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5 Texts to Send to Every New Church Member

Got a growing congregation? A welcome sequence of texts with keywords and autoresponders ensures new church members get the information they need.

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As a staff member or volunteer at your church, you do your best to know all the names and faces of your church family. 

From front-row regulars to the CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only), that could mean hundreds (even thousands) of folks to get familiar with.

You want every new member to feel seen, and texting is a more personal way to connect with them than postcards or even email.

By combining texting tools like keywords and autoresponders, you can build an automated communication strategy with just five welcome text messages. 

It’s the perfect way to welcome new members to your church and help them navigate all the services and support you have to offer. 


Using Autoresponders and Keywords in Church Communications

If you’re not already familiar with them, keywords are one of the most convenient ways for new members to sign up to receive your text messages. 

Congregants can simply text in your chosen word or phrase to a number or short code. Once they press send, they’re automatically added to your list of contacts.

For example, you could encourage your congregation to text the keyword BIBLECHALLENGE to 94090 to get important bible study information. This is a strategy that Milestone Church uses (with a lot of success).

Autoresponders, on the other hand, are a feature that automatically sends follow-up messages days, weeks, or even months after a user signs up using a specific keyword.

With these tools, you can communicate regularly with your church members without worrying that you might forget to reach out.

To create your own “Welcome to our church” sequence, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a unique keyword for your church. Make it something easy to remember, like the name of your church.
  2. Advertise your keyword and number all around your church. 
  3. Set up a new autoresponder (here’s a video explaining how to do this in detail) and schedule your welcome messages filled with all the important information a new church member needs to know.

How and Where to Advertise Your Keyword

So, you’ve created your keyword, now, how best to get it in front of your congregation? 

The good news is that you have a lot of options for advertising your keyword. You could show it off on:

  • Your welcome pamphlets or service programs
  • Your website or social media channels
  • The screen in the sanctuary before or after services

While you may already have some ideas about what to include in your autoresponder texts, here’s a sample sequence of five welcome messages that would work for any church.

5 Texts You Should Send to Every New Church Member Through Autoresponders

As newcomers to your church, there are a few key details visitors might want to know. It’s important to share information like mass times, contact details, and church-sponsored activities as soon as possible.

1. The Church Welcome Message

When you set up an autoresponder, you have the option to send your message immediately when someone joins your list or to delay it. Since you want your new members to feel welcome right away, we suggest sending your initial greeting text right after they opt in.

Your welcome text message should be something that thanks visitors for coming, encourages them to text any questions, and lets them know to look out in the coming days and weeks for more information from your number.

Welcome to Christ Church! Thank you for joining our community. You can reply to this number with any questions. Look out this month for text updates with everything you need to know about our parish.
  • Welcome to First Baptist! We’re so happy to have you here. Feel free to reply to this text with questions, suggestions, or prayer requests, and stay tuned for important updates!
  • Thank you for joining the Christ the King texting family! Here is where you’ll find out about mission trips, prayer initiatives, and other updates. If you ever have questions or comments, you can reach us through text at this number.

2. The Service Schedule Text

You may have some folks who are eager to get involved with your church, but they may not know the times and days of every weekly gathering you host. Give them the rundown on when they can meet with other congregants in person or virtually every week.

We invite you to join us at mass! Our services are MWF at 11 am, 5:00 pm on Sat & Sunday services are held at 8 am, 10:30 am, and 5:00 pm.
  • Don’t miss our smaller, more intimate chapel services on Sundays at 9:30 am and Wednesday nights at 6 pm!
  • Join us for our regular services at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5:30 pm!

3. Share Relevant Church Contact Information

Now that you’ve shown your new member that you’re eager for them to join your community, you need to let them know a little more about who you are. 

If your church has a website that’s up to date with contact information, mission, and vision statements, and other relevant content, now is the time to promote it.

Want to learn a little more about who we are? You can learn all about our mission, beliefs, and preachers right here: [link]
  • Get to know our mission team! Check out photos from past trips, donation information, and ways to get involved at [link], and don’t forget to say hi to our leaders on Sunday.
  • Did you know we have a children’s ministry? Get the kids involved with Bible study, worship services, and VBS, and meet our teachers at [link].

4. Discuss Your Church’s Resources

Depending on your denomination, your church may offer additional resources like bible studies, confirmation classes, after-school care, or monthly group gatherings. Make sure to highlight these activities for anyone who’s new to your church. 

Make sure your programs are clearly communicated from the get-go to help new members get involved early.

This has been a successful strategy for C3 San Diego, which keeps its 4,000+ person congregation connected and active using texts. 

Did you know Christ Church has monthly bible study dinners in the basement? Come join us from 6-8 pm the first Sunday of each month for a friendly discussion and a yummy potluck!
  • Looking for a way to stay connected with your church family? Join one of our Bible Study groups. We’ve got groups for singles, married couples, youth, and seniors. Check out our groups at [link].
  • Our goal at Risen Fellowship is to care for the whole family, which is why we’re proud to offer after-school care for children in grades 1-6. Call our office to get your child signed up!

5. Church Check-in Text

The final message in your welcome sequence is a good opportunity to gather feedback. This can be sent to new members as well as inactive church members

To see if your welcome efforts are working, take this time to send contacts a brief survey or simply ask them to share their thoughts. Over time, this feedback will help you refine your welcome sequence and service offerings so you can continue to attract and serve more folks at your church.

We’d love to know your thoughts on Christ Church so far. If you have 3 minutes would you mind filling out this survey? Thank you so much! [link]
  • We’re so thankful you joined us for the service this morning! Will you let us know how your experience was? Feel free to reply to this text with any questions or feedback.
  • Hi New Marrieds group! Since this is a new class, we’re looking for feedback on how the group is going. Please reply to this text with your suggestions and thoughts. 

Best Practices for Texting Your Church Members 

Now that you have some inspiration for texting new members, let’s talk through some important tips and strategies to keep in mind.

  • Make it easy for your church family to give you their numbers. We talked earlier about creating and advertising keywords, but you can also use things like QR codes on contact cards or web forms on your site to help church members and visitors sign up to receive your texts.
  • Be consistent in sending texts. Stay proactive in sending out helpful, encouraging texts to your congregation. Hearing from you consistently can help build even more trust between you. Just be sure every message is valuable and intentional.
  • Reach out personally. One of the best things about texting is that it’s a deeply personal way to communicate, and your members will appreciate you or one of your staff members reaching out to check in on them specifically. Feel free to include details they’ve voluntarily shared with you, like their names, families, special interests, or prayer requests. 
  • Make sure you have permission to text your congregants. This is a big one. Don’t buy up lists of phone numbers to text. Be sure you have explicit consent from your contacts to send them messages.

🔖Recommended reading: Group texting for religious organizations

The Bottom Line on Texting Your New Church Members

Inviting new members into your community and welcoming visitors is exciting, and making sure they have the best experience possible with your church shouldn’t be stressful for you or them. 

By automating as much of the process as you can, you’ll save time and create a positive experience for everyone involved. 

Texting also doesn’t have to be complicated (or expensive). You can easily try SimpleTexting out for 14 days, completely free, and if you decide you love it, nonprofits receive a 15% discount on plans. 

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

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.

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