With a little creativity and imagination, Canadian CRCs are continuing to find unique ways to tailor The Bridge App to address the needs of their local congregation.
These ideas for utilizing The Bridge App are also helping churches to pursue several of the Our Journey 2025 milestones by cultivating practices of prayer and spiritual discipline, welcoming newcomers, and living the gospel missionally in their neighbourhoods.
Six of the best ideas have been compiled into a PDF document and published in a small booklet. The ideas were recently shared during a webinar hosted by 1Life, a bi-classical team created to equip churches and promote collaboration within classes BC North-West and BC South-East.
By using The Bridge App as a primary means of communication, local churches can immediately inform their members of any new announcements, events or prayers, and members can instantly access the directory as well as other resources and documents at any time and from any location.
The six ideas contained in the booklet and shared during the webinar include:
- 12-Month Prayer calendar - Consider all the institutions and organizations that serve your community (education, health care, government, food banks, road maintenance, minor sports, etc.) and create a 12-month prayer campaign, with a specific topic or theme for each month. Publish each month’s list of prayer needs to the PRAY function in The Bridge App, and also include some of these items in each Sunday’s congregational prayer. Each month’s prayer list can be scheduled to automatically appear on the app on the first day of the month, and automatically expire on the last day of the month.
- Encouraging photos in the Directory - A deliberate focus on uploading current individual and family photos to the Directory function can help welcome newcomers and deepen relationship connections within your congregation. Encourage members to upload their own photo or email one to your church’s Bridge App administrator. Ask a volunteer photographer to take photos after a service. Encourage the leadership of your congregation to ‘lead by example’ by posting photos.
- Getting more from Sunday’s message - By simply posting an Announcement with a sermon-related Bible passage or short devotional, a song, or some questions to reflect upon, a few days before and then a few days after the message, you can help members to prepare for, retain, and apply God’s instruction for our lives. This can all be done in advance with Announcements that are scheduled to publish and unpublish on whichever dates you choose.
- Who does what? - Navigating a church’s maze of staff and volunteers, ministries and programs can be complicated and confusing. With a document linked to a Custom Button or Shared Folder on The Bridge App, churches can instantly provide their members with a reference guide and contact person for all ministries and programs.
- Keeping everyone up-to-date - Expedite and streamline communication by enabling your church council, administrative board, or any committees to easily and instantly communicate with your members through The Bridge App. Within the back-end management tools, you can easily assign ‘permission’ for any user to post an Announcement, Event or Prayer. Then, posting to the app is as simple as sending an email.
- Exploring ways to serve - The Bridge App is also an excellent vehicle for assisting your members to use their gifts and time in meaningful ways by being aware of the full range of volunteer opportunities. Simply prepare a list of all the volunteer opportunities that are available within your congregation and the community organizations that have ties to your church. Include who to contact and a brief description of the role and expectations. Then make that document available through a Custom Button or Shared Folder.
The Bridge App, developed in partnership by the CRCNA (Ministry in Canada) and software firm Extreme Technology, is compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
More than 130 Christian Reformed congregations in Canada and seven in the United States are using the app, with 10,000 active users.
To learn more about The Bridge App, please visit www.crcna.org/resources/church-resources/bridge-app or contact [email protected].
Print versions of the six ideas for Getting More from The Bridge App are also available by contacting [email protected].