iOS 7’s Impact on Churches
Adding AirDrop to iOS 7 could change the way churches distribute announcements, and dramatically reduce weekly budgets.
The recent beta release of Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, has users scrambling at ways to get their hands on a copy. Why? Well, besides the fact that it's just plain gorgeous, there are legions of new features that could have an incredible impact on the way modern churches operate.In this age of technology, one of the main goals of most tech geeks is to reduce waste. Whenever I walk into my so called mega-church’s auditorium, I’m handed a piece of paper, usually with fancy artwork on the front, and some information about the church on the inside, as well as a few announcements about what’s going on these days in the church. I take the bulletin, just to be nice, and not seem like an antisocial first-timer. I then proceed to walk to my seat, set the aforementioned bulletin under my seat, and then completely forget about it. Due to the many other bulletins I see under and around the pews as I shuffle out after the service, I am not the only one who follows this routine. Some churches attempt to counter this by recycling bulletins throughout services, but they still end up printing new ones every week.How about a different approach? What if the greeters at your modern day church didn’t hand you a piece of paper every week, but instead, your pastor, or one of the backstage producers made the weekly announcements appear on your iPhone, or iPad? One of Apple’s newest claims is that AirDrop will be available on iOS devices starting in September, when iOS 7 will be released to the public. AirDrop is Apple’s utilization of cloud sharing, which allows for files such as pictures and text documents to be shared wirelessly to anyone in the relative vicinity. Using AirDrop, churches could wirelessly send information bulletins to anyone in the room with an iOS 7 device. If even half of the churches attendees had a device running iOS 7, this would drastically reduce the amount of bulletins a church would need to print, allowing them to direct printing funds to more important areas. To go a step further, and reach virtually all smartphone users, churches could develop apps like the Hope Community Church (Raleigh, NC) app, with access to all the weekly church news, small group locations, and information about other ministries. While the creation of an app requires more initiative, it will target a much greater audience and possibly eliminate the need for bulletins entirely. Financial management is a huge part of any church’s mission. Since churches are non-profit organizations, they must be good stewards of the funds they are provided. AirDrop, as a new feature in iOS 7, provides an extremely simple and free way for churches to distribute information to their congregation.
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