We know that church communication can feel daunting at times. Helping to tackle that beast of a topic is what inspires us every day! Out of the hope to free up time and streamline processes for church leaders, we created the Top 15 Ways Thriving Churches Communicate with their people. You'll find that these are easy to implement and highly effective; your communication will automatically jump to the next level! Thousands of churches using Text In Church have had great success with these communication strategies.
Side note: if you’re looking for strategies specific to text messaging, you may be interested in this text messaging playbook.
We've included practical examples under each of the 15 Topics so, without further adieu, let’s get started...
#1 Thriving Churches… send targeted messages that are relevant to the people receiving them
Families without children don’t need to receive a message about the youth trip next month, but they would be interested in upcoming small group opportunities. Send people messages relevant to their life stage and interests; this not only keeps people engaged with your messages, but it shows them that this is still human interaction, not just an automated system.
#2 Thriving Churches… provide multiple sources for people to check in on Sunday
Everyone in your congregation is going to prefer a different method of communication. Failing to provide multiple options is a missed opportunity to gather information. Check out our Connect Cards post to create a check in system with which EVERYONE can connect!
#3 Thriving Churches… boost their attendance by inviting their members to an upcoming sermon series with text reminders
This is super simple. Just send a quick message on Wednesday and Saturday inviting them to your new series so they can keep your service front of mind as they plan for the weekend. We have seen a significant jump in attendance for churches who implement this strategy. So much so, we’ve created a strategy all of its own called the Sermon Series Bump. If you’re looking to grow your attendance, this is for you!
#4 Thriving Churches… follow-up with their guests for 6 weeks
Don’t let your guests slip through the cracks. 1-2 messages after their visit just aren’t enough. They need multiple messages along a 6-week time frame to keep you front of mind each week.
This is critical.
And we can help! Guest follow-up is our jam. Check out our 16 Follow-Up templates; they are super effective and easy to use.
#5 Thriving Churches… send thank you messages to their volunteers
After an event or even just a Sunday service, send a quick message to your volunteers saying “Thanks for using your gifts and spending your morning serving at City Church! You are appreciated!” This goes a long way in making your people feel valued.
#6 Thriving Churches… prioritize communication with the future generation of the church, the youth
Youth are constantly on their phones. It’s one of the easiest ways to get connected with them or see how their week is going. Simply send a quick message asking if there is anything your team can be praying about for them. Plus… if they’re supposed to bring something to youth group Wednesday night, it’s a quick and easy way to remind them :)
#7 Thriving Churches… keep parents in the loop
One of the most powerful ways to help your church thrive is to foster a healthy relationship between parents and their kids. Families look to the church for guidance as they raise up their children and what better way to help connect them. All you have to do is send a quick message to the parents on what topic you are studying in youth group and maybe some questions they might ask them. And, as a bonus, if you really need your youth to bring something to group or arrive on time for an outing, keeping the parents in the loop will help ensure there aren’t any hiccups.
#8 Thriving Churches…send personalized messages
Make your messages personal. Not just by using their name, but in the way you write. Pick out one person in your congregation, then write your messages like you are writing only to them. People can sniff out phony and automated messages from a mile away. Use a genuine voice in your messages so people know you are speaking directly to them and that you care.
#9 Thriving Churches… use digital check in systems at events
When you use a digital check-in at an event, it is a prime way to gather their information so you can invite them to church on Sunday. Outreach events are powerful, but if you don’t have a way to follow-up with the people that come, it’s hard to make a deeper connection that gets them coming to your service or plugged in with your community. This is another great spot for that Digital Connection Card.
#10 Thriving Churches… send short messages that promote a follow-up action
Promote action with short text messages that drive people to more information on your website or to their inbox. Send a short, intriguing message, with a link to your website or tell them to check their email for more details. It keeps them engaged and connected, which is the whole point, right?
#11 Thriving Churches… engage their members more effectively by communicating more effectively
Ever get sick of having events no one shows up to? Or not having enough nursery workers on Sunday morning? Send text or email reminders to groups you create so that your people are in the loop!
#12 Thriving Churches… are diverse in their approach to communication
Not every single person is going to prefer the same method of communication. So, have options! Send letters, texts, emails, have a welcome center so people can approach you, etc. The more options, the more opportunities.
#13 Thriving Churches… have a plan so they can spend less time managing systems and more time building relationships
Guest follow up, member engagement, new sermon series, events, it’s so much to keep track of and try to communicate to your people. So don’t! Use automated workflows, made for you templates, and proven follow-up strategies so your time is freed up for the real work - building relationships with people.
#14 Thriving Churches… have a killer welcome speech
You can be as awesome at guest follow up as possible, but if a guest feels uncomfortable during your service (i.e. singled out or ignored completely, left in the dark about what to expect, etc.) there’s a very high likelihood that they won’t return. We believe the Welcome Speech is a critical point during the service to engage new people in a meaningful, non-threatening way.
#15 Thriving Churches… remember that these technology tools are enhancing human interaction, not replacing it
Texting, email, and digital connection cards aren’t created to replace human interaction at your church or out in your community. These are tools to keep the conversation going so you can have that meeting over coffee or connect with that new family the next week. They are here to work for you, not to replace you.
This Top 15 list goes to show that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to communicating with people. Think about the relationships you have in your personal life and what made them successful. How did you earn trust, build rapport and make them feel important? Thriving churches communicate using the same key themes you would use to build lasting relationships in your personal life…
• Ask questions - people tend to tune you out if all you do is ask for things or tell them to do something.You can’t keep a conversation going without asking good questions.
• Keep it short - if you have more info you feel is important, give people options on where to find it so they can digest it on their time.
• From the heart - all your communication with people, whether written or spoken, needs to feel like a one-on-one conversation.
• Say thank you - showing gratitude, even for the little things, goes a long way.
P.S. Text messaging has become a must-use tool for the church. Text In Church’s Text Messaging Playbook is full of effective, yet simple, text messaging strategies and “copy and paste” templates to help you better connect with your community.