April 15, 2022
4
 min read

Church Phone Launch

It's been a crazy journey to get here, we can't wait to see what you do with Church Phone.

I started coding Church Phone on Jul 26, 2019. 914 days later, we are launching. It's been a crazy journey with its ups and downs. Let's take that trip down memory lane to see how it all started. My wife and I were working on launching the second location for My Liberty Church, and we had to step up our communication strategy. We knew that personal texts were key to a successful launch, but they were also very time consuming. Church Phone started as a simple export of our Planning Center database into Airtable. We then hooked into Twilio to start sending out mass communication that felt personal.

Slowly it evolved. I started building a web app for it that allowed you to have real conversations on this virtual number. We got really close to launching that web app, but it was just too slow. Trying to have all of Planning Center’s data and have super fast messaging on your phone's browser wasn't working too well. Not to mention, we only had notifications for Android and the app could take up to a minute to load on a slow connection.

We had to start over. After 1044 commits to that code base, version one of Church Phone was dead.

I started coding Church Phone on Oct 5, 2020 all over again. It's easy to say something is not ready. It's hard to do it all over when you know the level of effort that went into getting there the first time.
Church Phone needed to be rewritten to be cross platform and native. It needed to be fast, but I didn't want to rewrite everything, just the parts that needed to change. It's funny, we are 1091 commits into the native version of Church Phone, and it took almost as long to do as the first version of Church Phone, but here we are.

As all the blood sweat and tears went into it, Jesus started filling me with a new vision for Church Phone. We had built Church Phone out of our own problems we had experienced, but I soon discovered that we had landed on something so much bigger than I could have ever imagined.

There is a great harvest out there in front of us. Nations that He has called, that we need to reach. The Church in many ways has been abandoned by the tech industry. For starters our belief system is very different from the Silicon Valley belief system, and our market isn't well understood by people outside of it. Believers understand the problems that can be solved for believers.

For the last 2 years, Church Phone has been inside-out. I would work on the features and functionality that made sense to me, that I wanted within Church Phone. Today that changes. We are switching to an outside-in model. What does that mean?
We want to solve your problems within the discipleship space. How do we make it as easy as possible to disciple every tribe, people, and nation.How do we make Church Phone feel like it was designed for you. That process starts today with our launch.

Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal is to see a billion souls discipled through Church Phone. That means meaningful connections that last longer than a text message, ones that reverberate into eternity. I have prayed Luke 10:2 for many years now, but I never connected the dots from the verse to the skills the Lord has given me. “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send harvesters into the harvest field.” We're building a spiritual combine harvester to help every church, every leader, every follower of Jesus.

We want you to use Church Phone, and give all the feedback you can, even when it's not nice. We're gonna be rolling out updates every week to keep improving, and making it your Church Phone.

Coffee snob, loud typer, Jesus lover.

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