COVID-19 has upended lives for many of us across the country due to varying degrees of “stay at home” policies in place. While houses of worship are closed for gatherings during this time, it doesn’t mean that congregations can’t stay in touch safely.
Thankfully, video conferencing software is helping churches live stream services to their congregation, ensuring that everyone can attend service while practicing social distancing. Video tools have your live streams covered, but also consider your communication throughout the week. In between your service streaming, using church texting services will keep your congregation engaged, informed and help maintain the personal connection that members are looking for during this time.
The best church texting solution should allow staff to send texts from their own computers and come with essential features that keep staff organized. Such as group text messaging for churches to avoid sending texts one by one, as well as the ability to schedule messages ahead of time so that no one has to manually keep track of when texts need to go out.
Below, we share a few tips about how to use church texting services to stay connected with members while everyone is physically apart.
Increase virtual service attendance with group text messaging for churches
Keep virtual attendance high with a scheduled text reminder to your members. Most may be at home around the clock, but they’re still busy keeping up with families and chores around the house. They’ll appreciate reminders before a service goes live.
Group text messaging lets you send BCC text messages to multiple members at once, meaning that every recipient who gets your text message will only experience a one-on-one conversation; if anyone were to reply to your message, only your staff would see it.
In your message, include a link to the live stream so members can watch the service right from their smartphones, or remind them that they can watch on your website or designated social media page.
Send positivity throughout the week
Group text messaging for churches also serves as a way to connect with members by sending bible verses or positive messages when worship isn’t taking place. You can separate members into separate groups for different communications, such as “Bible Verse Group” and “Community News.”
Staying connected throughout the week can help ease anxiety for members, reminding them that their church community is always available during this stressful time. Also, consider group activities that can not only keep members engaged with one another but also serve the greater community.
Increase giving opportunities
Christian places of worship are preparing to live stream Easter Sunday mass and many worry that giving will be greatly impacted. Church texting services can make giving easy for everyone. Set up a simple keyword, like GIVE, to use during service. Any time a member texts the keyword, they’ll receive an auto-reply with a link to your church’s giving page so they can make a donation from their phone.
During Easter Sunday service, let members know that they can text the keyword to your church’s phone number to easily contribute.
Keep volunteers safely active
Staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis is essential to slow the spread, but your healthy volunteers can still donate their time when necessary. One option is to shift your volunteers’ focus to assist other members who are at risk and cannot leave their homes. Some may need a volunteer to purchase groceries, drive them to the doctor or pick up a prescription from their pharmacy.
Answer texts while you’re away with church texting services
Your members will likely text you throughout the COVID-19 crisis to stay in touch, but there will be times when staff isn’t available to answer texts. Setting up an auto-reply ensures that texts don’t go unanswered. A simple message will not only acknowledge their message but also set expectations for when a staff member is able to reply.
Get the best church texting solution with Zipwhip
Learn more about group text messaging for churches and other important features your place of worship needs to easily stay in touch with members during COVID-19. Get the rundown on how Zipwhip Texting for Business software works here.