Coral Hill Church App: the most accessible way to communicate with their congregation

on 

Coral Hill church is located 5 miles outside of Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, in what is known as the Southern bible belt. The church was founded by 12 individuals over a hundred years ago – around 1904. Although it is located outside of town, 400 people come every Sunday to worship at the church, an anomaly, as most modern congregations are in the middle of town. The congregation sees themselves as neither modern nor traditional but rather in-between the two. It is a blue-collar congregation, aspiring to be multi-cultural, and open-minded in everything they do. Missions are very important to the church – often sending out people not just to stay active locally in their community, but also globally, following the church’s foundational principals – continuing to expand God’s kingdom wherever they go.

 

Reflecting the diversity of Coral Hills Church, they also offer in addition to their usual Sunday service a musical quotient to their sermons.  From “house band”, a type of Kentucky bluegrass style, to “Praise team” a more contemporary music style of hymns, to a more traditional church choir.  The style is not what matters, but what they are singing about, and to whom they are offering their song, very much a unique setup. Sometimes when students lead worship, people think it is just too modern: and other sermons are considered too traditional and not modern enough. The challenge is to find a balance acceptable to all.   

Andrew was appointed five years ago as the church’s media director, in addition to continuing to oversee educational sermons which he has been tasked with for the last fifteen years. He emphasizes “We want to communicate to our congregation that it is not about us receiving from others; it is all about giving to others.” 

 

The Challenge

Before the church appointed a media director, there was almost no media presence. It was too small to be a big church and too big to be a small church. Andrew started by creating a Facebook page, setting up an Instagram account, and revamping their existing website.

After some time, based on acquired experience, Andrew asked himself what would be the most accessible and effective way to communicate with the congregation? They were all on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and for the most part, everyone had a smartphone, except a few desktop users. Whether using an Apple device or Android, an app seemed the most logical solution; an ideal place where he could create content and communicate with his church family and literally be a one-stop-shop for everything. 

 
"Starting from scratch even with a little bit of media background and a bit of coding to build an app seemed just too tall of a task, but GoodBarber was really helpful and allowed me to get something out there quickly, professionally and keep it updated really easy.
- Andrew Brownfield, Youth Pastor / Media Director

The Solution

Using GoodBarber, Andrew was able to create a comprehensive app for the congregation. When he first started the app he used every possible feature that GoodBarber offered. But as the years passed, needs changed, functions evolved and the app has been constantly updated.

For example, on the app they have highlighted the “this week page”; people can go there and find out what is going on for the current week. As they head into the holidays, more emphasis can be placed on this subject. The ability to change and update things easily is essential. A GoodBarber feature he particularly likes is how easy it is to link content he has built in the app or built on the church website - he knows the content can easily sync and send people to the correct area. 

 
Design features are also pivotal to keep the app relevant and looking up to date. The useability of the design features has been essential. In fact, every summer for 4 days Andrew builds another app using GoodBarber – one primarily used by local middle and high school students who attend the church’s summer program from a Sunday to a Wednesday. Going into the community to do service projects- anything from ministering to the elderly to helping build ramps, cleaning at car washes - the church and students use the app to communicate with each other. As Andrew said, “You know teenagers – everyone has a smartphone, and it is the best way to communicate.
Ultimately, Andrew summarizes himself perfectly why they chose GoodBarber and why they continue using our services: 

 "I appreciate that GoodBarber is cost-effective, especially as we are located in the countryside, and in Kentucky – not exactly the wealthiest state in the United States – it is particularly helpful. There have been times when I decided to go back and shop around and do due diligence and see what else is out there, and I keep coming back; it is great for what we need and we can’t beat that! Customer service has always worked well with us; we have a great relationship there, where they are always willing and ready to help! 

 Here in my heart, we are very satisfied; it is one of those systems where it has never been a question of should we continue; it has served us really well and I am the kind of guy who is never satisfied with how it looks. I am constantly trying to make it look better- make it function better….it is about making it look perfect and GoodBarber gives me the tools to achieve what I need.”

 
Coral Church Hill app is available on the App Store and Google Play.