Texting has revolutionized how our society communicates and interacts. It’s also a great way to keep your church connected. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of churches using text messaging to keep in touch with their congregations. With so many folks isolated, texting enables churches to reach out and connect with people, personally and instantly.
Pandemic or not, it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of text communication. 99% of text messages are opened (and 90% within the first three minutes)! It’s easy to see why text messaging is a valuable tool to spread event information, alerts, updates, and reminders. Add to that the ease of text-based mobile donations, and you have a single communication method that empowers both communication and generosity.
Here are some of the great ways our church partners use text messaging to keep people connected:
#1 – Live Service Reminders
Send a quick reminder text an hour before weekly services to increase in-person and online attendance. Simply send a message to the entire church to let them know what to expect during this Sunday’s service. Be sure to mention the start time and include a link to your online service. Receiving a simple reminder is a helpful and practical cue to get people to church – especially when life is busy or a little less structured.
#2 – Digital Connection Cards
Say goodbye to paper-based visitor information cards! Texting makes it easy for in-person guests and online visitors to fill out a digital version of your connection card. The process is simple: First, create an online version of the connection card in your church management system (ChMS) or in an online form builder. Next, set-up an automatic reply keyword such as “guest” which people can text-in to receive a link to your form.
#3 – Event Reminders & Quick Updates
If I learned anything from my decade working on a church staff, it’s this: It is impossible to over-communicate. With texting, you can remind people about upcoming events, inform them about what’s happening at the church, and send updates when things change – instantly. Don’t wait to send a weekly newsletter that most people won’t read. Instead, schedule timely updates and reminders to be delivered at just the right time.
#4 – Daily Bible Readings
Remind people to hit the pause button once a day and spend time with God. Sending a daily Bible reading or devotional program to each person’s phone can remind them to spend time in God’s Word each day. Reading God’s promises daily will help promote spiritual growth and maturity.
#5 – Weekly Message Notes & Bulletins
Sending weekly message notes and announcements via text is an effective (and eco-friendly) way to put your message directly into the pockets of church attendees. We recommend including the message title in the text and link to an online version of the message notes or bulletin. The text can be sent an hour or two before service and serves as a great “wake up call” to remind families to start getting ready to attend.
#6 – Prayer Requests
Lift them up! Texting provides a quick and simple way for people to send a prayer request to the church at any time of the day or night. Each request should be responded-to personally to make sure people feel loved and cared for.
#7 – Mobile Tithes & Offerings
Whether your church is gathering in-person or virtually, text-to-give mobile donations can empower generosity by offering an easy and fast way for people to make a donation from their mobile phone. You can also encourage church members to set-up automatically repeating donations to make giving even easier.
#8 – Volunteer Scheduling & Communications
Keep volunteers connected and informed by setting-up a text list for each volunteer team. Leaders can send messages to their teams, instantly informing people when a need arises or an event/outreach is coming up. What’s more, volunteers can reach out to their leaders to ask questions and respond to needs.
#9 – One-On-One Support
Stay reachable and offer support when needed. Even if you aren’t able to visit people in-person, you can stay connected with one-on-one text conversations. Having these conversations through a texting service instead of through your personal phone will keep you in touch with your members and visitors while providing accountability and protecting your personal phone number.
Using a church texting service has a long list of benefits, but at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping the flow of communication open between the people and the church. Being a church leader comes with its own unique set of challenges. However, staying connected with members and guests does not have to be one of them. Happy connecting!