Alert: It’s a Mobile World and Your Church Must Be Ready
Alert: It’s a mobile world and your church must be ready! How Technology is Changing Millennial Faith and Over 50 percent of unique email opens now mobile. Those were two headlines of emails that I received last week. Both of these studies have great implications for the church and how we connect with our society. The basic message of each is that more and more people are using mobile devices for everything.
As those entrusted with the Good News we are told to go out into the highways compelling people to come to the Masters table. Today’s highway is mobile and you had better be ready.
With half of the total U.S. population already accessing the Web through smart phones and tablets, a mobile platform is a necessity.” That is a quote from an article in the April 12th 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Is Your Company Late to the Mobile Party? The question I want to ask you, “Is your church late to the mobile party?” My guess is yes!
To effectively communicate with our society our online presence must be mobile from websites to email! In this post I want to primarily talk about the importance of having your website be mobile enhanced.
What are mobile websites? I am not a technician but basically mobile websites take your existing standard website and converts that information so that it appears readable on a smaller screen such as a smartphone or tablet. So a person logging into your churches website with their smartphone or tablet will be able to easily read your information without having to reframe the shot themselves. With sales of tablets and smartphones outpacing desk top computers this is the trend of today not just a trend of the future.
Why Having Your Website Mobile Enabled Matters
Whether we like it or not people are moving to smaller and smaller screens. Recently a friend of mine who is a huge Apple fan admitted that now never opens his Mac computer using instead his Apple iPad for all his work.
Here are a few key reasons your church needs to be mobile…
- Mobile devices will surpass desktop computers for internet use within months.
- Mobile set up allows you to reach more people since it is a proven fact people use their smartphones to search for businesses and other places of interest.
- If people are using smartphones to find businesses you can be sure they use them to find a church. If you are not mobile they will dismiss you before you have a chance to say hello!
- Being mobile gives you a better chance to be seen by search engines.
- Giving is easier if your website is set up for mobile use. People can give 24/7 anywhere they are!
- Being mobile keeps you up to date and relevant with today’s technologically savor audience we are called to reach.
- The cost for Mobile is insignificant to the return value on that investment. I contend it is a much better use of your money than a Yellow Page ad.
How do you know if your site is Mobile?
It is easy to determine whether or not your site is mobile or not. Using your own smartphone or your teenagers, simply go to your site and see how it looks. If you cannot read all of the information then it is probably not set up for mobile use. Be sure to check all the pages not simply the main landing page. This is the easiest method to check to see if your site is mobile or not.
So what does this all have to do with the church? It means that the times have changed and people are no longer looking in the Yellow Pages to find a church. It means first and foremost that you had better adapt your strategy of how to connect with the public. 78% of Protestant churches have websites but how many of them are set up for mobile viewing? If your website is not mobile you will lose potential attendees. A recent study found that 57% of mobile web users would not recommend a business with a poor mobile site. You can expect the same harsh review of your churches site.
So, is your church ready for the mobile world we live in?
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions