan Cooke, Director of Communications and Media at Redeemer, about their experience using The Church App Platform. The app was originally intended to be just another channel to get content out, and the actual results "have been far beyond what was expected" said Cooke. Not only has Redeemer's visibility been extended significantly in the tri-state area, but the impact both nationally and internationally has been really tangible. Redeemer has also seen a “significant savings by printing fewer bulletins” said Cooke, as their organization and congregation utilizes the full potential of the app. "There has been a very positive reaction to the app, and Tim (Keller) really likes the app and has been excited about the impact."
Inside the Redeemer App users are able to access hundreds of Redeemer's free sermons, the Redeemer Report monthly newsletter, Sunday worship bulletins, and a customized bible reading plan, among many other things.
Download the Redeemer Presbyterian App here.