How Will The Church Use Text Messaging?

Orginally published on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 7:15 AM
by Todd Rhoades

OK... this is obviously part of an advertisement from the provider; but 'texting' is the new language of young people (see the video from earlier today on how students learn). How, when, and why should texting be a part of the church's future?

Here’s the article to spur your thinking:

Progressive churches in the UK are seeing attendance numbers soar as they reap the benefits of staying in touch with their congregations through SMS technology developed by txttouch.

One church that has been using this service for nearly six months is Leicester City Vineyard.  church leader Steve Barber saw the potential in using text messaging and has used it since the start of this church plant.

He said: ‘Txttouch has been incredibly useful in keeping members of the church informed, whether it’s to remind them of a barbecue, or if we have to change a venue at short notice.

“I send on average two or three messages a month, especially if we are doing a one off event such as a party or a specific outreach, we have found that when reminded by text, people are more likely to attend.”

He added: ‘Text messaging is a quick and easy way to contact our entire church and it saves hours either on the phone or texting each individual separately leaving me with more time to focus on moving the church forward.”

Text messaging is not the only mobile service that churches are using to communicate with people. Txttouch has also introduced a new device called the Gabriel Communicator, an innovation in Bluetooth technology that sits in churches and transmits notices, song sheets, sermon notes, rotas, Bible readings and home group details to members of the congregation for free. 

Txttouch MD, Nicholas Maguire, who has been involved in church leadership for nearly 15 years, said: “This is a culturally relevant way to contact people regardless of their age.  The Communicator can be updated as often as churches need, so on a Saturday it can beam service times to people in the city centre and the next day it can be back in the church beaming notices to the congregation as they arrive.”


QUESTION:  How should the church use texting (if at all)?  Have you seen any church doing text messaging in any kind of ministry way?

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  There are 9 Comments:

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    Ask Earl Creps about this, he has some great ideas!

  • Posted by Derek

    I took Creps idea of having students text you during a message and did it during a message to sr. high and jr. high students at a labor day weekend retreat.

    I preached a message called “Eat This Book” inspired by E. Peterson’s book of the same title. I talked about reading Scripture as eating for your spiritual life. I wrote my cell number on a dry erase board and told them to txt me feedback, questions or comments as I was speaking. I got some good messages (see below).

    The next day I typed up their messages and my responses on my laptop as my wife drove us home. I then posted the txts and my responses on my blog and send a mass txt to everyone to go to the blog.

    It worked well. Here are the txt responses, I received.

    10:31pm What gave you this idea?

    10:31 pm I think you’re a great speaker. Ive learned boatloads from you over the past year…

    10:39 pm I will remember that the 3 right answers are usually God, Jesus, or Bible.

    10:40 pm You did this in church not too long ago.

    10:43 pm I should eat and read instead of just reading it.

    10:46 pm I took the little scroll from the angels nad and at it. It tasted is sweet as honey in my mouth but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. THIS VERSE MADE ME THINK ABOUT IT BUT I WANT TO CONSUME IT TOO!

    10:49 pm I didn’t know people died just to get the bible published in English and that makes the bible seem even more holy to me. So thanks for that information.

    10:51 pm I really like ‘god doesn’t have grandchildren, only sons and daughters.’

    10:51 pm The little book taste good.

    10:54 pm Thanks

    10:54 pm How do you get to a place where you wanna read the Bible after you have been a Christian a long time, and it is a chore.

    10:55 pm The three concepts get the bible then open it and then eat it.

    10:56 pm the message made me think about how sometimes when I don’t read or “eat” my bible I seem to be in a worse mood and fed than if I make the decision to spend time in the word

    10:56 pm I am going to eat some everyday
    Good! Eat a way and remember to share with your friends.

    10:57 pm Hey that was a great message I think u broke it down pretty good I haven’t looked at it like that before. It was good

    10:58 pm Hey Mr. Derek this is my first year comin to the retreat I got saved this weekend it feels alsum. Well I know this has nothing to do with wat you said but I thought I would let you know! C ya

  • Posted by

    The Texting idea has some merit, but I think we need to balance that against who wants to receive text messages.  I personally don’t have a text message plan because I don’t use enough messages to justify a plan and instead have e-mail direct to my phone (part of another plan).  I really like the idea, but want to find that balance that says “text me” or “email me” about something.

    Definitely open to some ideas on this one on best practices. Anyone?

  • Posted by

    For several months three of us have been giving out our phone numbers to those in our coffee house worship ministry at the start of the services. We tell people what the basic theme is and a couple of the scriptures that we will be using. We tell people that they need to text us before the coffee break and that if at all possible we will include their thoughts or questions during the teaching.
    During our trial period we have had between 1 and 9 texts sent in a service.
    We aren’t sure yet if we will continue it, but it does add a bit of excitment to the preaching process.

  • Posted by Laptopus

    Nice way of messaging.

  • This is a great idea...and other churches should follow suit to use some of the ideas.

    As a young person I can tell you that txting is the best way of communicating because it is EASY...I am sure it can be used for lots of good.

  • Posted by

    This would be very beneficial to everybody, This way of messaging can be a helpful tool for example, like holidays such as labor day, labor day weekend news and updates 2008 .

  • Posted by

    Youre right, it is a usefull to to have communication faster like a transportation also. labor day travel

  • Dude, You don’t want to know what this former English teacher thinks about text-messaging. One clue can be found on a coaster we saw last night on our table in Outback. I’m not sure I can reproduce it exactly, but I’ll try: “Txtng can make u a bad spelr.” I deplore it as one more giant step in reducing our language to a mere shadow of its former self--or worse.

    On the other hand, I am supposed to go into Verizon and have some young person (who will have trouble holding in the laughter until I leave) show me how to do more than just the most basic texting. My texting sister sent us a link to an article saying that, in times of a disaster, e.g., an earthquake, hurricane, etc., txt msgs cn gt thru when clls cnt. Or something like that. I’m very slow.

    So...texting could be useful for a church and members in case of a disaster or other emergency, but I’d hate to see--and pay for--text messages announcing some event or activity that has absolutely nothing to do with me, just because it’s so easy (for the knowing) to send something out to everyone. One more avenue for spam. Good grief.

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