When the first iPhone came out in 2007, there was no "app store" as we know it today. The phone could surf the web, take calls and handle email. I can still remember a year or so after that the many commercials that would say, "there's an app for that".
Here's Apple's official iPhone 3G commercial:
I remember buying the 3G iPhone and feeling like I was on top of the world. It felt so powerful to do so much with something so portable.
Today, things are different. There are millions of apps. It can be overwhelming to even search the App Store, whether you use an iPhone or an Android phone.
Ministries Can Still Benefit from Apps
The fact is, campus ministry programs can still benefit from having their own apps. Sure, the market is flooded with apps but some of the most successful campus ministry programs in the country utilize apps.
Four Reasons to Use an App
I would offer four primary reasons for creating your own app for ministry on your campus:
- To get your message out. Everyone wants to "reach more". While a weekend homily is very effective, it is often limited in scope to those who are in attendance at Mass. What about everyone else on campus? For most campuses, between 50-90% of Catholics won't hear the weekend homily. An app can fill in that gap. By capturing your weekend messages, short blurbs or even your podcast, the app does the work for you.
- To communicate when students can't give you face time. Many students are involved with more clubs than they can realistically attend. Unfortunately, Catholic campus ministry can be seen (for some) as just another club. An app can help you to "push out" information, reminders, words of inspiration to those who simply can't attend every event you run.
- To project a contemporary vibe. While this is not the most important reason for using an app, it doesn't hurt. If your ministry had their own app, it tells people (students and benefactors) that you're innovating and up with the times.
- To build community. This is very important. While an app can never substitute for real-life and face-to-face community, an app can be a first step. An app can offer a venue for prayer requests and even small group dialogue.
A New and Free Resource for You
Through a strategic partnership with My Parish App, the largest provider of Catholic apps, CCMA is now offering a free app to all of its members.
We introduced this last week through a webinar to interested campuses and the response was very positive.
This new resource fits in nicely with the third part of our ministry pyramid.
Just head over to this page that the My Parish Team has created in order to take the next steps for your ministry. Again, it's 100% free and could be a significant asset in your desire to reach more students.