A Great Tech Idea For Churches

Those of you who know me, know that I love technology and its uses in ministry.  Well today’s post may be old news to some, but an amazing time saver for others.

Every church leader recognizes the need to maintain good communication with the congregation.  That’s why we invest thousands of dollars and man hours in publishing church bulletins.  But the problem with church bulletins is that they aren’t time sensitive.  Because of this, many churches have created Facebook pages to get news out even quicker.  But again, the problem with Facebook is that the congregation won’t see the news unless they log into their Facebook account.

Well, here’s a way to contact your congregation with news, updates, and prayer requests in “real time.”  Here’s how you do it.

Go to www.twitter.com and set up a free account for the church (e.g. ABCchurch).  Then inform your congregation that if they wish to receive instant text updates, all they have to do is send a text to “40404” and have the text simply say, “Follow ABCchurch” (without the quotation marks).

That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  Your members don’t have to have a Twitter account, all they need is a phone with a texting plan.  This service has been around for about seven months, but I’m a bit slow.

Just brainstorming…You can set up Twitter accounts for your young people, the parents of your young people, senior members, the entire congregation, etc.  You get the point.  Whatever subgroup you have at your congregation, you can invite them to join a group and they can receive timely texts, relevant to them, from the congregation.

By the way, this feature is called, “Fast Follow” if you want to do a little more research on it.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

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Comments 9

  • We use Twitter to “mass text” the congregation, and it has worked so well. Both our secretary and I have the password, so either one of us can send a message as needed.

  • What if people opt in and then they decide they want to opt out? Is there a way to stop receiving texts?

  • Good question Shane. I should have included this, but didn’t. Yes, opting out is just as easy as joining. All one has to do is text 40404 and text, “END ABCchurch” (or whatever the name of the twitter account is).

  • Thanks, Steve. I just set one up for the church here, and I’m looking forward to getting it going. I like having several different ways to keep people informed.

    Great work on your blog — thanks!

  • Glad to hear, Chuck. I’m really enjoying the ease and the immediacy of the contact.

  • By the way, I think it’s “OFF [username]” instead of “END [username]” to unsubscribe. I tried “END . . .” and it posted it to Twitter.

  • Chuck, thanks for the information. Actually, according to Twitter, both “OFF” and “END” and a few other terms are supposed to work. But apparently not? I haven’t tried it. But thanks for the information. I’ll have to test it.

  • That’s interesting . . . maybe I did something wrong, but I tried “END” a couple of times with no success. Then I tried “OFF,” and it worked. If “END” works for you, let me know if you would so I can figure out what I did wrong. Thanks!

  • Chuck, here’s what Twitter says, “OFF, STOP, QUIT, END, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE: turns ALL phone notifications off.” I don’t know why “END” wouldn’t work for you, but according to Twitter, it is supposed to work.

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