4 Text Marketing Ideas Your Church Can Swipe Now

If the church is a gathering, how is a church still a church during a lockdown?

The answer: connection.

But connection, in our strange season, now actually requires technology. All of a sudden, the church has found itself in a position where it needs tech to be the church. In the New Testament, the Greek word for church is ekklesia, meaning “those who are called out,” and before that, first-century Jews met in Synagogues, from the Greek synagoge, meaning “a gathering.”

Whatever the people of God are, they are a collective, united by their connection to God and each other through Christ. Cultivating community after the COVID lockdowns has been both more critical than ever and more difficult than ever.

One essential tool churches are using to stay connected during this time is text messaging software. With text marketing, you can easily engage your church community in a way they prefer. Study after study confirms that people prefer texting over talking.

In this post, I’m going to share four text marketing ideas you can plug-and-play in your church’s marketing strategy. These ideas will be a great way to get started. If you’re a text marketing pro, these may just be the fresh prompts you need to give your campaigns a new gloss.

1. Prayer requests

Send out urgent prayer requests when given by a family in need. Members would subscribe to this list by texting “PRAYER” or whatever keyword you designate, to your church’s unique 9-digit phone number.

There are two ways to do this.

First, you can use the text message itself to communicate the requested prayer. The benefit is that, because 97% of text messages are read, people will see the information and be more likely to take action.

Second, you could publish a live prayer requests page on your church website, and text that page to people when a request is newly added. This way, you can give more information and better equip people to pray.

It is also possible to combine these approaches by sending a link with a brief description of the request so that those who are able can click the link for more information.

2. Need requests

Needs requests are a way for people in your church to submit needs to the church so that the staff and volunteer teams, whether diaconal or another team, can respond and investigate whether they have the resources to meet the need. They can also evaluate whether the need fits the qualifications that the church has established for dispensing its resources to meet such needs.

3. Live streaming campaigns

Now is the time to show off your new live-streaming technology.

COVID changed the nature of the church from a local body with a digital presence to a digital community with a local presence.

Boost your followers.

Get the message out.

Send reminders to join the church live-stream every week so that your members can share the link, remember how to log on, and even invite friends.

4. Discipleship

Remind people throughout the week of the opportunities they have to get connected to others—when, how, where (or what url), and how best to show up.

During this time, people feel more and more isolated. It is critical to facilitate the common discipleship of the community by doing your utmost to keep people connected to one another.

Again, because text messages have such a high open rate—higher than any other communicative medium—it is the optimal technology to leverage to keep your community bonded together in fellowship during this season.

Over to you

Use these strategies in your church communication strategy in order to remain connected to your church members.

It is more important now than ever for the people of God to be connected to each other and to their communities. Embracing text marketing is one way to help people get what they need, serve when they can, and enjoy the fellowship of belonging to “those who are called out,” even when they are locked in.