Learn how BC Awana at Believer's Chapel uses texting to effectively connect a diverse community of families.
BC Awana is a global weekly church program for children from preschool through high school. The club in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is home to 82 students and over 30 leaders.
Easy, quick, and clear communication with a network of families in an age where email is less and less effective.
Rudy and the team can now send out mass messages to all the club’s families or targeted texts to specific age groups for more efficiency.
BC Awana is a worldwide community organization with a long history and a treasured place in neighborhoods that host club chapters.
The organization is a good counterpart to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for families who want more biblical teaching in their child’s activities.
Awana emphasizes fun―each week, children play organized, age-appropriate games, have large group time that includes a Bible story, and then attend a small group session for lots of bonding time with their leaders.
Rudy Rodriquez has been an administrator and group leader in the Rutherford County Awana club for the last 16 years.
He describes Awana as “a club, but more than a club.”
Recently, Rudy and his staff made their debut in the world of texting―and saw a positive difference right away. We spoke with him to get the full story.
Rudy started at Awana way back when emails were just new. In the last few years, parents are getting so much email that emails from the club, and the important stuff in them, are getting lost.
Simply put, email is not as effective as it was 10-15 years ago. The team at Awana is always looking to find better ways to communicate with parents, especially given the unique group they work with.
Because they are only one of two churches who offer groups for children through high school, around a third of Rudy’s clubbers do not attend the church where they meet.
That, plus a large number of homeschooled club families, makes for a wide and varied community―and one that’s tough to coordinate.
Rudy has found SimpleTexting to be effective because it goes right to the phones of all the busy moms and dads of his club and communicates the information they need in a short, clear message.
Even though Awana loves texting its members, SMS is just one crucial part of the puzzle.
Since email is still a valuable tool for the club, the team sometimes even texts parents to let them know that they have an important email waiting.
Awana also keeps an active Facebook page with all the vital information on it, but Rudy will be the first to admit that texting is often more efficient, given that some parents and guardians aren’t on social media.
Rudy’s club follows the local school district’s closure policy for snow or other bad weather. The problem is, how do you notify all the club families instantly when Awana won’t be meeting?
Mass campaigns fit the bill for emergency situations like these. Now, the team can simply send a quick text that says, “No club tonight due to weather, see you all next week.”
Awana’s other most-valued feature is segments.
When a new contact agrees to receive texts, Rudy looks up the phone number to figure out whether the person is a parent or a leader, and sorts them into the right list.
Although there are times, like snow days, to text every club member, there are also times when he only needs to send messages to one or two clubs.
With the contacts already sorted, Rudy just has to click on the right segment.
SimpleTexting’s easy approach to SMS has been a game-changer for Awana and the community it serves.
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