When people think about church, oftentimes the focus is all about the mass itself. But with mass only taking up around one hour of the week, that leaves 167 hours of opportunity where you could be connecting with your parish, outside the confines of the church.
Well, maybe not 167 hours exactly (even the disciples had to catch some shut-eye every once in a while) but we think we make our point clear: there are plenty of opportunities to strengthen your bond with parishioners, and for them to grow closer to your church’s mission. The key that unlocks that bond is genuine communication.
Finding meaningful ways to communicate with your parish can be a little tricky. You don’t want to push out information for the sake of sending it. Instead, favoring messages with clear calls to action and relevant information has routinely proven more successful.
To help get you closer to that communication sweet spot, we’ve come up with the seven kinds of announcements your church should be sending to achieve optimum engagement. And because we’re SimpleTexting, we’ve taken a spin on the script and created text-ready templates that can be used with our church texting service.
7 Church Announcement Ideas
The Countdown Announcement: We may not want people on their phones when they’re in church, but the reality is 1 in 5 people are. Learn to take advantage of this by drawing the attention of those with phones to you instead of their Facebook page. You can do this by sending a countdown announcement. This message would go out a few minutes before mass begins with an alert telling people when you plan to begin and that they should start heading towards their seats. It can additionally include directions on children’s activities that may take place during mass as well as reminders to stick around after the service for an event, like donuts on the first Sunday of the month!
The Post Mass Follow Up Announcement: The hope of every good service is that it delivers parishioners with some idea or sentiment that they take home with them to meditate on during the week. However, that puts a lot of pressure on the pastor to deliver plenty of revelatory information in a small amount of time. Instead, improve your odds of sticking with your audience by sending out post mass texts that include key point follow-ups, additional scriptures to explore, video that further demonstrates your point—the sky is the limit!
The Giving Request Announcement: Was your weekly offertory directed to anyone or anything in particular? Perhaps whatever it is might be the kind of cause that speaks to someone who wasn’t there in person to donate. Or maybe another person forgot their wallet at home or, when they got home, decided they wanted to contribute more than they did in person. Don’t miss those opportunities! Send out post mass giving requests with links for parishioners to donate to the cause directly.
The Volunteers Needed Announcement: Anyone who has worked for a nonprofit knows, it can be extremely difficult trying to get people to donate their time. When you announce a need for helping hands during mass you may have plenty of eager beavers, but that same follow through tends to wane as time passes and your audience returns to their own homes and obligations. You’re better off reaching folks with your request during a time they can easily take action and make the commitment on the spot, something texting makes easy. Just send an announcement inviting people to donate their time (be sure to include the who, what, where, when, and why) and have them simply reply with a yes or no! With 90% of texts read within 3 minutes, and the average response time for a text message sitting around 90 seconds, you’re sure to convert more parishioners.
Group Announcement: We mentioned this in the introduction, but fostering a strong sense of community is important to every religious group, regardless of their beliefs. This means extending involvement in the religious community outside mass. A great way to do this is by creating interest-specific groups; spaces where churchgoers can gather with like-minded peers for discussions, activities, and other enriching happenings. Many churches establish youth groups, but involvement shouldn’t be limited only by age! Bible studies and other interest-based groups are also a great idea. Starting up one of these groups, or illuminating one that already exists, is a great nugget of information meant to be shared with the parish. Announce updates on when and where groups plan to meet, share photos and videos of things they’ve done together, and more! The more people see, the more interested they’ll be to join.
Prayer Request Announcement: When faced with adversity, nobody bands together quite like a religious group. When someone is in need of prayers, it can be a tremendous comfort to know that their request is being heard, and they’re supported by a community of people who are sending them love and positivity. Tragedy may not always strike at the most convenient times, and support may be needed before or after Sunday mass. Help your parish feel connected by offering prayer request announcements 7 days a week.
Celebration Announcement: While prayer requests are a fantastic way to connect your community, they tend to revolve around unfortunate circumstances. Compliment that heavy content with positive news as well! Send out announcements congratulating members of your parish during big milestones such as marriage, babies, graduations, promotions, etc. Not only does this help the subject of the message to feel recognized and appreciated, it shares a little bit about them with the rest of your congregation helping everyone to feel closer!
Church Announcement Templates
Browse our convenient church announcement templates that correspond to the seven message types we discussed above.
1. The Countdown Announcement
Mass will begin in 5 minutes. Please take your seats and drop children in the Moses room for the children’s liturgy, NOT the tabernacle.
2. The Post Mass Follow Up Announcement
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Explore John 15 & meditate on the concept of sacrifice. Have a blessed week!
3. The Giving Request Announcement
Miss this week or just want to donate something extra? Click this link to contribute to this week’s offertory for Saint Jude: http://txt.st/VCSINU
4. The Volunteers Needed Announcement
We invite you to volunteer and enjoy our 5K for Christ this Sunday from 12-4 at Saint Peters. Reply with Y or N if you’re able to donate your time!
5. Group Announcement
Photo from our Bible & Bridge club last night! If you’re interested in joining they meet every other Tuesday from 6-8 pm here in the basement. No prior bridge experience needed!
6. Prayer Request Announcement
The Donatello Family needs your prayers. Their son was in a car accident & is in critical condition. Send prayers and stand by for a sign up to deliver meals.
7. Celebration Announcement
Join us in celebrating fellow parishioners Josiah and Julie Lukens who were wed right here in the chapel this Saturday!
Communicating with your parish in worthwhile, effective ways can be fun! And you’ll most likely be surprised to see how naturally it comes once you start getting in the groove. By adding in the power of text messaging to each church announcement, you’re sure to reach your target audience faster as well as being met with an impressive read and response rate. Don’t believe us? See for yourself what a few of our religious organization clients have already achieved through SMS:
If you want to learn more about sending announcements to your church or religious organization, consider our 14-day free trial. We can get you connected with a support team member right away who can show you the ropes as well as what’s worked (and hasn’t worked) for churches, which reminds us, we have an excellent blog discussing church connection cards, if you’re interested!
Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.