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Unique Lent ideas: Engage your parishioners with SMS

Use texting to help your congregation stay engaged the full 40 days of Lent and beyond.

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What should your church do for Lent?

Each year the season of Lent is observed by Christians everywhere. From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, a focus on self-reflection ripples around the world. 40 days of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter.

Most commonly associated with Lent is the practice of giving something up as an act of observance of Jesus’ 40-day sacrifice in the desert. People forgo things like chocolate, social media, alcohol, soda, and other guilty pleasures.

However, an often-forgotten Lenten tradition is the act of adding things into your routine. Things like prayer, charity, or volunteering.

So, how can your house of worship work to encourage parishioners to start incorporating these acts of good and reflection into their 40-day routine?

We’ve got a few ideas.

40 days, 40 texts

There are more than 26 billion texts sent each day in the U.S. On average, people of all ages are accustomed to receiving anywhere from 16-128 texts each day. Texting is ingrained into our routines, which makes text messaging for churches the perfect medium for adding a new habit into the lives of your parishioners.

Here are some innovative ways you can get your parish active and interacting during this season of Lent.

  • Text out daily prayers for folks and their families
Image for sending MMS
A prayer for your family this evening, the first day of Lent.
  • Send texts with volunteer opportunities for people to sign up for throughout Lent
  • Text out weekly topics for families to discuss when lighting their Lenten candles
Daily Dinner Discussion. Read Matthew 21:33–46 (NRSV): What is God’s inheritance? How are we evidence of Christ’s inheritance? (v.38+43)
  • Allow parishioners to text in prayer requests to be observed and honored at mass on Sunday
  • Send out meatless recipes at the start of each week to help people prepare for Fridays
Happy Monday St. Isidore. Here are some of our favorite meatless recipes for you to try out this Friday. Let us know what you think!
  • Ensure you have enough lectors, altar servers, and eucharistic ministers by sending text reminders before the Trinity masses.

Texting at church

Hundreds of churches around the country are already using SMS to connect with their parishioners. To learn a little more about how churches utilize text marketing, check out our industry guide for religious organizations.

To give you the Spark Notes version of the guide, texting has become a valuable tool for churches across the country for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s a helpful tool to keep your congregation engaged in a time when distractions (especially ones on their cell phones) compete for their attention.

It’s also a popular place to reach teens and young adults, a notoriously difficult group to reach with religion. In addition, it’s a way for folks to take the word of God with them out of the church (literally) in their pockets. Keep your congregation engaged outside of just the Sabbath.

Common SMS use cases for churches

Outside of the holiday season, there are some other bread-and-butter situations for SMS and religion. Some of the most popular include:

  • Sending out daily/weekly/monthly affirmations
  • Schedule or weather alerts for mass or bible study
  • Event reminders
  • Volunteer solicitation
  • Prayer requests
  • Links to notes on the homily

You can also check out some success stories from some of our magnificent partners who are spreading the word through text each day!

Interested in learning more about getting your religious organization text enabled? Reach out to us 7 days a week with your questions, or sign up for a free trial! We would love to help you spread the word and engage your community as you grow in faith together.

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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