It’s not news that Nigeria is experiencing a technology renaissance of sorts. Nigeria currently has 148 million phone subscribers and 86 million devices connected to the internet. If that’s not a reason to do a double take, I don’t know what is.
As more Nigerians have plugged in to the web, our lives have slowly evolved. Internet connectivity now influences the way we interface with life – in our relationships, in business, and of course religion. We can’t forget religion.
Nigeria is a highly religious country. Let me be specific, Nigeria has the highest number of Christians of any nation in Africa. But you didn’t need a study to know that, right?
The internet boom has evolved the religion landscape from what it was, say a decade ago. And it’s still changing every day. Below we look at five tools that are changing the way Churches work in Nigeria.
Developed by the winners of the Seedstars World Accra pitch, Asoriba is a web based church management software with an integrated mobile application for members. Think of Asoriba as the Admin in the sky. Asoriba facilitates easier administration of church operations, captures member information, and enables direct communication with the congregation. Administrators can schedule and send out devotionals, sermons, event notices and other relevant information through the Asoriba service. Members can also engage their pastor anytime and send money to the church, all through the app. Pretty nifty.
Other church management software include Arppy, Churchplus.
Prayerbox.co by Adebambo Oyelaja. Prayerbox is a web service that offers a simple way to share prayer points and testimonies with your friends, church members, family members and people from around the world. Think of it as Vconnect plus Facebook for churches. Users can connect their social networks and send out prayers to all channels, post testimonies and organize group prayers. Churches can also register their church, send out weekly updates on events, broadcast sermons, and send out special prayers to members. Finally, there’s a financial services option where tithes and offerings can be paid. Whew!
Echurch is a hub that provides churches with easy tools to get online and reach their congregation. Churches get to seamlessly send pictures, audio and video files, newsletters and devotionals to the eChurch mobile app and its ePage. It’s as simple as registering for the service, customizing the app, loading up the content and Voila! You have your very own church customised app and ePage which also acts like the church’s website.
JesusSpeaks by @geniusmartins. What would Jesus do? This app is more like what would Jesus say? The app allows you to type in the issues you’re facing and relevant Bible scriptures are read out to you in a way that feels as though, Jesus Himself is the one saying them.
Nigeria is the HQ of denominations with some of the largest congregations in the world. These churches now stream their services live from Nigeria to thousands of their members in every other part of the world. That’s not all. The 21st century youth, the most comfortable generation with tech, prefers staying home and watching the service live rather than facing some legendary traffic. Livestream is currently the leader in the streaming services business. Ustream is also another option.
As more Nigerians connect to the internet, and data service providers vie for more customers, we can expect believers and technology to find other interesting ways to interact and redefine church.
Editor’s note: Some parts of this post appeared first on DevCenter blog as “Church is Full Business”. DevCenter is a hub and co-working forum for African developers.