Church Plant and Growth
I recently chatted with Pastor Ezequiel “Zeke” Vazquez about how he uses text messaging, and technology in general, to help him spread The Word.
At the moment, Zeke is volunteering at a local Church near Orlando, Florida while he is completing his M.A. at the Asbury Theological Seminary (Florida Dunnam Campus). This local Church has about 100 members and is unique: it is meeting inside a hospital until its new premises are completed. Zeke has previous ministry experience: he has pastored youth and pastored at the district level.
Up until recently, this church plant was tagging people and sending invites via Facebook (FB) to let people know about its Bible studies classes. People were attending but the numbers weren’t so great.
Zeke gets texting. He says that people won’t always check FB but they will always check their text messages.
He also spoke about how church attitudes to texting (and technology) have become more accepting. He recalled how some used to think that the radio used “the waves of Satan” and that Facebook was “the work of the Devil”. For the most part, this has changed, he said. People are understanding the power of social media. Zeke explained, “The Gospel is a means of communicating God’s grace, mercy, and love to humanity. It doesn’t matter the form in which we communicate this Good News but rather the ideas which we are communicating. The Gospel is relationships. The Gospel is communication. Text messaging helps you harness both of those.”
So, he suggested that the Church’s Bible study announcements be sent as invites via text messaging instead.
The church where Zeke volunteers chose to add PastorsLine to their communication platform.
Zeke reported that attendance to their Bible study classes doubled and sometimes more than doubled.
This local church plant is totally inspired by the increase in attendance that PastorsLine has achieved. So much so, that they have expanded their text usage. Here’s an example: Their church services use a ‘learning process’ type of methodology to cover topics. There is a lecture and then a Q&A session. Now, attendees text their questions real time via PastorsLine. Not only can the speaker relate to questions on the spot, any questions that were unanswered due to a lack of time can be answered later via text, phone call, email, or face-to-face chat.
One of the ideas which Zeke is working on involves first-time visitor follow-up. He would like to use PastorsLine to invite first-time visitors to sign up for a special announcement stream just for them. He explained that when people are new to the church, they often feel ‘out of the loop’. Texting would be a personal yet non-intrusive way for them to feel connected and informed.
Another of his ideas revolves around bulletins of current and future church events. Zeke plans to invite people to sign up for an eBulletin program. People who have signed up get a daily phone bulletin that reminds them of things happening now and those coming up. The phone bulletin will also include any special things they need to know about.
A third plan would help church members connect to the sermons themselves by completing a PDF. Church members would sign up via PastorsLine for a link to the PDF, complete it in church on their phone or on other mobile devices (tablet, iPad, etc.) while listening to the sermon, save it, and then be able to print it out as an important, relevant resource.
All these ideas are centered around Zeke’s primary goal: unifying and growing his church for the glory of God. Zeke bhttps://pastorsline.com/ebook/elieves that we should use whatever means are available. He says that at the moment, text messaging is the most convenient and effective way to create those relationships, to make that handshake happen.
This is 100% why we coded PastorsLine around the idea of cultivating relationships. We are excited to share in Zeke’s happiness in connecting with more people in God’s work.
Inspired to see the transformations that PastorsLine can bring to your ministry?
About the author
Jason Alexis is the creator of PastorsLine and co-author of the RethinkMinistry book. His experience as a former engineer has informed his scientific, data-driven approach, as he creates digital strategies and tools for churches. Jason is also the communication director at his church and a stay-at-home dad who homeschools his two boys. He enjoys tennis meetups and weekend biking with his wife and kids.