• Darrell Stetler II

Texting Is Better Than Phone or Email for Churches

I remember when I first sent a text message on my flip phone. Things have changed a lot since then. People are more connected to their phones than ever.  In those days, I rarely texted, and almost always called.

Lots of people under 30 don’t really check voicemail at all.  I rarely listen to a voicemail.  I have Google voice transcribe them and sent to me — as texts!

Sure, there are some things you shouldn’t do with a text. Ask for a date. Break up. Deal with conflict. Have a deep conversation. But if you’re just needing to quickly communicate in an extremely connected culture, texting sure does help.

There are lots of ways to use texting in your church communications.  Texting is a great way to:

  1. Send quick encouragement to someone.

  2. Remind people of events & appointments

  3. Do a quick check on a fact

  4. Get information such as a phone number without breaking workflow

  5. Request an “at your convenience” reply on a question

  6. Send information such as links and phone numbers so the recipient has a record of them

  7. Drive quick traffic to a link, such as event registration or church video

Here are 5 reasons why I think texting is better than email or phone for church communications:

1. More people respond your message.

Not everyone is into texting.  But if you’re working with younger people, in my experience, you are more likely to get an answer from a text than a voicemail or email.

There are exceptions to this.  Boomers & office professionals still use email quite a bit.  But even that is changing, as communication becomes more informal, even in the workplace.

2. People see it more quickly.

I like to use email for longer-form things, but when you need to communicate something quickly (a cancellation, a schedule change, an urgent message) texting is almost always faster.

Lots of people have their phones set NOT to notify them when an email comes in, but very few people have their phones set that way for texts.

3. Texting is more personal than email.

Now, texting is probably less personal than a phone call, but the texting space isn’t as crowded as the email space… and while several dozen companies have your email, it’s mostly people (persons) that text you.  That’s why I’d argue it’s more personal.

4. Texting is more focused than email.

Often, emails can communicate too much and have too many possible responses, which tends to immobilize people, and lead to no response.  Texting is so short, that you can usually only take 1 action in response to a text, so people are more likely to actually act on it.

So how do we harness texting to do this kind of communcation in our churches?

Here are my favorite tools for churches to use for texting folks:

1. MightyText

Now, how to do it more quickly… that’s the problem. And my favorite solution is MightyText.  MightyText lets me text from my phone using my computer, which is far faster.

Here’s what it allows me to do:

  1. See who’s texting without breaking my workflow. Texts pop up down in the corner, letting me decide if it’s important enough to stop for.

  2. See who’s calling without breaking my workflow. Again, notifications pop up in the corner.

  3. Reply without picking up my phone. A quick click and I’m replying.

  4. Text multiple people at the speed of my computer, not my phone. I type way faster on a keyboard.

  5. Easily Schedule texts to send in the future.

MightyText is quite valuable — and free to use. I used it for months with the free app. But on this one, it’s worth going to the paid version for the features that are included. The ability to create Contact Lists is particularly valuable. It lets me text groups of people with a single click.

I have admin assistant add mobile numbers to a list like “Trunk or Treat” and I can text 25 of those folks at a time from my own phone, and start a conversation, like “Thanks for attending our Trunk or Treat! This is Pastor Darrell, & this is my personal cell phone. Did you feel like your kids enjoyed it?”  (I like ending that kind of a text with a question, because they’re more likely to respond!)

One caution: If you use MightyText on a church computer, and someone else uses that computer, they can read your texts.  Obviously, this could cause issues with sensitive information.  So, be cautious here if you have sensitive info — log out, etc.

But obviously, you can’t use your personal phone for all church annoucements, which is why I like:

2. Textedly.com

Textedly is a great texting service that allows people to sign up to receive texts through keywords.  Such as this slide, which we use in our offering-time slideshow:

I’ve used Textedly in these ways:

  1. Send out church cancellations or schedule changes

  2. Quick Sunday reminders about church dinners

  3. Saturday encouragement to “bring a friend”

  4. Church-wide fasting and prayer campaign – Scripture verses

If you’d like to sign up and give them a try, you can CLICK HERE, and you will get a bonus 5,000 messages when you sign up for a plan. 

So what do you think?  Is texting better?  How do you use it?

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