How the Daily Prayer Feature Retains 60% More Users than Mass-Produced Church Apps

Build a more connected, engaged, and informed church community with Daily Habits.
The Apollos Project

You’re typing a text when an alert pops-up: A prayer you prayed for has been answered!

Knowing that a prayer made a difference in someone’s life—that’s striking. After all, how many times have you said (or heard), “I’ll pray for you”?  

It’s this kind of immediate feedback that draws attendees back into church apps. It’s also not the norm in mass-produced church apps. But it should be.

Most church apps focus on giving or watching a Sunday sermon. In these cases, something outside the app is prompting people to open it. Maybe an attendee missed the previous Sunday and goes to the app to catch up. Perhaps the pastor mentioned how easy it is to give online. Without question, these are valuable app features. But if these are the only features, why should an attendee come back to the app?

Apollos Daily Prayer builds a prayer habit through feedback loops that draw people in. This loop results in a 60%+ weekly retention rate! After trying out prayer for the first time, users keep coming back.  

Here’s why Daily Prayer works.  

The trigger is a social experience. Users are drawn to church apps for different reasons, but tend to try prayer because it involves other people.

The action is easy. Users can quickly and simply request prayer or pray for others—both actions that deepen their connections and strengthen their faith. Plus, viewing prayer requests even before sharing your own models how to use prayer when you’re ready.  

The feedback loop is powerful. Push notifications tell users when someone they know has requested prayer, when someone prays for you, and if a prayer is answered. These alerts pull attendees back into the app and reinforce the power of prayer and their connection to the community.  

Across many church apps, the average time for a prayer response is less than one hour. According to our data, someone is praying for you within an hour of your ask. That’s incredible! When does any customer service come close to that kind of response time?  

Real-time responses like this are incredibly valuable to attendees. And consistent engagement is an important part of building authentic connections and a meaningful online community.  

Daily prayer and push notifications are a great place to start. But if you want to build a more connected, engaged, and informed church community, I encourage you to check out the rest of the 10 best church app features.  

Crossroads Church is helping attendees establish habits they want to keep.

Crossroads Church has built a steady user base through Daily Prayer and other in-app experiences that build community, offer help, and create deeper connections within the church.  

A recent survey found that 76% of respondents said they’d be “very disappointed” and 21% said they’d be “somewhat disappointed” if they could no longer use the Crossroads Anywhere App.  

The data makes it clear: People want prayer. (If you’re curious, people also want these three things in digital church.)  

As usage of Daily Prayer grows, so do the stories shared with Apollos.

  • An individual was struggling with suicidal thoughts and depresssion, and expressed those through prayer. A pastor was able to reach out and connect them to the right resources.
  • A woman was nervous about her job, and asked for prayer. By the time she reached her destination, she had an alert telling her someone prayed for her—and it transformed her outlook on the day.  
  • A small group who’d been meeting for over a decade found themselves in a season where they couldn’t meet in person very often. They use Daily Prayer to keep up with one another’s prayer requests and maintain the habit of praying for others.  

Adopt personalized, habit-building features like Daily Prayer in your church app, and you’ll soon grow app usage—and more importantly, help attendees’ grow their faith. Reach out to the Apollos team to see what Daily Habits can do for your church.

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