These days everyone is texting. No matter the age, people have adopted texting as a way to communicate with friends, family, doctors, businesses, etc. So it makes sense for churches to use texting as well. It’s a simple, reliable, and effective way to message directly with everyone in your church, a particular small group, or specific individual.
There may be some initial hurdles, like many are guarded when it comes to sharing cell phone information. We have seen the abuse with our email addresses and want to ensure our phone doesn’t become the next target of spam texts or unwanted calls. To overcome this, you need to be sure your congregants and parishioners understand that it will only be used for church communications they’ve requested.
This means you need to give your members a reason to sign up for text messages. Communicate information that they want: updated schedules due to weather, Wednesday’s family dinner menu with pickup procedures, holiday program times, social distancing updates, food pantry needs, and volunteer opportunities. Information that simplifies their lives will be welcomed, but don’t send too many or make them too long. A brief message with a link to details is more likely to be read and less likely to be viewed as an annoyance.
So how do you start collecting cell phone numbers?
- Create a form on your website that lists the available communication groups they can opt into receiving. It may be wise to give examples of information they will be receiving from each group.
- Collect information at kiosks (iPad) after your service or Mass.
- Use Text :). Simply have your members text their name to a specific number.
Announce reminders in your church bulletin regularly to ensure you capture updates and new members’ or parishioners’ information. Also be sure to give instructions on opting out of your texts. Many products include all the features needed to simplify the entire process so it is simple to get started.
We all need to stay in touch these days and, with the holidays approaching, texting will be a good way to share information, reflections, schedules, and church activities for when we’re back worshiping in our church or parish or if we’re still streaming from our homes.