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Group Text Messaging for Churches

Published on June 15, 2016

Churches and Texting, Church Texting is Simple

Introduction

Texting and church—not exactly a match made in heaven, right? Phones are distracting. People forget to silence their ringtone, and everyone from kids to adults eventually gets caught fiddling with their phones instead of paying attention to the message.

But it’s important to realize that text messaging can actually help churches overcome common problems. Ministries and religious organizations of all kinds face the same basic challenges:

  • Keeping your congregation engaged in a world of digital distractions and information overload
  • Connecting with the youth, teens, and young adults of your community
  • Making your message meaningful the whole week long—not just the Sabbath

With text messaging for churches powered by SimpleTexting, your religious organization will be able to address each of these issues with ease.

How It Works

With text messaging (or SMS, for Short Message Service), it’s easy to contact your members instantly.

But before you can start texting, you need cellphone numbers and permission from your members. Sound complicated? It’s simple!

All you need is a keyword and our short code. Once you’ve reserved a keyword on SimpleTexting.com (say, “1STCHURCH” or “BETHSHALOM”), just ask your congregation to text it to 555888. To be compliant it’s also important to add the following text wherever you advertise your keyword: “Msg&Data rates may apply.”

iPhone screen with 1STCHURCH keyword texted and response from list

That’s all it takes to gather their number and consent. They’ll automatically be subscribed to your text messages—it’s really that simple!

You can also manually import your contacts if you have them stored in a spreadsheet.

How Your Church Can Use Text Messages

Wondering what a church could possibly use text messages for? Below we’ve shared several ideas to help you get started.

1. Send daily Bible verses straight to your members’ mobile phones

Text quotes from Scripture that are relevant to that week’s sermon and keep congregants inspired all week long.

iPhone screen with two Bible verses

2. Alert members instantly about schedule changes

Sending timely texts about schedule changes means no one will be left in the dark. Need to cancel Sunday school due to dangerous weather? Text alerts let you reach the multitude in minutes.

iPhone screen with text announcing that Sunday school is canceled due to inclement weather

3. Notify parishioners of upcoming events

Want to ensure your social events are well-attended? Remind members with automatic texts.

iPhone screen showing texts about an upcoming ice cream social and a bonfire hot dog roast

4. Reach your youth by speaking their language

Did you know that for ages 15-24, text messaging is by far the most frequently used channel for personal written communication?

iPhone screen with reminder text about high school boys game night at church gym

5. Get feedback and suggestions from your community

Looking for a suggestion? Have an idea and need the feedback of your entire congregation? Send a text, ask for input, and reap the responses.

iPhone screen with texts asking for field trip ideas and survey feedback

6. Ask for volunteers to help out at events

Getting volunteers on board is a lot easier with SMS—just send a quick text message.

iPhone screen with texts asking for help setting up Easter service and car wash volunteers

7. Share prayer requests with the whole community

If you need to let everyone know about an important prayer request, that’s easy, too.

iPhone screen with text asking people to pray for Pastor John, who's going into surgery soon

… and the list just goes on and on:

  • Hold a Bible trivia contest
  • Send out a teaser for an upcoming sermon
  • Share a link to notes for the weekly Bible study
  • Communicate with fellow pastors and church leaders
  • Provide updates on missions trips
  • Let people know where their donations are going
  • Wish members a happy birthday

As you can probably tell by now, there’s really no limit to how your church can use text messaging!

Spreading the Word

Church Text Messaging

We’ve seen what you can do with church texting, but how do you tell your members about it? Surprise, this is actually pretty simple, too! Here are a few ideas on how to get the word out.

Announce it from the pulpit

You’re already making other announcements from the pulpit—so why not add “new text messaging service” to that list? Just let your congregation know at the beginning or end of a sermon that they can opt in to receive daily Bible quotes, prayer requests, sermon notes, or whatever it is you’ve decided to use SMS for.

Include signs and notices in your place of worship

Bulletin boards, brochures, newsletters, donation boxes, sermon notes—all of these and more make great places to inform people about your texting service. All you need is something simple, like “Text 1STCHURCH to 555888 for weekly event reminders.”

Feature it online

Don’t forget to announce your texting service to the internet. This means updating your website, social media accounts, emails, and wherever else you have an online presence.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be texting in no time!

Free to Start

If you’re ready to give text marketing for churches a try, we encourage you to sign up for a free trial account with us.

You’ll get 50 messages plus your own custom keyword.

And yes, it’s really free. No credit card, no contract, just free.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid account, just change your billing plan from the dashboard. Simple!


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