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How to Set Up an Effective Church Communication System

If your church needs to fix–or establish–a church communication system then this article is for you. We explain how to build a strategy around text messaging.

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Communication is key to the success of your church. 

If you want engaged members and a growing church community, you need to inform people of events, news, and volunteer opportunities. Miss the mark, and you’ll have frustrated leaders, poor turnout, and stagnant growth.

Thankfully most churches now realize this and have moved away from posting letters to email and social media. While both can be important channels, a healthy church communication system needs to focus on text messages.

Why are we confident this is the case? We’ve worked with thousands of churches to help them text their congregations over the last decade. We’ve seen church texting services increase volunteer turnout by 100%, drive 833 new church members, and lead to 7,000+ subscribers.

 With texting you can:

  • Send notifications about upcoming events and sermons
  • Receive and reply to questions from your members
  • Collect contact information like emails and phone numbers without using paper forms
  • Ask members to vote on your next sermon series topic
  • Organize members into lists, i.e, a list just for volunteers or students

Your members are busy and rely on clear, concise, and compelling communications so they can keep on top of what’s happening and quickly respond. To that end, we’re going to explain how to set up a text-based church communication system that works for both you and your members. 

Why Build a Church Communication System Around Texting?

80% of people say that it’s important to them that an organization offer the ability to text. If you don’t trust the results of a single survey, there are tons of other studies that show people prefer texting

It explains why texts have a 99% open rate and that the average response time for a text is 90 seconds. Giving people a more efficient way to communicate is rewarded with higher response rates.

These are all compelling reasons to build a church communications strategy around SMS. But, the main reason why churches and texting go together so well is that texting is personal. 

Texting has historically been a space for close family and friends. So, it makes sense that your member’s place of worship is welcomed into the same inbox—it’s regarded as equally as the messages from close friends and family.

How to Set Up a Text-Based Church Communication System

Here are the four steps you need to build a text-based church communication system.

1. Choose a Texting Platform That Supports Two-Way Conversations and Bulk SMS

You’ll need a texting platform that enables you to send mass texts to your church’s members. You might want to send out event reminders leading up to a function or send out daily or weekly devotions or worship lines. (Here are 7 sample church announcements to send your parishioners to give you some ideas.)

The idea is that you need to be able to communicate “one to many.” However, thriving churches are built on real connections. So, you also want the ability to hold 1-on-1 conversations with your members. You want a platform that allows you to receive and incoming texts from members and to respond efficiently.

SimpleTexting offers you the ability to do both. But we’re not trying to do any hard selling here. If you’re just in the research phase, then try us out completely free for 14 days. You don’t have to input any credit card details, and you get to send 50 complimentary text messages.

2. Promote Your New Church Communication System

There are a bunch of different ways that you can promote your new church communication system and grow your contact list. For example, you could run a Text-to-Join campaign to collect your member’s contact information like their cellphone numbers and email addresses.

All you need to do is create a keyword, set up a confirmation text, and then promote your keyword to your audience. (A keyword is a word or phrase that members text to your phone number to sign up for your texts.)

You are now signed up for text updates from Calvary Chapel. Reply with your email to get updates there, too.

Now you can send both text messages and emails to your audience. (To see how it works, text CHURCH to 94090.) Once you’ve created a keyword, you can mention it during your sermons, advertise it on posters around your church, and promote it on social media.

You can also advertise your new church communication system by:

4. Send Your First Church Announcement

Now that you’ve created a keyword or imported a list, it’s time to send your first SMS campaign, text alert, event reminder, or whatever your heart desires. You can send the text immediately or schedule a text for later. This video explains how to do it in less than 90-seconds.


You can also use the SimpleTexting inbox to respond to incoming texts from your parishioners. Here’s how it works.

Church Communication System Case Studies

Hundreds of different religious organizations across the country utilize SMS for their church communication system. To see how they’ve made it their own, check out some of our church success stories!

Image for How SMS Enabled BC Awana to Keep Its Community Informed
Religious Organizations

How SMS Enabled BC Awana to Keep Its Community Informed

Learn how BC Awana at Believer’s Chapel uses texting to effectively connect a diverse community of families.

Read their success story
Image for How Central Church Uses Keywords to Engage and Inform Its Congregation
Religious Organizations

How Central Church Uses Keywords to Engage and Inform Its Congregation

Keeping over 2,000 church attendees informed isn’t easy. Here’s how Central Church uses texting to ensure its message is seen and heard.

Read their success story
Image for Learn How One Church Grew Discipleship During Coronavirus Using SMS
Religious Organizations

Learn How One Church Grew Discipleship During Coronavirus Using SMS

Learn how one of the biggest challenges facing churches turned into an opportunity to engage members in a more effective way.

Read their success story

Ready to Get Started?

Want to see if our text-based church communication system is right for your church? Give SimpleTexting a try for free for 14-days to test it for yourself. And if you decide to move forward, be sure to take advantage of our 15% discount for religious organizations.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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