ArrowHeights.org Church iPhone App

After watching information about the release of the 3.0 OS for the iPhone and iTouch I started wondering if any churches had iPhone apps. I know that many church have apps like YouVersion from LifeChurch.tv, but who has developed an app for their church and what would it look like? By simply searching for “church” in the app store I found that only Summer Street Church has an app. Summer Street offers:

  • News (a link to their web site)
  • The Bible (a link to Online Mobile Bible)
  • Sermon Podcast (A link to the sermon podcast in the iTunes store)

Congrats to Summer Street Church for getting an app in the store before the Southern Baptist Convention or Lifeway or any SBC seminaries got one up.

With some many things going to the cloud and programs going online I think we get closer everyday to seeing a 7-9″ version of the iPhone/iTouch replacing the computer. Apps are software and service. I personally lust after exactly that kind of device everyday and imagine myself walking around with it and pulling it out at Starbucks. I am getting off subject though.

I want to outline some features that I could see contained within what I will call the “ArrowHeights.org Church” app. After reading the list add your comments on what you would add to the app.

  • Podcast
  • Vodcast
  • Sermon Notes
  • Sermon Transcript
  • Blogs
  • Bluetooth Chat
  • iPhone Social Network
  • Shortcut to YouVersion Bible
  • Link to Arrow Heights YouVersion group
  • Streaming services
  • Daily Devotionals
  • LifeGroup Finder
  • Picture of Group
  • Map to Lifegroup location
  • Contact Lifegroup leader
  • Scripture memory game
  • Tithe
  • Greek and Hebrew Flash game
  • Spiritual Gifts Survey
  • F1 or Shelby Webview interface
  • eVites for Sunday Services
  • Church Calendar
  • Twitter or Facebook events on calendar
  • Map and directions to church
  • Publish notes from sermon to your personal journal
  • Evangelism training
  • Staff
  • Contact form
  • Video chat
  • Prayer room
  • Baptist news
  • SBC convention stream
  • Streaming video from conferences around the country
  • Weekly schedule
  • Event registration
  • Resources
  • Needs and Help board
  • Push messaging to subscribers (think texting without using SMS)

Now I am not a developer and am not sure what all goes into developing an iPhone app, but I am very interested in seeing churches get into the store. Alright it’s your turn. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

13 Comments

  • Kyle Cantrell

    March 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Good stuff man. We have a site called J-Life. Check it out at journeychurch.tv. It would be really cool to turn that into an app!
    K

  • Scotty Ward

    June 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Jeremy, this is an excellent start. Our church web, admin, communications, and media teams began an email conversation on a NCCOGIC mobile and/or iPhone app, which includes many of the bullets you’ve listed, plus a few more.

    Is a FORUM available for this type of discussion? I’d love to participate.

    Blessings!
    Minister Scotty Ward
    New Community Church Of God In Christ
    Waldorf, MD

    Our discussion (so far) includes:
    1. View the NCCOGIC Google Calendar
    2. In conjunction with #1 above, offer the capability to synch with their mobile or Outlook calendar.
    3. Opt-in/opt-out “tickler” or “reminder” notification of upcoming events found on the church’s Google calendar. The event reminder would popup each time the app is opened.
    4. NCCOGIC Tweets (Could have two levels: first, tweets by NCCOGIC, and the second, what the NCCOGIC account sees: i.e. tweets of other COGIC churches or the saints’ activities)
    5. View and play NCCOGIC Ustream archive videos (perhaps we should consider moving them to YouTube if they’re easier to “pull” using a YouTube API)
    6. View and play live NCCOGIC webcasts
    7. View and play pre-recorded NCCOGIC podcasts
    8. Bible verse of the Day or focused Bible verse from the Pastor
    9. Online articles (from Pastor, Chief of Staff, Auxiliary Heads)
    10. Online announcements (from Admin, Communications; may be a restatement of #2 or #3 above)
    11. Online ALERTS (prayer requests from Pastor, Chief). Not “opt” able
    12. “Buttons” to locate specific data for interested auxiliary members (Youth, Music, Sewing Circle, etc.). This may be a restatement of #10 above.
    13. Button to automatically connect to the m.newcommunity-cogic.org Mobile website, which may have some or all of the above (another desire of mine).
    14. “Note to the Pastor” which will automatically forward a comment via email to the Pastor@ account
    15. “Where’s My Pastor?” button (perhaps shows the GPS of Pastor’s phone on a map, such as the soon-to-be-released Google Latitude)
    16. Upcoming Adult Sunday School lesson
    17. “Who’s On Duty?”; could show Deacons, Ushers, Media, Sunday School teachers, Bible Band Teachers, or any other staff scheduled for upcoming events (another possible example: Team A and Team B assignments for Evangelistic Outreach, currently occurs using large numbers of emails among team members)
    18. DONATE BUTTON for general fund or focused church campaigns (Seniya Fleming Fund, Earthquake relief, etc.)
    19. NCCOGIC Forum button. Allow viewing and replying to NCCOGIC Public Discussion Forum (which don’t yet exist either) posts.
    20. “Redeeming The Time” button. Allow them to read or submit constructive tips on finance, recycling, or other “social” help functions (think of it as a public – yet moderated – “graffiti wall” of helpful hints. Would probably require a moderator’s API of some sort.

  • David Austin

    November 24, 2009 at 1:49 am

    check out the NETBible on line web environment see http://net.bible.org use the search to find your favorite passage in the translation you like or do a word study. See also webmaster tools at http://labs.bible.org You can get widgets likeverse of the day, facebook widget and the NETBible verse tagger that popups the verse when you mouse over a verse reference in a document on your web page..

  • Nathan

    February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Hey Jeremy,

    There is an iPhone Web App built into every City Gates (http://www.citygates.org) website.

    And you nailed it with the "7-9″ version of the iPhone/iTouch replacing the computer" prediction with the iPad coming out.

    If you're ever looking for church-tech related interview or guest blogger for your blog, shoot me an email!

    -Nathan

  • Tommy

    March 31, 2010 at 1:19 am

    We just got our church app — search "North Point Church". This is a church in Springfield Mo. It is brand new and we are working the bugs out of it — so you will see a few problems… but there is a lot of possibilities.

  • Matt

    April 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    TruthCasting is building iPhone Apps for churches- they recently launched Apps for Willow Creek Association and North Coast Church in Vista, CA.

  • Chris Sharpe

    July 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Great article Jeremy. Sorry for joining the conversation so late. I also saw your article on the Mars Hill app!

    Here at Subsplash, the makers of the Church App, we are committed to making great software available for the presentation of the Gospel and have been blessed to develop apps for some incredible ministries such as Mars Hill, Billy Graham, Saddleback, Harvest, IHOP, and many more.

    We have a platform catered to the presentation of the Gospel and offer reduced pricing for Christ-based ministries.

    You can find out more about us here: http://www.thechurchapp.org

    Thanks!

    Chris