iMethodist – an App for the Methodist Church

I have heard a lot recently about the Methodist Church’s unwillingness to embrace new media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and I have myself been one of those critics. I read a report (somewhere – can’t find it now) that said Methodist Churches had less web presence than any of the other Christian denominations in Britain. One of my District colleagues created a Facebook group called ‘NOT the Methodist Recorder’, calling on the Methodist church to use Facebook rather than relying on the… outdated (let’s call it) Methodist newspaper, The Methodist Recorder.

Maybe things are changing. Toby Scott, our Director of Communications, announced the The Methodist Church app is now available for download in iTunes (search for “Methodist Church” in the iTunes Store).

The Methodist App features include:

– Daily audio and written Bible studies, featuring a different author each week

– Prayer of the day

– The latest news stories from the Methodist Church in Britain

– Topical podcasts from Methodist Web Radio

– The latest tweets from the Church’s Twitter feeds

I downloaded it, and I have to say I like it. It’s nothing particularly flashy. It’s dressed in the normal Methodist colours of red and white. It’s easy enough to use – much more than the website is. Everything on the app can be found on the website, but it is much easier to access in the app! I often forget about the “Word of the Day” devotions because I can’t be bothered to search for it on the website. With it all in one place on my iPod, I will be more prone to read it during the day (besides, my iPod has become something more of a devotional tool than my computer – the 21st c. prayer beads, I suppose!).

Perhaps hopes for the future: currently, it only works if you’re online (I have a Touch). It would be nice to download the information and then it can be perused whenever (or used in church where there is no wireless connection). Also, I wonder if they could allow interaction from some of the Methodist blogs or tweets out there. Maybe add the list of countries/districts to the prayer of the day part (that also come from the prayer book).

Still, a great item. I reccommend it, especially if the prayerbook prayers and word of the day are already part of your devotion.

Has anyone else used it and have any thoughts? Anything you would like to see added/changed?

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4 thoughts on “iMethodist – an App for the Methodist Church

  1. I just downloaded the app. I’m thrilled as I take my IPod everywhere. It will help me keep in touch with British Methodism. Very pleased. 🙂

  2. Will

    Thanks for the positive response. We are keen to hear what people think of it. Some of the things you want are already on the roadmap for future versions, as well as other features. We also want to produce Blackberry and Android versions.

    The podcast and Word In Time audio can already be downloaded for use off line by subscribing to them as podcasts, but we do want to keep improving the whole thing so that it meets people’s needs.

    Toby

  3. Hello

    Thanks for the positive post! You may be interested to know that, far from being unwilling to embrace new media, The Methodist Church was the first major British denomination to podcast (2005), the first to broadcast live from its major conference (2006, I think) and we have two twitter streams – @methodistmedia and @methodistweb. We also have a presence on Facebook (search for ‘Methodist Media’).

    Perhaps we need to be better at telling people we do all this stuff! Of course, we’re always looking for new opportunities. Lots of Christian groups are making use of new media, but I think the biggest challenge is to use new media well. We aim to do that, but of course, we’re always learning!

    Would appreciate any and all feedback!

    Anna
    (Lead Media Officer @MCH)

  4. Pam: Mine goes everywhere with me, too. That’s why I am hoping for an offline function – unless I get mifi or something.

    Toby: Thanks, Toby. It’s a great app, and I look forward to seeing the future functions! Also, I did have a friend from the URC ask why this wasn’t tried ecumenically. Is there something in the cards for that? Could be interesting.

    Anna: Thank you for your comment. I wasn’t aware that Methodism was first in the areas you mentioned, but am aware of the Facebook presence. Would you say that we are using it well?

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