Texting Replaces Classroom-Only Communication to Teens
[The following article is a success story of one church utilizing voice and text broadcast tools to enhance church communications.]
Our Mother of Sorrows Approaches Change
Our Mother of Sorrows Church is located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and has been serving its community since November 1920. The church was started with just eighty households and now claims almost one thousand registered households in the parish community. The parish has also since created and cultivated a school that has opened its doors to students from seven different school districts, four counties, and 11 different faith traditions.
Challenges in Sharing Methods
Lent is an important time or faith-sharing in the parish. The challenge for Our Mother of Sorrows was to be able to regularly share these essential faith messages with youth members in order to help keep them interested and engaged.
We really only had contact with our young people during their scheduled Religious Ed times. They had class material to read with assignments” said Communications Director Anne Di Francesco, “but we didn’t have a unique way to keep the attention of the teens. Our instructors believed if they could send a short message with an open-ended question relating to the previous Sunday gospel reading, that it could lay the foundation for teens to ponder more about each topic. The goal was to make an impact on a daily basis and to reach them in the way they were used to communicating.”
Communicating Well via Text
The parish had already used One Call Now for phone messages to relay information about different events. They were thankful to find out that they also had access to text messaging through the service.
We knew that relaying a short text message to teens would be more successful than handing them a newsletter or a booklet to read,” said Di Francesco about utilizing One Call Now text messaging. Now, each day Anne spends only a few minutes typing a short message into a text template and presses send. The messages are sent promptly at whatever time she has specified, and reach students in moments.
The age group we have targeted is the most interested in receiving text rather than any other form of communication,” said Di Francesco.
Since implementing the program, Our Mother of Sorrows has successfully sent One Call Now text messages to at least 75 members of its teen community.
The teens were excited about the idea, and there was an enthusiastic response in signing up to receive the messages,” said Di Francesco.
Using text messaging from One Call Now, this parish actively engages its youth with daily, thought-provoking messages about faith.
The teens were enthusiastic about receiving these important faith messages through One Call Now’s texting feature. ” - Anne DiFrancesco, Communications Director at Our Mother of Sorrows