4 Ways your Church can use Text Messages

I’m going to be honest. I am a text guy. Rarely will I use my iPhone to actually talk to people. I know, it sounds silly since it’s called an iPHONE, not iText. However, I feel like I get a quicker answer from someone if I text them, rather than call them. A text is so simple to do and so easy to reply to whereas a phone call can take so much more effort. I know I sound shallow here but I do not think I am alone in feeling this way.

With all this being said, when I think of texting I don’t think of it in regards to being apart of a communication strategy for a Church or ministry. However, when you really think about it, there are a variety of ways that a Church can use a text messaging service. For instance, you could use a text service in any of these few ways.

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To connect with new people. Programs and Bulletins (whatever you call them) are still good to have around, but the reality is they often either have too much information in them or end up in the trash/recycle bin when the service is over. Having a text messaging program give new people and easy on ramp to get information about your Church by getting an events and a connection “card” texted to them on their phones.

To go along with a sermon series. Sermons are wonderful ways to communicate about God to others. What helps with that is a social media strategy leading up to the week and also the week after the sermon. Part of that strategy could incorporated a text strategy where you highlight it in the week leading up to the sermon and/or encourage people after the sermon with a follow up encouragement. Either way it can be extremely useful and helpful.

To highlight special announcements or special events. Recently we had the devastation of Hurricane Harvey come through Texas. Even in Virginia, where I am at, people want to help and support others. We used our text service that we highlight to people so that they can give money to a fund helping people. Special announcements like this happen from time to time. Having a service where you can communicate and highlight these announcements will help you get maximum reach.

To notify of a last minute change or update. Changes happen, especially a winter snowstorm that can cause  a change to be made or even a cancelation of services. When these random, unpredictable events happen, having the ability to text others and notify them of the change or update is really useful.

Statistic after statistic show that mobile is where it is at these days. People are on their phones all the time so having the ability to communicate via text to people can be a key part of your communication strategy. Highlighted here are just 4 ways you can use a text service for your Church or ministry. This does come with a word of caution. As with every good tool you have at your disposal you don’t want to overuse it. If you overdo it and text too much, people will unsubscribe from your service if they get too many.

The great news is that there are a variety of text services out there. Each of them are different so become familiar with the service you choose which one is right for you. A few of the services you can look at are EX Texting, Text in Church, and MojoTxt. Regardless which one you choose, having this communication tool available is an excellent way for you to connect with people who come to your church and expand your reach and engagement in what you are doing.

So what do you think? Do you use a text service for your Church? If so, what do you use and how do you like it? Share your thoughts and experiences below or on social media and use the hashtag #ymsidekick to share.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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