You’re probably hearing a lot about church texting, and why your church should be using text messaging.
Why is texting in church so popular these days?
Truth is, a lot of what you see is simply marketing. Some companies even go so far as to create false urgency, trying to convince you that your church should buy their problem-solving tool.
However, text messaging is a very powerful tool, and it should definitely be a part of what your church is doing.
One of the first things you should note is that Texting shouldn’t be the only way (maybe not even the primary way) that your church is communicating.
When it comes to church communications, there isn’t just one single way to do it.
- Sometimes a phone call is best.
- Checking on somebody in the hospital.
- Needing to talk about a sensitive subject.
- Sometimes an email is best.
- Sending longer messages
- Sending details about upcoming events
- Sending information about teams and groups they want to be a part of
- Sometimes a post on social media is best.
- Upcoming Series
- Church-wide celebrations
- But, sometimes a text message is the most effective and appropriate way to communicate.
One of the reasons SMS text messaging is so popular is because of the fact that they get noticed and opened at a much higher rate than other types of messages.
Check out these stats:
- Message received and read through Twitter: 29%
- Message received and read via Email: 29%
- Message received and read through Facebook: 29%
Now check out THESE stats:
- Message received and read via SMS Text Message: 94%
- Text Messages Read within the first 3 minutes after receiving it: 90%
There’s no denying the fact that this method of communication is extremely powerful, and that your church needs to be using it.
However, it’s also important to understand that if you use it too much, you can actually LOSE some of the effectiveness of it.
So YES, you should use it. But NO, not all the time.
So with that in mind, we put together a short list of:
4 TEXTS YOUR CHURCH SHOULD BE SENDING
1. First-Time Guests – Initial Message
Reaching out to first-time guests is incredibly important, and this first initial communication with them is the most important.
NOTE: If guests don’t give you their information, don’t try to force them to. Make sure there’s a simple and clear way for guests to give their info, and when they’re ready, they’ll do it. And once they do, they are telling you that it’s OK to contact them.
This first communication needs to be done quickly. We recommend sending it no later than 1 day after their visit.
It’s a short, personal text that let’s them know you were glad they were there, and that you will be praying for them.
Example: “Hey James! This is Brian, one of the Pastor’s from Crossroads. We’re so glad you joined us yesterday. Know that we’re praying for you this week.”
2. First-Time Guests – Invite them Back
The second text we recommend that your church sends is an “Invite-Back” message to first-time guests.
This should happen near the end of the first week after their visit. The purpose of this message is to communicate to them that you’re still thinking about them, that you’re praying for them, and you’d like to see them again this week.
When people start attending your church, they may be going through some difficult situations in their life. When they hear that you’ve been praying for them, it can build up their faith, but it can also open up some conversations they need to talk about. This one simple text can generate conversations that lead to a deeper connection with your church and ministry team.
Also, one of the hardest things for people to do is simply to lock-in the HABIT of going to church. It sounds simple, but it’s really helpful when you tell them that you’d like to see them again this Sunday.
Example: “Hey James. We’ve been praying for you this week. Hope to see you again this Sunday! -Pastor Brian”
NOTE: For more tips, check out our article on Effective Guest Follow-Up
This one is a no-brainer.
Because Everybody’s favorite holiday is their BIRTHDAY!
This is so simple, but it goes so far. When you remember that special day and simply send a quick Happy Birthday message, it makes people feel so valued and communicates that they are special to your church.
NOTE: Facebook is fine, but texting is better when it comes to wishing a valuable church member Happy Birthday.
This one is sometimes missed, but it can have high-impact if done right.
M.I.A. = Missing In Action.
If a person has been attending your church for a while, but now they’re missing, one of the best things you can do is to let them know that you noticed, and that you miss them.
Think about how it would feel to slip away and nobody noticed.
On the other side, don’t be over-bearing. Life is tough and you never know what somebody is going through. They don’t need to be bashed and bothered, but they do need to know that their church leaders have noticed they are missing, they’re concerned about them, and they’re available if needed.
Example: “Hey James, Pastor Brian here. We’ve missed you lately and are praying for you. Please let us know if you need us. Hope to see you soon.”
Remember…Church communication isn’t done through one single channel. As you continue to work on your strategy, use the most appropriate and effective methods depending on what kind of message it is.
This is a short list, and it can be a beginning point for you if you don’t have anything in place yet. I’m sure you have some great ideas of messages that could be added to this list. : )