What’s the best way for your church to communicate to your congregation?
Well, it depends on the church.
The world is increasingly a complex melting pot of subcultures. Some churches thrive using social media while other churches need more traditional communication channels. There are hundreds of options.
And text messaging may actually be one of the best tools you can use.
Text messaging (SMS) is as popular as email was a decade ago. According to Pew Internet Project, 90% of American adults have a cell phone, and 79% of them use text messaging in 2014.
In other words, 7 in 10 church goers use text messaging. And this number is growing.
In most cases, the nature of texting is more effective at communicating than email, service announcements, and voice messages. It is 160 characters delivered within 7 seconds.
Tools for Texting
Of course, you don’t want to send out 200 individual messages from your phone. There is software for that.
Some solutions, like Church Office Online, even integrate mass text messaging into church management software (ChMS). In fact, Church Office Online actually includes text messaging in every subscription package at no extra cost. Users can easily send text messages to specific individuals, ministry groups, or their entire congregation.
Texting Your Way to a Healthy Church
Churches can use text messaging in a variety of ways. There are clear benefits to its ability to communicate the urgent – weather cancellations, emergency notifications, and calls to action for community service. It is administratively versatile with its convenience of volunteer communication, event reminders, announcements, and schedule changes.
But text messaging’s real value is in how churches can explore using it to spiritually strengthen the health of their community. The fuel that drives a church’s health is each individual’s personal relationship with Jesus. Abiding in Christ prunes and refines us to be more like Christ. And it is out of the overflow of this relationship with God that the most powerful ministry is done.
So how can text massaging be used for spiritual growth?
Your church can use texting to communicate urgent prayer needs or even just every day prayer requests. However, the real potential lies in developing weekly or even daily prayer guides to help church members practice and cultivate the habit of prayer.
Scripture illiteracy is still a problem. As we’ve seen with the emergence of Bible apps and audio Bibles, technology is providing new avenues of engagement that can be the first format that suits certain types of learners. Perhaps text messaging is the channel that some need to finally jumpstart a habit of Bible reading. This could be a weekly or daily devotional with one text being Scripture and a 2nd text being a thought-provoking question. One of my favorite examples is using text messaging to share the Scripture text for the sermon the day before. What a wonderful way to extend the sermon beyond the service and prepare hearts to receive more.
Think about how your church can turn text messaging into weekly devotionals of prayer and Scripture. Tools like Church Office Online are perfectly suited to help you get started, explore the potential, and manage the full spectrum of church texting.