Founded in 1976 by Sr. Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes, Covenant Church has over 10,000 members across 4 campuses in North Texas, and a 5th in Arizona. IT Director Tony Montez, COO Brian Coleman, and IT Project Coordinator Edith Majors spearheaded the text message program at Covenant and helped bring a fast, cost effective way for Covenant Church’s pastors to reach and engage new visitors and existing members.
Members don’t need to login or remember passwords to get texts, so Pastors know they are getting the message. Overall, we are very happy with TextMarks”
-Edith Majors, Covenant Church
The Need for Cost Effective Communication
Covenant Church had been using a communications tool that involved several steps including recording a voice message, uploading it to a website, uploading a contact spreadsheet and sending an email blast. The cost of doing this ended up being several thousand dollars per email blast, so Covenant used this tool sparingly.
Covenant also saw that their growing congregation was getting younger, and that communication needed to happen more quickly and cheaply, with some assurance that people were getting the message. According to Majors: “We still use email, but people don’t read it. Also people are more apt to update their phone numbers if they move, but not their email address. Alot of people also use email addresses that they reserve for ‘junk email’ too, so our messages were getting lost.”
“We knew we wanted to try texting – something that was cost effective, that used a shared short code, and kept a record of names in each of the groups.” After researching 5 different text messaging services, Covenant Church selected TextMarks to keep its congregation connected.
Text Messaging Used To Acquire, Engage and Serve Community
With TextMarks mass text messaging service, Covenant Church got to work creating keywords that their members could text into and join.
In a group they created, called SERVECITY, members are notified of the need for volunteers to do community work throughout the metroplex. With close to 500 volunteers on their list, Covenant can quickly and easily get the word out, give directions, and send last minute changes or updates.
Text is also being used to welcome visitors and bring in new members. “We used texting pretty heavily this past Easter and were able to get people to text in to join our text list. If they were a first time guest, we had them show us their phones at the Next Steps Desk for a free gift.” Covenant could then welcome guests to their church and followup with a phone call or text.
Most recently, Covenant used TextMarks Contest features to engage its members. “On Father’s Day, we asked people to text into a special Father’s Day keyword we created. We collected names of everyone that texted in and used the Contest feature to randomly select a winner.”
Faster, Simpler Mobile Communication
Covenant has been successful in communicating to its large congregation quickly and cost-effectively. Less resources are needed to reply back to messages due to the one-way nature of texts. If the Pastor isn’t available to send out an urgent message, it is easy to assign the task to a co-manager using TextMarks. Also, by using TextMarks’ shared short code 41411, Covenant is able to easily send many more messages to multiple groups for much less than what it cost them to send one email blast using their old communication tool.
“Our pastors also like the TextMarks service because they don’t have to be tied to a computer” said Majors. “They can send messages straight from their phones. Members don’t need to login or remember passwords to get texts, so Pastors know they are getting the message. Overall, we are very happy with TextMarks. Your customer service, especially, has been great.”
Interested in learning more about text messaging for your church? Call us at 800-696-1393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.