Stories from the Church

Stories from The Church: The Village Church


"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.

Stories from The Church: ChangePoint

“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.

The Iglesia and the Eglise: How churches on opposite sides of the world are engaging technology

Who is the average smartphone user? An American college student? A young professional in a big city? The answer might surprise you: the average smartphone user is most likely to be a middle-aged man in China.*

While apps may have originated with Apple in California and the first smartphone was invented by IBM, China currently dominates the market. In fact, the US market only accounted for 17.9% of smartphone sales in 2012, and growth is expected to be strongest in India, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil.** Smartphone users now reside around the world, and the international demand for apps continues to grow.

“We're working with thousands of churches and organizations around the world, from South Africa to Brazil to Egypt” says Chris Sharpe, Media Director here at Subsplash. “It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to engage with the global church on a daily basis.”

Matthieu Layes, a staff member at Montreal-based Eglise Nouvelle Vie (“New Life Church”), partnered with Subsplash in 2011 to develop an app. “The French speaking world is our mission field. As there still is a large French speaking population that is unreached with the good news, we made it one of our key outreach strategies to reach the masses through the web. Developing an app was the key tool to efficiently reach the millions of French speaking people that own a mobile device.”

Several thousand miles to the south in Bogota, Colombia, Juan Manuel Cortes manages a Subsplash app for Casa Sobre la Roca (“House on the Rock”), a Spanish-speaking megachurch. Cortes first thought about developing an app when he observed a coworker reading a blog on her phone. When he asked her about it, she explained that she had listened to a sermon in English and was reading an accompanying blog post to help her understand the message. “That was the moment when it hit me,” Cortes says. "Why can’t we do the same thing for Spanish speakers? What a good way to take the message to a person.”

With thousands of downloads since the app launched in September and hundreds of new downloads each month, Cortes is ecstatic about the way an app has allowed Casa Sobre La Roca to extend their reach. He has met many people at the church who began attending after downloading the app and listening to sermons.

Cortes loves to share the story of a family who came to Casa Sobre la Roca after one of the sons accidentally downloaded the app on his father’s phone. After visiting the church, the entire family eventually became Christians. “You cannot imagine how many people have been impacted in some way [by the app],” he says.

Eglise Nouvelle Vie has experienced similar success. “Every week we receive emails from all over the world of people who testify how the messages are transforming their lives,” says Layes. Like many Subsplash clients, the reach of Eglise Nouvelle Vie’s app goes well beyond their membership. With over 3,500 members the church is by no means small, but their app is quickly approaching 10,000 downloads.

In an increasingly connected world, churches of all sizes from around the world are finding that mobile apps provide a platform to connect with believers on a local and global scale.

"Our goal is to make the best software available for the presentation of the Gospel. We want to give ministries the ability to have truly affordable high quality apps that they can control in real time, from features and layout, to branding and content,” says Sharpe. “It's been an incredible blessing for us to be a part of what God is doing through these ministries all over the world."

*mobiThinking: and Prosper China: **mobiThinking:

How Churches + Ministries are Utilizing The Church App

Check out some other videos by The Church App on YouTube!