10 Free Apps that Every Church Planter Should be Using

Let me first start off with a simple statement: Every Pastor Needs to have a Smart Phone, preferably an iPhone.

Most already do but there are still some that are lagging behind citing reasons of sanity or serenity. Get over it! The smart phone is a tool that you can’t do without in ministry today. The computing power on the iPhone 5 is amazing. I just upgraded from the iPhone 4 and I am amazed at the power and speed between the two. With that speed a pastor can go completely mobile and still run much of the communication that a church needs. Below are 10 free apps that every church planter should be using. This isn’t an exclusive list. In fact if you want to add to this list post it in the comment section below.

  1. Messages-Icon   Messages: I know this comes standard on the phone but it is essential to today’s ministry. Being able to text multiple people at once thru MMS is vital. I do this with several ministries like our Men’s Breakfast. I shoot off a text to about 70 guys in a matter of moments and sure enough most show up the next morning.
  2. Voice-Memos-iOS   Voice Memo: Once again another installed app but essential. Do you know that this app records my messages on Sundays better than our really expensive digital sound board. It has great range as well. I don’t have to stand right above it. Very clear and makes it easy to upload to podcasts.
  3. Evernote-1xyufghEvernote: This cross platform program has become essential. I do everything in it. In fact we are going to devote a special blog post on how pastors can master this application. You can use it on your phone, computer, and tablet anywhere and it all syncs. I do all my messages, to do lists, blogs straight from Evernote. It has so much more that I am not using it for.
  4. dropbox-iconDropbox: This is a free cloud syncing storage system that gives you a ton of space. All of my previous message, word docs, and other admin stuff are stored in here. I am not even close to the free space that I have. It also syncs across all platforms. Never worry about backing up again.
  5. youversion   You Version: Simply the best Bible app on the planet and one of the most downloaded apps too. Something like a billion people use this and this is the reason. Almost every translation of the Bible as well as devotionals, reading plans, and notes. Awesome and always getting better.
  6. facebook-pages  Facebook Pages: Every church should have a facebook page. Facebook pages app helps you manage it on your phone. You can see your traffic, interactions, and post updates and pictures from anywhere. Since 60% of everyone on the earth is on facebook you need to get this app and use it.
  7. Logos-icon   Logos: Even if you haven’t paid thousands of dollars to purchase Logods software you can use their app. They are always giving away free books and give you a decent amount of stuff just in the app. Not sure what that entails because I own the software.
  8. reader app   Google Reader: Don’t pay money for an RSS reader. Google Reader isn’t really an app but an icon you download onto your phone. This is great! I read all the blogs in a mobile format right on my phone. Great for passing time waiting in line, for my kids practice to get over, or at a stop light.
  9. wordpress-app  WordPress: Do you blog on wordpress? If not you should be. Blogging is a great way to communicate your heart to your people. Don’t get Tumblr. Crazy people are on that site. WordPress is simple and fun. You can upload post straight from your phone, especially if you have it already in Evernote. Just cut and paste and there you go, a blog post.
  10. Starbucks   Starbucks: This app is awesome because I never have to take money into this place. I load it with money and pay for it with the app when I go. It is also connected to my rewards card so every 12th purchase gives me a free drink. With as much as I go there to have meetings this has become essential. Don’t get snobby on me about Starbucks. I don’t care for their brewed coffee but it is the only place in my small town.

There you go. My list of apps every church planter should have. They are free and turn your phone from an addiction to a fully functioning tool. So stop pouring over your personal twitter, facebook, and instagram accounts and put your phone to work for the benefit of your ministry.

Comments

comments

2 replies
  1. John Robinson
    John Robinson says:

    As an IT professional, I do not agree with all of these.

    1. Dropbox has been plagued with security challenges for more than a year. They have not convinced me that the issues are resolved and that my data will not be compromised. I use Google Drive and ONLY for docs that I need to have accessible to me when I travel. Most documents are stored on the PC and two other devices with the PC being backed up once per day to a remote server. Dropbox, Google Drive and other similar cloud storage services should NEVER be used as a backup solution.

    2. Facebook page – Although I manage social media for some missions, I now recommend to reduce the time and resources for a FB page. Why? Beginning in about October/11, FB began a new “business model” (that they did not tell anyone about) with the purpose of converting Facebook page owners to a major revenue stream for the company. I do work for a missionary that has been on Facebook for about 6 years. He relies on it to communicate with nearly 5000 followers. We have watched the stats change beginning in 2011 to the point where today, if 700 see his posts, that is HUGE! (Typical post views are 400-500) And these 700 are NOT necessarily followers, they can be a combination of some followers and some of those people’s friends who also see the feeds through their friends’ feeds. Facebook now tells page owners that to reach “more” (not all) of their followers, they can PAY for the privilege. I just now looked for the most recent post on that page which was yesterday. It has been seen by about 600, if I want to penetrate “up to” 4900 (again, this is 4900 people on Facebook, and they don’t tell me who they are), they want $10. Cash. For ONE SINGE POST. And they will promote this for 3 days only from the day that I paid for the promotion of that single post. My client posts about 10 times per week, he would now have to budget about $500/mo just to reach more of his own followers. That is not practical. Also, the statistics that FB offer I do not trust. I believe them to be very liberal numbers. And what is my proof? Nothing hard in stone, however, my client was using Facebook exclusively until 7mo ago when I relaunched a website, for the previous 6 years he has relied entirely on FB. This missionary’s personal income has dropped substantially in the past 18mo. Yes, some of it is related to the economy, but we know that there is a direct correlation between the sudden and unexplained loss of followers seeing his posts and his support income.

    3. Starbucks. If you are in His service and can afford Starbucks, then you have very generous financial supporters. Yes, I know that Starbucks is a cultural phenomenon, but it’s not a necessary component to any “missionary’s” life. 🙂 And, yes, I’m taking bookings to preach at churches on my “21st Century North American culture theology” 🙂

    Reply
  2. Chuck
    Chuck says:

    John,

    You bring up some interesting points which offer some validity. Your comments on Starbucks are way off base though and a tad judgmental. In my small town it is the only place to meet. The app is perfect because I can merge all the gift cards I get and receive rewards for each purchase which eventually leads to free drinks. That in my opinion is good stewardship.

    Reply

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