One year ago, the CHC App was birthed out of a vision to bring the power and presence of God to people beyond the church’s weekend services. Peter Teo, who is part of the Information Systems team that created the app talks about the journey to fulfilling the vision.
“We had a prayer meeting in church, and I was listening to the recording a few days later. As I listened I was so moved because when I heard the worship, and I heard Pastor Bob giving the word and then Sun gave the word, there was so much power, so much life of Jesus in that recording. It dawned upon me: if anyone could pick up our app and listen to it, they are going to encounter God. They’re going to find hope. That morning, ‘reach’ no longer meant a mere number to me. But it’s about sending the hope of Christ, sending the message of Christ beyond our weekend services.”
These were the words of Juslin Guo, who led the IS team in a mission to bring the worship experience beyond the church walls. When she first shared this idea with us, she explained that she wanted to create a digital worship experience for members, to let them encounter God in their own space. The worship experience shouldn’t be just during the weekend: she wanted members to be able to listen to sermons and worship songs anytime, anywhere. That was a God-given idea that was birthed forth in her spirit and we were all excited to start on this new project—The CHC App.
It was very fulfilling for the IS Team as we got to use technology as a tool for the Kingdom of God—nearly everyone has a mobile device these days. Our vision for The CHC App was for it to be so user-friendly that members would use it frequently.
The team—Juslin, Liang Zheng Rong, Jeremy Kuang and I—spent many late nights together testing the app. The main challenge came from the fact that we wanted the app to be developed in its native code for iOS and Android so that the app can run at its best performance. So basically, we were doing two identical apps! This meant that every time we had changes, we needed to make them on two different programs. We worked with an app development company that made the edits, and we would have to ensure that the functionality, look and feel were the same on both platforms.
In order to ensure the success of the CHC App, we had to pay a lot attention to details. We would sit with different brands of mobile phones to test each section of the app so that we could ensure that the app functioned the same on all the different brands and screen sizes.
To understand what the members needed from this app, user research was done and that’s how we came up with the key features of The CHC App: sermons, worship videos and CityRadio.
Since the launch, we have also come up with more features on the app. Earlier this year, we launched The Crowning Sessions, an online prayer meeting that allow members to join in from anywhere in the world. Members could use The CHC App to easily log in and join in the meeting. That was a first for us! We received positive feedback that our members truly enjoyed the Crowning Sessions as they could pray whenever they are and God’s presence and power transcended all physical boundaries.
In the middle of the year, we launched the sharing feature on the app. Members can now share content, CityRadio podcasts and events on social media platforms, including WhatsApp. If the member has Chromecast, he can also watch the services and worship videos on his TV.
I believe we have fulfilled the initial vision that God has laid in our hearts—to bring the weekend worship experience to wherever our members are. We are still working on improving the CHC App. It is our prayer that God will continue to use us to reach out to even more people, bringing Christ beyond our weekend services! What a privilege this entire journey has been for our team. We are truly living in exciting times where the gospel can be preached beyond the four walls of the church!
“On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18, NKJV)