I did something on a recent Sunday that was highly successful.
I preached a sermon calling qualified people to step up and serve in a specific ministry. The sermon wasn’t different, but the way I asked them to respond was.
In the past, I have used cards in the bulletin or sign up sheets in the lobby. But we are living in the digital age. There must be an easier and faster way without having to attempt to decipher terrible hand-writing on paper.
Nearly everyone today carries a cell phone on them. Why don’t we harness this technology for the glory of God?
Enter Google Voice. Google Voice is a free service that provides anyone with a phone number. This number can receive text messages, voicemails, and more.
The best thing about Google Voice, besides being free, is that you don’t have to worry about giving someone’s personal cell phone number to a large crowd. You can also access all the text messages and voicemails online just like checking your email.
So I set up a free number, told everyone to simply text their first and last name to it if they were interested, and promised they would be contacted that week to talk more about it.
It worked. We instantly collected the names and cell phone numbers of those interested. And after personal conversations, we had many people begin the first step of our volunteer process that week.
It could not have been easier, and we didn’t have to risk misplacing any cards or filling someone’s time with data entry.
Aside from helping recruit volunteers, there are many other ways Google Voice may be useful in your church.
Ideas For Using Google Voice In Church
- Questions – Allow people to text in questions they have about a topic or sermon. Respond to a few at the end of your sermon the following week, or answer them online in a blog post on your church’s website.
- Prayer Requests – Ask people to text their prayer requests. Add them to your church’s prayer chain or pray over them as a staff. If your church is smaller or you have leaders in place to handle the volume, you could even call each of the people and pray with them over the phone.
- Indicating a Response – Are you calling people to put their faith in Jesus Christ, get baptized, or become a member of the church? Allow people to indicate a decision via text and quickly follow up with them.
- Collecting Emails – Are you launching a new email campaign or updated your current email list? Ask people to text you their email address if they would like to receive your weekly updates.
- Collect Stories – Collect testimonies or stories of how God has used your church to impact people’s lives. Ask people to text in how God has used your church to helped them.
- Take a Survey – Collect people’s answers to a question you have. For example, if you are going to be preaching about worry, ask people to text in what they worry about the most. Then use the answers in your sermon to share the top things people in your church worry about.
There are a many ways to creatively use Google Voice to help your audience respond and interact with your church service. These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Have you tried anything like this? What has worked for you?