Note: this article is the fourth of our five-part series on how churches and youth groups use text messaging. You can read our third article on boosting internal communications here.
It’s time to get deep. Look, all of the regular happenings at the church can be fine. A smooth-running Sunday service? Yes please. A lively Wednesday night youth group with fun and whacky activities that still drives home a message? It’s what every youth leader hopes for every week. Lovely weather at the Fall Festival with families coming together and children playing? These traditions are part of the community that is a church.
But within all of what becomes the day-to-day in church leadership sits the real mission. This is something that a church leader strives for — that one moment for one person that changes things, forever.
For a church leader, this might be comforting a loved one in a time of grieving; it could be welcoming of a child to the spiritual family of the church; or, it could be helping a youth member navigate difficult questions.
We communicate differently now than in years past. Texting seems commercial, but it’s an avenue of communication that’s nearly universal and it provides an openness that face-to-face communication might not. There are just some things that come out over a keyboard.
These insights could be the opportunity for one of those deeper conversations… conversations that change things.
Sending a prayer request is a common use of txtsignal for churches. It’s easy for the congregation member. The church leader sees this incoming message and they can reply to the text and create a conversation (if the request is private); or they can spread the word to a prayer team (if the request is public).
Youth & Sensitive Topics
With youth in particular, there can be a need for a one-to-one communication with a church leader. There is, however, a liability risk that the church leader faces during these sensitive topics. A church leader should be ready to provide counsel, but all communications with youth should be cataloged and preserved for reference. All inbound and outbound messages in txtsignal are kept, so there is always a clear record.
Requests for Assistance
Asking for help can be difficult. For example, whether it’s a matter of pride or shame, telling someone of a financial hardship is not easy. An inbound text messaging channel can make those conversations easier to start.
Similarly, if you learn of a family member who’s being abused and you don’t know who to ask for help, being able to send a text message to a church member can be a step towards ending abuse.
We have helped many churches establish a new line of communication that congregation members can begin to engage with. Regardless of topic, deeper conversations really are just one text message away.