When Josh Queitsch arrived in sunny Southern California in February 2017, he frankly thought of the trip as more of a vacation than a ministry-altering conference.
But Josh got more than he expected during the 2017 Summit for church leaders in Southern California.
“I thought I was going on a great Disneyland vacation with my wife, going to get to enjoy some of California, but…God had some next steps that were planned for me,” says Josh, the next-step pastor at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, FL. “As I sat in the different sessions, I heard Him more clearly about some things He was wanting to do in my life.”
Fixing a Complicated Giving System
Sponsored by Pushpay, the Summit brought in church leaders from around the country to learn to apply best practices from the business and technology world to a church setting.
That’s where Josh and his wife, Yolanda, got a better glimpse of how a Pushpay mobile app could help their church community take key next steps more quickly and effectively.
The church had already planned a weekend message on generosity about a month after the conference. Celebration Church already had an online giving solution and close to 70 percent of the church’s giving came through the system, but it wasn’t easy to use.
“We’re asking people a lot of times to be generous and give, but to do that can be incredibly challenging,” Josh says. “You have to remember your login name amongst all your other login names and your passwords and all that stuff. I thought, [the Pushpay app] is so simple. If we’re gonna ask people to give, it’s our responsibility to make it simple for them.”
Making Giving Simpler
Yolanda and Josh—Celebration Church’s CFO and Finance Director, respectively—caught onto the vision that mobile technology could make church participation simple, and they presented it to Celebration’s other leaders. Eighteen days later, the church signed up to be a Pushpay customer. By the time of the weekend devoted to generosity (just a month after Summit) came, Celebration Church had a mobile app that allowed attendees to give in less than a minute. Givers didn’t need to re-enter credit card information every time they gave. They also didn’t have to keep up with complicated usernames and passwords.
Because the app made giving so much simpler, the church quickly saw a drop in the number of emails and phone calls they received from frustrated users. It also accelerated the church’s efforts to increase recurring giving. Just a year after the transition, the number of recurring givers in the church has grown by 86 percent.
The church has also been able to consolidate all of its financial transactions in one place through Pushpay’s giving solution, including donations for mission trips and rental facility fees. This gives the church access to incredible giving insights.
“We’re able to look at our giving across the whole country at different locations and grab information,” Yolanda says. “It’s pretty cool.”
$12,000 in Donations Raised in under 5 Minutes
The church also leaned on the mobile app to better engage participants of its annual women’s conference. Conference participants could get the schedule and information on speakers on the app. They were also able to give to an offering to help school children in Zimbabwe.
In just a few minutes time, the church collected $12,000 through the mobile app for the project.
“With the agility and simplicity of the Pushpay platform, the value of planned giving is reinforced, resulting in funding for weekly gatherings,” Yolanda says, “as well as meals for needy children and evangelical initiatives in various locations across the globe.”
But the app’s impact on participation goes well beyond just giving. Like many other churches, Celebration has seen a growing number of people watch worships services online.
Because the church wants to make sure those watching services online stay connected with the church, they encourage online viewers to download and engage with the church through the app. Users can find a small group, watch past sermons, submit a care request, fill out a spiritual gifts assessment, and sign up to serve no matter where they are.
Just a year after launching the new mobile app, the church believes the best is yet to come.
“I wouldn’t say we do it perfectly yet, but I would say that with the help of network partners, with the help of just creative ideas that we have here on our staff, on top of reaching out and seeing what everybody else is doing, we’re slowly getting better at it,” says Petey Bingham, the church’s Next Gen Pastor. “Today, we’re better than we’ve ever been.”