Having the priest’s “blessing” of the use of myParish App is a terrific boost for a parish. Some priests are really impressed right from the start, and others may need a little more time. Either way, having the pastor endorse the use of the app means people will really take notice.
Here are a couple of tips for Father:
- After Mass has concluded, have Father ask everyone to take out their cell phones. Yep, that right: Father said take out your cell phones! If folks don’t have the app, tell them to text “APP” to 88202. And you’ve just gained a bunch of app users. It would be a good idea to include information about the app in that week’s bulletin.
- Don’t forget that Launch Kit! There is a t-shirt in there for Father. It would be great if Father could wear that t-shirt for refreshments after Mass, parish social events, etc. It’s a fun and effective way to let folks know that the app is important to parish communication.
The pastor doesn’t need to be the admin for the app (although some are!), but his visible and vocal support of the app carries influence. Let your parishioners know that Father says, “Use myParish App!”
You’ll often hear our team use the phrase, “Always be launching!” What we mean by that is don’t have one Launch Weekend, and then pack up the Launch Kit and stow it in that room in the rectory basement that no one ever goes in.
The Launch Kit is meant to be used all the time. For instance, your Launch Kit included a banner that is specific to your parish. Keep it up!
It’s a good idea to move the banner from time to time, since people get used to seeing it. You might put it in the narthex for a few weeks, and then move it to your parish hall. You might put it in the school or religious education entrance for awhile. The point is, you’ll always have new people who will see it for the first time, and you might have parishioners who’ll simply notice it for the first time. In any case, keeping that banner front and center is a great way to remind people to use myParish App.
We spent some time talking with Kathryn Mulderink at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, MI. She shares some great “always launching” tips here:
Promoting app features is a great way to keep people engaged in using the myParish App. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Touch the windowpane (four boxes) icon in the top right of the app to get back to the main screen, where you can access all the features of that parish’s app.
- It’s good to know how to access another parish’s app. Folks often need to attend Mass at a different time, find a Confession time that works for their schedule, etc. Knowing how to get to that information is great! Just tap the menu at the top left of the screen, then choose ‘change parish’ under the parish name. You can enter the city or zip code in the search box.
- If you or a parishioner would like to remove a message from your phone, swipe left to access the delete button. Press “delete” and the message is gone.
- As an admin, it’s a good idea to check with your ministry team and ask if they would like any messages sent out via the app. Say something like: “I’d be happy to enter events/messages for your group in myParish App. Please email me at QWERTY@UIOP.com.“ You can also contact your ministry team through the app. Tap “Parish Info” on the main screen (the steeple), and then touch the “Directory” bar at the bottom and find the right person. Then, touch the icons to the right of their name to call or email directly from the app.
Letting app users know about these features means they are more likely to use the app consistently.
Remember, you can always watch and rewatch our admin videos for ideas, clarifications, and information about what myParish App can do.
Folks outside the parish office don’t know that Easter planning begins right after the last verse of “Joy to the World” at the Christmas recessional. As joyous as Easter is, it can be tough on parish staffs.
Using myParish App can help.
- Use messaging. Often. Your parish has a lot going on – study groups, missions, special services, extra confession times. Taking 5 minutes a day to send out a message can help keep folks informed.
- Keep important app information updated. This is the time you’ll really want to make sure bulletins are up-to-date on the app, as are Father’s homilies. Also, make sure basic parish information is current. People travel a lot this time of year and look for a church – you don’t want them to show up for 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday when you changed the schedule 8 months ago.
- Tell people about the app. Keep the Launch Kit banner up in the parish hall. Have teens pass out information during coffee after Mass. Run information on how to download the app in the bulletin. Remember, this is the time of year when folks who often don’t go to church will be there – giving them the app is a wonderful gift!
- Use the app yourself. First, you’ll know for sure if something isn’t right! But use the app for your own spiritual enrichment. Too often, parish workers set aside their own spiritual life for everyone else’s. You can’t give what you don’t have, so dig into the readings of the day, set prayer reminders to go off to help you stay on track, and enjoy one of the other features such as “Living the Good News” or “Real Life Catholic.”
Enjoy the rest of Lent, and have a wonderful Easter!