While shopping online I recently found a table that I thought might look nice in our breakfast nook. It was well after office hours, but there was a number to text. I sent the text and got an automated message saying they would get back with me the following morning. They did, and apologized about not responding more quickly. It was 51 minutes after they opened! I was impressed.
That series of emails reminded me of the Biblical value of hospitality. Philoxenia is the greek word. Literally, lover (philo) of strangers (xenia), it is sometimes translated as guest-friendship. I was a guest to this furniture company's website, but through their texting strategy, I felt like someone they cared about and had planned for.
You probably have had the same experience with a hotel, a dentist, a restaurant or some other business or service. Did it make you wonder if there was a way to use texting in the same way in church?
We started thinking about this in 2016 when we built text-to-give. Now, not only are we great for giving and mass texting, but we've also made it easy to use texting for this next level of guest-friendship. It happens through the integrated use of our text, registration, workflow and chat features. Here are some starter examples to give you an idea of what it might look like for guest and parent Sunday morning follow-up.
10 minutes after registering at check-in for the first time, a concerned mom gets this text.
As they leave the service, parents of children who attended that morning receive this text as a conversation starter for the trip home.
Later the Sunday afternoon after attending the first time, an invited friend receives this text.
The Saturday after attending the first time, a neighbor receives a text like this.
These are just a few examples of how churches are starting to use our texting services to enhance their hospitality. I bet you can think of a lot more.
The unique thing about what we offer compared to other texting services is the potential of seamless integration into our full ChMS. For example:
New parents use CT to check-in their children. This puts them into a CT workflow that sends a CT customized text template 10 minutes later.
Or a guest texts to fill out a CT connection card. Their responses put them in a CT group that enrolls them in the follow-up CT workflow. The group, workflow, texts, and responses are all tracked in CT for staff to reference any time.
Yes, it does cost to use texting like this. The telecoms do not offer this level of service for free. But, we can provide it for just 2 cents per (159 character) text. That's way less than others, but this can still add up.
Because the texts reflect their company value for welcoming visitors as friends, we bought a breakfast table.
How much more significant than a table is it for a parent to find Christ or get the help they need to train their kids? What about making a first time guest feel welcomed and invited back? I know these are the things you care about and plan for.
We are here to help you make it happen. Text-to-Church is the easiest and most affordable way to add new levels of warmth to your church's hospitality.