February 3, 2021
How is it February already?
Recently, we concluded our "Connected Congregations" experiment, #8503 (although we're doing a second part with one of the participating congregations to look at something deeper). I mention the closing of this experiment because it has good news.
The goal of this experiment was to see if people became more "connected" to their congregation if the church sent regular text messages. We knew that corporations used this strategy and so we wondered if it would work in the church. The answer: yes!
The Rev. Reagan Humber is the pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Co. Before starting with the texting experiment, they used Facebook and email to get the word out about events and liturgies. But he liked the idea of texting and thought his congregation would take well to it. And did they! He can confidently report that because more people read their texts and they all carry their phones with them, 25% more people remember events and show up.
That's an amazing feat. What might it look like in your setting if you reminded people via text about events? How would it feel to have 25% more people participate? It'll be different in different places but even if only 10% more people show up to bible study or a forum, wouldn't that be worth the effort?
We will keep working with Rev. Reagan and HFASS to see how deep we can go with pastoral care using texting. We're both excited to see what we learn.
Have an awesome February!
With much gratitude,
The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija is the founding director of the TryTank Experimental Lab.