For some time, we’ve been wary of church mobile apps (we wrote about it here, here, and here.) We had solid reasons for not jumping on the church app bandwagon. First, the cost. Second, the upkeep. And finally, the evidence of under-utilization by church members.
We also knew that for most users, a mobile-friendly website serves as a very good alternative to a church app:
- It offsets the slight convenience gap for users by not storing extra data on their phones (using up precious battery life).
- If users bookmark a church’s giving page, the speed of giving (with Vision2, at least) rivals church apps.
- Best of all, for churches, mobile-friendly websites and giving forms don’t cost extra or require additional content management.
In general, these views still stand.
Then Along Came PocketPlatform Church App
Our opinion about church apps changed when we saw the PocketPlatform mobile church app. To begin with, PocketPlatform originally designed the app for MinistryPlatform ChMS, with whom Vision2 already had a deep integration. (In fact, PocketPlatform recently joined forces with MinistryPlatform, giving churches direct access to the app.)
From the outset, we saw that the PocketPlatform app was a game-changer. So we immediately built a deep native integration between Vision2 and PocketPlatform in early 2021. This created an ecosystem of three best-in-class platforms that are truly better together…together…together.
Finally, other church apps claim to increase engagement with church members. But PocketPlatform’s thoughtful design and dynamic features actually achieve it.
What We Love About PocketPlatform Church App
- Seamlessly integrates with Vision2: Users can easily give in seconds. And all giving data flows into MinistryPlatform ChMS.
- Truly dynamic content, customized for each church: Viewers don’t get irrelevant content or miss out on pertinent content (thanks to dynamic notifications).
- Reduced friction to increase impact: Users can get to anything in 2 taps: check-in, register for an event, give, watch sermons and take notes … and more!
- Real time app updates managed through MinistryPlatform, including for room scheduling.
- Media Manager for sermons: Upload one video file and PocketPlatform publishes it with transcribed text in up to 7 places, including your Apple or Roku TV, podcast, website and, of course, the app.
- True engagement: PocketPlatform’s team focuses beyond the view, click or download. Their goal is to grow users’ walk with Christ and grow the kingdom.
Ultimately, PocketPlatform streamlines content management for churches. It transforms content into a timely, responsive, multi-media guide to greater engagement with the church – and spiritual growth. It puts the power of MinistryPlatform in, well, your pocket and your members’ palms.
Finally, the PocketPlatform team consists entirely of former church staff. They are committed to making church app management simple, so they can equip and bless users for eternal impact.
The Ecosystem of PocketPlatform + MinistryPlatform + Vision2
We congratulate ACS, MinistryPlatform and PocketPlatform on their recent decision to join forces. It means churches will continue to have choices. They can select the best-in-class platforms they want.
- MP + V2: Deep integration means that data flows bidirectionally between systems, keeping all your systems updated and synced in real-time. Among giving systems, only Vision2 integrates this way with MinistryPlatform. Core biographical data, giving data and even related items, like pledges, statements and campaigns, are transferred both ways. MinistryPlatform calls this two-way integration with Vision2 “unique” among its roster of giving platform integrations: “V2 continues to align with MP best practices and expand the list of things that can be synced between the two systems.”
- MP + PP: MinistryPlatform content can be pushed directly to PocketPlatform, eliminating the need for double or triple entry into multiple platforms. There are no double logins or loss of data.
- PP + V2: While PocketPlatform works with other giving systems, not every giving system integrates with MinistryPlatform (and no other giving platforms syncs bi-directionally). Giving data for gifts that begin on PocketPlatform and are transacted through Vision2 flows into MinistryPlatform, keeping your member data current.
Vision2: A Comprehensive Giving Platform AND New Progressive Web App
Just as there are major differences in ChMS platforms and church apps, striking differences exist between giving platforms, too.
Many simply process gifts. But Vision 2 was designed to meet the end-to-end contributions and donor management needs of churches, including:
- Effortless back-office support with analytics and reporting, automated processing and reconciliation, unparalleled platform integrations, and access to managed services.
- An engaging and frictionless online giving experience that allows givers to stay on your website and see the impact of their gifts with our exclusive media-rich fund descriptions. (See it here.)
- No monthly fees or giving limits, to help your church make a greater impact.
- Multi-site/multi-campus donor assignment
- Integrated pledge and mission trips
- Visibility into giving trends to help you take a ministry-first approach with giving.
Now all these features are available in our soon-to-be-launched progressive web app, Give2, along with our generosity-inspiring "Give Stories" and self-service profile management for givers. Progressive web apps solve all our misgivings about native mobile apps. You’ll definitely want to check this out!
View a quick video overview of Give2.