For over two thousand years, the church has relied on the personal message as a fundamental point of communication. Today, the world of SMS or text messaging is bringing a totally new dimension to this process. Churches around the globe are finding that SMS messaging allows both intimate and efficient communications with their entire congregation in a heretofore unimagined way.
Whether the church body operates as a traditional congregation, uses home cell groups or demographic ministries, each area of the body can use different capabilities and functions to enhance its outreach and impact. Once everyone understands that the process is more than a mere message, the entire church will respond favorably to what SMS brings to the table. Examples include:
- Prayer outreach. Alert the entire church to both regular and special prayer requests. Rather than relying on a prayer chain or other methods, the entire congregation can be brought up to date with one message.
- Church Schedules. Use the system for weekly updates and special notices when meetings get changed or modified. If foul weather or other circumstances arise, it is easy to ensure that no one is left out of the notification process. Even the annual changing of clocks for day light savings times is made more convenient with SMS capabilities.
- Youth Groups. Of course, the youth today get it when it comes to messaging. Here, however, you can also involve the parents and keep them in the loop with regular messages about outings, schedules and events. Again, changes in schedules and cancellations are as simple as one message sent out to all.
- Shut-ins and remote members. A great way to keep everyone posted that can’t attend every week is regular SMS updates. A daily special prayer or blessing can keep everyone centered on the church’s goal and mission without intruding or adding to phone clutter. Even college students and traveling business people appreciate the ability to keep in touch effortlessly.
The beauty of SMS text messaging is that it takes away from the administrative burden, rather than adding to it. It is easy to set up and maintain and just one typed message can reach hundreds virtually instantaneously. While the old ways continue to work, this is a technology that is a definite valuable addition to the church networking and communication process. It is hard to imagine any church, large or small, not getting a lot of value from implementing an SMS system.