It has been just over a year since the launch of the Bridge App, a mobile phone app created through a partnership between Extreme Technologies and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In this first year, nearly 170 Canadian churches have registered, making for a successful launch.
As part of my internship with the CRCNA, I had the opportunity to interview a few congregations to see how they are feeling about the app. Woody Nook CRC, Lacombe, Alberta, and First CRC, Owen Sound, Ontario, agreed to speak with me. The following is based on their feedback.
Both churches are using the app frequently to communicate with their congregation.
The three most frequently used features include the directory, announcements, and the prayer function.
Woody Nook has found the app to be a beneficial and efficient option for a church directory. First CRC is also using this feature and enjoys its benefits. From an administrator’s perspective, it is easy to update information as it changes. The ability to update the directory when new information is received makes it easy to ensure that members have the most recent information to get in contact and keep it current. The congregation members are also enjoying this feature: It’s easy to search for members and simply click on their phone number or email address to get in touch -- imagine not having to scavenge your desk drawers for the paper directory!
The pray feature is another function being used frequently. Leadership can update prayer and praise requests as they are sent in. First CRC members enjoy that they can acknowledge these requests and confirm they are praying by pressing “Pray for this person”. This feature serves as a reminder each time you visit the prayer request page.
Both churches also find the announcement feature to be a very convenient and efficient way to reach members instantly. Leadership can easily upload weekly bulletins, monthly calendars, event registration forms and reminders through this feature.
Members receive notifications as announcements and prayer requests get posted. This makes it easy for members to stay up-to-date without extra emails in their inbox. This also creates a more focused audience as it is specific to church news.
Overall, leadership at Woody Nook say that the app is meeting a current need in the congregation and preparing them for the future. They believe the app can help address the shift in the use of mobile devices over home computers, and have found it to be an efficient way to reach congregational members who are avid smartphone users. They anticipate that continued use of the app will lead to improved communication with their congregation.
Staff at First CRC agree. They see the app as an effective way to connect and engage with youth in the church who are not regularly checking emails or the church website.
As feedback from users such as Woodynook and First CRC is accepted, adjustments are made to the app so that it can continue to provide a successful form of communication for church leadership and congregational members.
If you are would like more information about the Bridge App, or details on how to register, check out this post or visit the website below.
CRCNA wants the Bridge App to be great experience for all users and welcomes questions and feedback. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below, to get in touch.