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How To Develop A Mobile App for Your MInistry

Many church ministries and other faith-based organizations have an idea for an app, but they don't know where to start. Here's what we suggest.

Mobile technology has seen rapid growth in recent years, so much so that mobile phones have become an integral part of human life. Considering that three-quarters of Americans now own smartphones, allowing your congregation to access your church information via a mobile app is a great way to provide a better value. Mobile apps, provide a variety of benefits that a website simply can’t do like track attendance and allow access to the church management system. They also allow you to build a stronger community and connect better with members.

You understand the value an app can bring to your congregation, and have a great idea, but where do you go from here? How do you develop an app and how would you go about getting it implemented. The answer is simple. If you have an app idea but no idea where to start, start by believing in your idea. Stop questioning the validity or the applicatory potential, and adopt the can-do, entrepreneurial tenacity required to get your idea off the ground.

When you have an idea for an app but are not sure how to move forward, here is what we suggest:

1. Harvest the power of an MVP (Minimal Viable Product or Platform)

2. Make a business case for a prototype.

3. Get out of your own way.

1. Harvest the power of an MVP (Minimal Viable Product or Platform)

We are going to let you in on a secret: There has never in the history application development been an app that was released with all its final features. Never.

Even market leaders and tech powerhouses like Microsoft and Google release and edit apps incrementally, pivoting according to feedback and industry trends. Let go of the idea of bringing a perfect product to market immediately, and identify a few must-have features to really nail down.

Begin with a Minimal Viable Product or Platform (MVP) to pilot your proof of concept. An MVP is the younger brother to your finalized concept. It is, in essence, a prototype design of the final product with just enough functionality to entice early adopters or convince a group of partners to funnel more money into your project. In short, we build a viable solution, aggregate the feedback, learn where the holes in the design are, simplify the methodology behind an MVP and constantly build, measure and learn.

2. Make a business case for a prototype.

It is common for app visionaries without the technical background to assume app development is an all or nothing situation; you have the idea and you build the application.

What they don't understand: all or nothing development is paired with a price tag no self-funded project could sustain. Instead, take your idea and make it into a business. What we mean—although your idea may have sentimental value and hypothetical value in a purely conceptual form, it has no tangible value yet because it is impossible to monetize something that only exists in your brain. The idea doesn't have to be solidly defined either and a roadmap is unnecessary for the preliminary business case. Solidifying your idea comes with time. The only thing you need to move forward is the will to move forward.

For most clients, it is not the validity or quality of the idea that disrupts project progression. Often, their number-one downfall is their obsession with the idea and their perception of how that idea should translate into code.

3. Get out of your own way.

The most difficult part of app development is to get going initially, but after you get rolling, you'll keep rolling. By creating a prototype, you are creating something tangible that both your target market and your investors can see and feel—a manifestation of your vision.

Hiring a trusted app development partner to help you will allow you to plan your market strategy and forget about the technicalities. The right partner will guide you and work tirelessly to breathe life into your idea.

In the current digital climate, there are three app development imperatives: adaptability, scalability, and viability. Chetu taps into these qualities by allocating the time to properly curate ideas and develop incrementally, using a feedback-driven roadmap.

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