How Churches Can Use Texting to Recruit Volunteers

Volunteer opportunities are a good way for churches to put faith in action. But recruiting those volunteers isn’t always so simple. Texting can be a better way to engage volunteers.volunteers

The benefits of texting are an important advantage to consider:

  • 98% open rates (vs. 15-22% for email).
  • 90 second average response time (vs. 90 minutes for email).
  • 91% of people have their phone within reach all the time.

So when you engage volunteers over text they’re more likely to get your message, read your message and respond faster. That’s perfect for putting volunteers to work in your church.

1. Make a Plan

The first step is to come up with a plan for engaging volunteers in your church with text messaging. Your church probably has lots of volunteer needs among different ministries. Connect with the appropriate stakeholders to figure out how you can collect those needs and then plug in the volunteers who respond.

2. Create a Volunteer List

Next you need to create a list of mobile phone numbers of people willing to volunteer. Put “Text CHURCHVOLUNTEER to 81411” type call-to-actions in the bulletin, worship slides, website, social media, etc. Let people know what they’re signing up for. Emphasize the opportunity to put their faith in action and mention whether the texts will include immediate or long-term needs (or both).

3. Broadcast Those Needs

Start sending out needs and putting people to work:

  • Send out immediate needs as quickly as you can. You don’t want to create a bottleneck.
  • Prayer requests might be an easy way to get started. You likely already have them and it’s an easy way for people to do something.
  • You might want to schedule out long-term needs that aren’t as time sensitive. This way you still get those needs out there but you aren’t bombarding your volunteers.
  • Keep things short for practical and privacy reasons. The entire volunteer list doesn’t need the address of an elderly parishioner who needs meals delivered.
  • Texting is ideal for last-minute needs, so turn to this list on Sunday morning when you need a substitute nursery worker or usher.
  • It’s also perfect for urgent needs: disaster volunteers, emergency church repairs and prayer requests.
  • Don’t forget more basic needs like rides for people who can’t get to church, visiting home-bound parishioners and meals for families in need.

With a little work your text group can be a quick response team that translates your church’s vision into action.

Interested in learning more about how your church can use texting to recruit volunteers? Call us at 800-696-1393,email or try TextMarks free for 14 days.

Kevin D. Hendricks

Kevin D. Hendricks is an avid reader, a former yo-yo man and a freelance writer living in St. Paul, Minn.

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