Real church experiences often dictate what technology advancements actually have a successful place in church administration. If it doesn’t really work to achieve the intended goal, chances are the tech tools won’t stand the test of time. Text messaging is one of the newest forms of church communication, yet this tool has had an incredible impact on the ways churches reach out and connect.
Below are 10 real text messaging techniques and tips straight from the mouths of Church Office Online church software users. Bottom line: real churches are successfully using text message technology to improve ministry function.
1) Text church members to help them keep track of events.
We have used text messaging to keep our church updated on important announcements such as upcoming events, changes to upcoming events, sick members and hospital location to aid visitation, church delays or closure due to inclement weather. We have also used it to target specific groups such as married couples.
We are having a Valentines Day Event. So we used MailChimp to send out our church promotion for Valentines Day Event, and then Church Office Online text messaging to remind them of the upcoming event. Couples who sign up will then receive payment reminders and other notifications. -Garth Mitchell, Minister of the Boston United Pentecostal Church
2) Use church text messaging for quick reminders.
The Text Messaging service is the most effective communications tool we have from Church Office Online. While our regular email newsletters get an open rate of 40-60% we know that we can reach nearly everyone instantly with a text message. We use it for quick reminders for service, special events and projects, calls for prayer, and simple messages to celebrate holidays. Text messaging allows for a sense of real, personal and direct communications. Emails and mailings can be lost or diluted among everything else being received – a text is real time and sits on your phone among messages from friends and families. Sending a text is a very easy way to communicate – you can reach your whole congregation in under two minutes. – Church Administrator of the 13:34 Church of Christianity, Baton Rouge
3) Text members to increase overall awareness of events and happenings.
Text messaging has helped to dramatically increase member awareness of events and happenings, and has increased the number of members providing contact info so they can stay updated. It has also brought us into the modern age of using technology. -Garth Mitchell, Minister of the Boston United Pentecostal Church
4) Use text messaging for emergencies.
We largely use text messaging as a reminder. Those that benefit the most are our young people. We are in a college town of 25,000 young people, so this tool is important. We also use text messages for emergency notifications.
As many know Boulder Colorado had a bad flood last year. Landline phones were down and cell phone calls were spotty. Text messages were sent out successfully when nothing else was working. – Executive Pastor Doug Love – Hope Boulder Church, Colorado
6) Use text messaging to cancel services.
We use text messaging when we want to get out a message of reminder or notification to the congregation or a service cancellation. We had planned a Christmas parade just recently but due to bad weather we had to cancel it. We could not of called or emailed that message and have it reach in time all those who needed to know.” – Office Manager, Word of God Church and Ministries, South Carolina
5) Use church text messaging to increase event turnout.
We continue to see better turnouts if you text people on a Saturday for an event on Sunday. The closer the event (you send out a text message) the more likely they are to show up. – Executive Pastor Doug Love – Hope Boulder Church, Colorado
7) Use text messaging to increase meeting, event, and church service attendance.
Text messages go immediately to their phone so text messages get viewed instantly. We have seen increase in meetings, events and services. The more you remind people the greater their attendance. – From Susan Williams, Word of God Church and Ministries, South Carolina
8) Use outreach text messaging to survey visitors and find out what’s working.
Texting lets EVERYONE know. Our surveys and attendance proves that it works. People do not feel harassed. They appreciate a concise text message over a phone call, mail or email. Parents appreciate the notifications because they are busy and the reminders help them. If we don’t send a text reminding them they will call (taking calls is more more time consuming).
When visitors attend and fill out an information card with their cell phone number they will be included in our text notifications of services and events. When we survey our congregation and ask them how they heard about the service or event the common reply is: “I received a text”. They come back and our church is growing. – Minister Donna Johnson, Word of Hope Family Worship Center
9) Use ministry text messaging to help disaster relief volunteering.
Since October 29, 2012 Gateway has been doing Disaster Response/Relief Efforts associated with Hurricane Sandy. The Gateway Church of Christ started back on September 11, 2011 with only approx. 15-20 people. Now, we have approx. 60-70 people who attend our weekly worship service. This past summer of 2012 we had approx. 16,900 volunteers work with our Disaster Response Team. Now, we may be a small church in number, but our hearts are huge not only to love and serve our God, but the people of the Bayshore Community of Monmouth County, NJ. God gave us a huge responsibility to take on, and we feel we need to be responsible to all those who come and serve with us in our Disaster Response/Relief Ministry by sending out text messages. For example, we would like to send out text messages to a group of volunteers to have been working on a particular house to let them know updates on the house they worked on and that families have moved back in. Or, we would like to send out text messages to a group of volunteers to let them know the house they will be working on for that day, or week. – Mark Zielinski, Family & Outreach Evangelist, Gateway Church of Christ
10) Use church text messaging for improved church marketing.
We use text messaging for church marketing, visitor connections and service, event communications. We host conferences, concerts, plays all of which we text to everyone up to the day it happens. Changes in schedules will also be texted. Church marketing would be the number one use for text messaging. We also use text messaging for announcing and reminding of fundraising for youth or children’s ministries. – Minister Donna Johnson – Office Manager, Word of Hope Family Worship Center
[Content for this article was provided by ChurchTechToday sponsor, Church Office Online.]