10 Ways to Bolster Your Outreach With QR Codes

Now is the time to take advantage of smartphone and Quick response codes (QR codes). QR codes are a simple yet powerful tool to revolutionize communication and enhance connections within your community.

Scan the QR codes with your smartphone and turn a simple technology into a powerful marketing tool for ministry.

Think of a QR code as a paper-based hyperlink that connects the physical world with the online world. The ability to connect printed materials and the mobile web adds a whole new dimension to your outreach efforts.

Here are 10 ways to use QR codes to enhance connectivity and to inspire immediate action within your church congregation or community:

1) Place a QR code in your Sunday bulletin next to upcoming events or other items for which there is in-depth information available on your church website.

qr codes in youth ministry2) Post the weekly bulletin in PDF format on the church website and place a QR code in high-traffic areas so members can bypass the print version entirely if they choose.

3) Add a section to your Sunday bulletin for sermon notes and use a QR code to link to the audio (podcast), video, blog post or online content.

4) Incorporate a QR code on your church sign linking to your church’s homepage, allowing passers-by to gather information about your place of worship.

5) Include a QR code in your fundraising direct mail pieces to direct people to your online giving page or giving app, if you have one, and allow them to donate to your church directly from their mobile device.

6) Put a QR code on a sign outside the door of your child and teen religious education classrooms linking students to additional resources to explore and supplement their weekly lessons.

7) Include a QR code on any invitation to church activities or events.

8) Place a QR code on the back of staff business cards. Link to the church homepage or to a profile page for each staff person.

9) Include a QR code in your outreach materials (yard signs, fliers, posters, etc.) that links to a web page, a video, or some other form of media.

10) Incorporate a QR code into any promotional items (T-shirts, key chains, calendars, etc.) your church offers or sells in its marketplace to intrigue others and spark communication.

Icon Systems technology partner LiveEdit offers QR codes and an array of user-friendly and powerful digital marketing tools in Aurora, a mobile-to-the-core content management system that’s tightly integrated with the IconCMO Church Management Cloud Solution.

The Aurora QR code app will quickly generate a QR code for you using any standard web address. Any site. Any page. Simply cut and paste the URL, click on Create QR Code, and in the blink of an eye – a QR code instantly appears. To save your QR code, simply click on the image, save it to a location of your choosing and insert it into your printed or online content.

This is a guest post from one of Icon System’s partner companies, LiveEdit Aurora Learn more about the LiveEdit integration with IconCMO here: http://www.iconcmo.com/pressrelease/website-integration-custom-apps.html and http://icon.liveeditaurora.com/pages/home.

How does your church currently use QR codes?

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About the author  ⁄ Lauren Hunter

Lauren Hunter is an entrepreneur, freelance writer, and founder of ChurchTechToday, where she encourages churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. She's also a wife to a pretty awesome coach, mom of four great kids, worship leader, and poet.


  • Reply
    February 16, 2014

    Great article Lauren! Another similar technology that can benefit churches is NFC (Near Field Communication). Thumbtag offers a smart poster tag that can be read via NFC and QR code. Using one of your examples above, when churchgoers scan a tag with their smart phone, it takes them to a webpage where that week’s bulletin is displayed, along with that church’s contact info. And if someone missed church that week, they can still find the contents of that tag (that week’s bulletin) by using the Search for Tags function on the Thumbtag website!

  • Reply
    Lauren Hunter Author
    July 2, 2013

    Another great comment from our discussion over at Xpastor on LinkedIn from David Fletcher:

    Lauren–this is one of those topics that I look at and at first say, “really!” But my friend Gene Getz released his study Bible full of QR Codes. So, maybe I need to take another look at this for use inside the church. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lauren Hunter Author
    July 2, 2013

    Great LinkedIn Comment from Brad Hill:

    SiteOrganic has put together a few more ideas along the same line of thinking…
    http://churchwebsites.org/qr-codes-and-your-church . Some are more daring than others! Would be interested to hear if folks have tried these, and what the results were.

  • Reply
    Lauren Hunter Author
    July 2, 2013

    Great LinkedIn comment from Stephen Brown:
    I use QR codes on all event postcards, Evites and flyers. I also have a sign before entering with a QR code to retrieve the online bulletin along with a fill in the blank form for sermon notes which is emailed to the user upon submission. This actually got the attention of a reporter for USAToday doing a story on millennials and the church:
    Currently we are working on a welcome video. Once completed I will have a QR banner on the front lawn (our church is at a stop light where traffic backs up). Curious people in traffic can scan the QR and watch the video.
    I know all this sounds a little silly but our church was built in the mid 1800s and we want people to know that we’re a little more state of the art than the outside of our building may demonstrate.

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