How Can Churches Connect: 9 Types Of Text Messages

Churches have always embraced the latest technology to spread the gospel.

From the printing press to TV, evangelism has been on the cutting edge of technology, following Jesus’ command in the Great Commission to “Go and make disciples.”

Today, when nearly everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket, text messaging is the newest tool.

People carry their cell phones everywhere and use them all the time. If you want to reach people, that’s the best way to do it.

For churches eager to connect with their community, bring in new visitors, and make an impact for the kingdom, short message service (SMS) text messaging is where it’s at. We’ll explore 9 different ways churches can actually use text messaging. 

Always On Mobile

Nearly all American professionals are within three feet of a mobile device 24 hours a day.

We scroll through our phones while eating, watch videos in the bathroom, and even fall asleep with our phones. 

Churches try to meet people where they are, and we’re clearly on our devices.

So text messaging is an idea way to connect:

  • Better stats: Open rates and response rates for text messaging far surpass email.
  • Avoid changing rules: Social media can be fickle, leaving churches at the mercy of ever-changing rules and algorithms. 
  • Own your list: A contact list of cell phone numbers is something a church can own and control, ensuring their ability to connect with members, new visitors, and potential guests.

Churches should embrace text messaging to connect with people and share the gospel.

But what can churches share? How do they connect? What should they text?

9 Ways Churches Can Use Text Messaging

Let’s explore 9 ways the local church can use SMS text messaging technology to connect with people where they are, invite them to church, and share the message of Jesus Christ.

1. Invite Guests

Attending church for the first time can be overwhelming. Text messaging can be a way to invite someone and lessen the anxiety of that first visit.

Churches can offer a simple shortcode and keyword combination—text GUEST to 24365 for example—and send someone a text invite with all the details they’ll need.

It could include a teaser video of what to expect from the service, parking directions, what to expect when they arrive, and more.

That kind of approach can ease the anxiety of visitors attending their first church service.

2. Welcome Guests

Text messaging is an easy way to extend a first-time welcome to new guests and share more information.

A church can send a welcome message to a first-time guest. The message can include links to more information, including a welcome video from the pastor, upcoming events, and ways to get involved.

This can help churches avoid some of the awkward encounters and make the interaction low-key for visitors.

3. Text-to-give

The offering plate has gone digital. Texting can be a simpler way to accept offerings or other donations.

A simple text link can point to an online donation form. Churches can use a custom keyword and shortcode that are easily shared from the platform or on a screen, as well as QR code in the bulletin.

It can work for regular church services as well as special events, such as missions dinners, community outreaches, or VBS.

4. Follow Up

The best part about text messaging is that people opt-in to receive more messages, so a church can easily follow up.

This is a good way to invite a visitor back, answer questions, send encouragement, and more.

Text messages can also be personalized, so a follow-up text can feel warm and friendly instead of impersonal.

5. Events

Churches frequently reach out to the community with outreach events, but following up and staying in touch can be hard.

Text messaging can help churches share more information about an event and boost attendance.

Promotion for the event can include a shortcode/keyword combination and/or a QR code to get more details.

Then text messages can send further details such as parking info, schedules, reminders, and more.

6. Prayer Requests

A vibrant prayer ministry is the heart of any church.

Text messaging can activate prayer warriors immediately.

Text messages are a perfect way to share timely and urgent prayer requests.

The immediacy of text messaging means people are reading texts much faster than any other form of communication, thanks to the way we carry our devices everywhere and read those texts almost instantly.

7. Volunteers

Every church relies on volunteers. They make everything run smoothly, including the ushers who welcome visitors, musicians playing worship music, teachers of Sunday School, people preparing coffee and snacks, those cleaning up, and so many more behind the scenes.

Text messaging can help churches recruit and coordinate volunteers. They can send reminders, put out last-minute asks for help, give helpful instructions, and more.

8. Alerts

Churches can send out alerts and updates to inform their community, such as weather-related closures, emergencies, and last-minute updates.

They can also send reminders, making sure members remember to adjust for daylight savings time or to bring a dish for the potluck after the service.

9. Share The Bible

With a nod to Gutenberg and all the ways congregations have embraced technology, churches can use text messaging to share an inspiring verse of the day or week.

This is a simple way for churches to make contact and stay in touch, whether it’s members, guests, or others.

It doesn’t require any response or action, and that regular scripture serves to inspire and uplift members.

Churches and Text Messaging

As churches work to share the greatest story ever told, they should be embracing the most effective tools possible.

In this day and age, that’s text messaging. It can help churches connect with visitors, invite people into the life of the congregation, and see growth and discipleship. 

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