V1 Church Texting Case Study
How One Church Is Building A Congregation With Text Messaging.
The other day, I had the chance to speak with Michael, Pastor at V1 Church. The story he told me was nothing short of amazing.
Text marketing has become a critical piece of their foundation. V1 Church has built an amazing organization using group texts to communicate and connect.
The story goes back several years when Michael was pastor at another church in Indiana… He live-streamed their services, and they connected an intense group of Christians in the New York area.
At first the group met in a small apartment…
The group would get together to watch the live stream every Sunday. Before long, they had outgrown the apartment.
Michael, realizing the needs of this small group, moved back to New York—and that’s how they laid the foundation for V1 Church.
To stay connected, the group started communication online, via email, group chat, and through text messages. They would share prayer and need requests… and before long, Michael had a full fledged Church on his phone!
As the congregation grew, he worked hard to stay connected to every member.
After searching for a number of solutions, he discovered Betwext.
“Betwext was highly recommended by Pastor Dave at Road To Life Church”, said Michael.
Michael started using Betwext and the group texting feature in a number of creative ways.
First, he uses texting as a hub of communication for his congregation. People regularly text in prayer requests, notes of need, great news, sad news, and everything in between.
Michael uses Betwext to communicate this news and information out to the congregation. Betwext has become the hub of communication for the congregation.
“Texting is great. It’s real time and better than email.” Says Michael.
How does he get people to sign up for the service?
That one is easy.
V1 Church services are now held in a movie theatre because the group is growing so quickly!
During the service, he projects a big sign on the screen telling people to text in a special keyword to get “Updates & Announcements.”
“We had over 150 people join right away!”
The other thing they do is use connect cards.
These are cards they pass out to new visitors. It gathers their contact information and asks if they want to get regular updates by text. Those who sign-up are added to the lists in the Betwext system.
Michael shared a moving story with me about one of his members, Bob. Bob walked into the service one day and signed up using a connect card.
Over the next few weeks Bob received a number of inspirational and personal text messages… messages that connected him to the church, the community, and to Pastor Michael. Bob was so moved by these text messages, he encouraged his son, who had an addiction problem, to attend.
The entire group prayed for Bob and his son… and right there, Bob’s son decided to seek help for his problems. This most likely saved his life.
But that’s not the only ways Betwext.com is used by V1 Church.
Pastor Michael mentioned using Keywords to help certain groups with problems. Michael set up a number of keywords in Betwext. These Keywords represented problems that members might have and need help with. He’s helping others with their addictions to porn, drugs, or the need for marriage counseling.
The Keywords are a confidential way for members to reach out to pastor Michael and seek assistance from him and the church… confidentially.
I shared with Michael a tip on using Betwext.
I told him other churches are doing Text message Q&A with the pastor. They set up a laptop on the stage (which only the pastor can see and access) and they log into the Betwext system.
Then they put their Betwext texting number up on the screen overhead.
Anyone can then text in a question real time.
As questions come into the system, the Pastor can access the messages, and pick which ones to answer live – and in real time. It’s a little tip on creative ways texting is being used by other churches.
One more cool thing I’ve got to mention.
Every week, Pastor Michael makes a MEME, and sends it out via text. He uses the built in MMS messaging capabilities in Betwext to deliver this picture. It’s a great way to communicate and stay in touch with people throughout the week.
“Betwext is a great system for sending text messages,” says Michael. “It was easy to use. I quickly reviewed the user’s guide and started sending messages right away.”
To learn more about V1 Church, visit www.V1.church or stop by and say “hi” to Pastor Michael personally, if you’re in the New York area.
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