personal productivity

7 Essential Smartphone Apps for Church Leaders

There is no doubt that the explosion of mobile phone technology is changing the way work gets done! However, trying to figure out which apps would help a church leader can be a daunting task. It seems like there are hundreds of different apps for every conceivable use under the sun. Here are a handful of apps that I know ministry leaders find helpful as they serve their communities.

  • appsEvernote // This tool helps users with notetaking and archiving. Part of ministry is generating content and often ideas don’t come when you are sitting down in front of your computer. Evernote allows to you quickly capture ideas as notes, sounds, pictures, webpages and more on the go. The information is then synced to the “cloud” so you can retrieve it later on your computer or other devices.
  • Remember the Milk // There are a lot of “to-do” apps but Remember the Milk is my favorite. It allows you to have multiple lists for various projects … as well as “recurring tasks” for those items that repeat all the time. Tasks can also be geocoded … super helpful if you’re a multisite church because you can have Remember the Milk remind you of things to do at your various campuses … next time you go to the campus RTM will alert you of the tasks associated with that location.
  • Dropbox // This service allows you to have a folder on your desktop that is accessible from other computers, the web or your mobile devices. This is particularly helpful for sharing files with various members of your team. Next time you are away from your computer but want to share the video you’re using in the message this weekend just navigate to the file on your phone and email over a link.
  • Google Drive // It’s part file storage, part file sharing and part online collaboration tool. Drive gives you the ability to edit files with your team at the same time … documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. The app gives you an opportunity to check on the most up to date edits … make changes … switch ownership … and collaborate. If your church hasn’t made the switch to the Google suite of collaboration tools you are missing out and probably paying too much for similar services from other providers.
  • Hootsuite // This service empowers you to manage all your social media streams from one simple interface. (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi.) Rather than having to open multiple apps or websites you can do all your interacting from this one app. This is a power tool for engaging your community online!
  • // I know the “go to” Bible App is YouVersion … which is a pretty amazing app but I want to highlight another Bible app that I kinda dig. This app is built around making the Bible a great listening experience. I love this when I’m in the car or on the go. It includes many dramatic readings of the text and has a simple to use interface. When I use this I’m reminded the Scriptures were originally designed to be listened to … this app brings us back to that!
  • Duolingo // This app is a totally free (really!) language learning system. It’s gamification keeps you moving along and wanting to learn more. This would be a perfect app to encourage team members traveling on a missions trip to try and gain a basic grasp on the language of the country you are going to. Recent studies show it’s more effective than the expensive “Rosette Stone” language learning system … did I mention it’s free? To learn more about why it’s free and the thinking behind the app check out the founder’s TED talk.


  1. Good list, Rich. I had most of the tools, but see that Remember the Milk is now available for the BlackBerry Q10.

    One quibble: I think you meant Rosett*a* Stone. (And I will be taking a look at Duolingo.)

  2. I have been using Evernote for task management as well, reducing how many different things I used. Lacks a few things but those aren’t significant for me; still have some in Toodledo which I like but am trying to keep all in one place.
    Also like Prayer Notebook for keeping track of prayers.

  3. Some others for me –

    Facebook Pages – allows me to get notifications of likes, comments, etc on our church’s facebook page. (Your church has a facebook page, right?)

    Instagram – Great to show “behind the scenes” photos and post to my personal social media accounts which have an overlap with our church/community audience.

    Asana – This has become our team task management tool which has both desktop and mobile versions. Love it!

    Loopy – This one is for the musicians/worship leaders and allows you to do some really quick demos of songwriting ideas. Awesome creative app.

    WordSwag – My favourite app right now. Allows you to put great looking text on any photo. Use it to share a Bible verse, quote from a sermon, event info, whatever.

  4. I’m a big fan if wunderlist for my task management. It’s free, but there is also a paid pro version with some rad features (like assigning tasks to people).

  5. Another app I’ve found helpful in our fast past ministry culture is the Squarespace note app. This has become one of my most used apps. I’ve found this to be a much faster way to get information into places like Evernote, Drive, etc. Love the list Rich and the blog!

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.