Catholic and Christian churches love websites and mobile apps.
Can you imagine hearing those words ten or twenty years ago?
A church with technology doesn’t exactly seem like a match made in heaven, for a wide variety of reasons.
But that has certainly changed, seeing as how there are entire companies focused on making mobile app and website templates just for churches and religious organizations. It makes sense, though, since a church needs an effective form of communication.
Not only does the pope use social media, but individual churches have sermons to share, events to talk about and clergymen to inform the public about. It sounds weird, but the app reseller business is a perfect match for the religious market.
Keep in mind that as an app reseller you still might get some pushback from churches you’re trying to sell to, but we want to outline some of those problems with solutions. Keep reading to learn more about how churches are adopting technology (especially mobile apps) and how to sell to your holy clients.
The Main Roadblocks When Selling to Churches
This is a list of the primary reasons church organizers might say no to your mobile app sales. The good news is that we have a counterpoint for each statement, allowing you to show the true value of a mobile app in the religious world.
There’s already enough religious information online – This argument stems from the fact that sermons can be found all over the internet. Some churches feel that their own sermons are going to get overshadowed by what’s already out there.
The church doesn’t have the budget – Many churches have budget restraints, making it particularly important for you to deliver affordable mobile apps.
A community is more than an online chat – Religious organizations believe in building community through physical interactions, not just by talking online.
What’s the deal with all this change? – This is most likely the strongest pushback you’ll get from a church. How do you go about selling an organization that doesn’t like the idea of all this technology?
Who has the time? – Churches are far busier than the average person would expect. Chances are they don’t have a person prepped and ready to manage a mobile app at all hours of the day.
Overcoming These Roadblocks
Interestingly enough, churches are rather similar to small businesses. In fact, most of these roadblocks would come up when talking to a small business owner. Therefore, let’s explore how to overcome the problems.
There’s already enough religious information online – Yes, a churchgoer can logon to YouTube and see thousands of other sermons, but there’s a reason someone has chosen to visit that church on a weekly basis. It’s all about community, so the parishioners are more interested in hearing from a pastor they know and love, as opposed to someone who fills churches with thousands of people every week.
The church doesn’t have the budget – You’re best bet here is to sell the app as a 21st century means of making money. In fact, the app is potentially one of the easiest ways to collect contributions from parishioners. All you have to do is include a Donate button. This way, people don’t have to bring their checkbooks to church, and you can set them up for recurring contributions as well.
A community is more than an online chat – A mobile app isn’t claiming to round out a church’s community. It doesn’t have the power to hold a pancake dinner or a food drive. However, it initiates the communications about those physical events. Think about all of those people who might not know about the weekend mass schedules. Think about the folks who haven’t heard about the pancake dinner (or maybe they need to check the time). Finally, consider the people who want to be part of the community but are bedridden or stuck at home.
What’s the deal with all this change? – A mobile app doesn’t force a church to change its ideals. In fact, it’s a simple tool for getting the word out about those ideals. At one point people spread the word of God with letters and books. Now the most efficient way to do so is with a mobile app and website.
Who has the time? – You, the mobile app developer. You have the time, and that’s part of the service. Although you should be in contact with someone in the church, the goal is to ensure that churches aren’t loaded up with too much tech work.
Over to You…
If you’re thinking about reselling mobile apps to churches, let us know your thoughts or concerns in the comments section below.
Joe Warnimont is a freelance tech writer who enjoys playing around with WordPress and his personal Write With Warnimont blog. When not testing new apps and gadgets, he’s brushing up on his German or riding his bike in Chicago.