Building a community within your church congregation starts with good communication. Many churches rely on weekly or monthly newsletters, bulletins, and announcements. Research shows that turning to text may be a better way to boost engagement.
Gartner reported that 98% of text messages are opened compared to 20% of emails. Response rates for SMS are also much higher. As communication technology advances, it is important for churches to keep up. Many pastors are turning to church-based software, like Text In Church, to reach their congregations.
Text In Church claims to help busy leaders build relationships through communication tools. The company focuses on guest retention rate by using automated messaging and emails.
If you are a busy leader hoping to grow your congregation, you may benefit from a church communication platform. But finding the right software isn’t always easy. Is Text In Church right for you, or are there better options? This guide looks at Text In Church features, pricing, and alternative solutions.
What is Text In Church?
The idea for Text In Church stemmed from a church plant and the need to improve engagement with guests and members. The software company helps pastors and leaders build authentic relationships. It uses text messaging as a means to stay in touch with church members. Text In Church advertises three simple steps to using their platform:
Leaders can transfer their church’s database of contact information directly into the Text In Church software. Guests and members can also text your church’s Text In Church number and fill out a Smart Connect Card.
Follow up with guests
Text In Church provides 16 different templates to send follow-up texts and emails. Communication with new church attendees follows an easy, automated pathway.
Engage in real conversations
The software offers two-way texting so that members can respond. Send text announcements, event invitations, and encouragement.
The Key Features of Text in Church
Engagement is an essential part of church-building. Communication tools like Text In Church attempt to bridge the gap between church attendance and church engagement. The company claims that the world sends over 23 billion texts each day. People are already texting, a lot, and it makes sense to use this form of communication to stay in touch.
Text In Church includes some basic key features for communicating with church members.
- Automated workflow
- Two-way messaging
- Database organization by group (small groups, volunteer groups, ministry teams)
- Integration with MailChimp, Community Builder, and other services
The software is for church leaders. Pastors and leaders are busy and communication tools can help them stay connected. Text In Church is an effective way to promote upcoming events, share church information, and send automated communication. Users can even send birthday greetings or event reminders. Text in Church is for any size church, and it even offers a custom tier for large churches.
How much does Text In Church Cost?
Text In Church advertises three different pricing tiers. The basic, pro and premium plans offer various levels of support and features. Starting at $37 per month for the basic plan, users can send 500 monthly text messages, unlimited emails, and access to email and chat support. Each plan increases progressively. For $67 per month, users can send 1500 texts, and for $97, users can send 2500 monthly texts and get phone support.
There is a fourth tier for churches that want to send more than 2500 texts each month. The pricing is not advertised as it depends on the custom needs of the church.
Customers often ask how they calculate text messages. Each message sent to a single number counts as one. If you send one text to 20 people, it counts as 20 text messages. Incoming messages do not count against the final number of texts.
Exploring Church Engagement
Text In Church focuses largely on saving leaders time and helping them grow church attendance. They offer 16 follow-up templates along with a six-week follow-up calendar. The idea is that by automating communications, guests feel engaged and more willing to return.
What communication needs or gaps does your church need to fill? Do you need easier communication with your church? Or are you looking for ways to encourage engagement through giving?
Growing your church attendance is useful, but did you know that only 10% to 25% of church members tithe? Fulfilling your church’s mission and vision requires volunteer support and it requires funding. Platforms like New Fire Giving encourage engagement through giving and participating in church campaigns and fundraising efforts. Church engagement looks different for everyone. Understanding your goals and needs will help you determine the best software for your church.
How do Text In Church and New Fire Giving Compare?
Both Text In Church and New Fire Giving encourage church member engagement. Text In Church focuses on text-based communication. New Fire Giving uses digital giving to increase donations and church involvement.
New Fire Giving’s approach is unique. The company encourages and educates pastors, and also provides software to make giving easier for church members. Their focus is on both the church leaders and the congregation.
Text In Church is largely focused on leaders. Their website directs questions specifically at church leaders, asking, “Are people not reading your newsletter?” “Did you have low attendance at your last event.”
The two platforms coincide in their goal to improve church involvement through text. Churches that use Text In Church are seeing an increase in return attendees. Those that use New Fire Giving are seeing a 32% increase in new givers. They are also seeing an increase in recurring donations.
The power of text doesn’t end there. Offering online tithing options increases tithing. The majority of online tithers prefer mobile giving, including text-to-give. People today are giving less to church than they did during the Great Depression. The solution to this downtrend could be to increase engagement and involvement through mobile giving.
The Key Features of New Fire Giving
New Fire Giving offers four ways to receive donations: online, at giving kiosks, on an app, and through text messaging. New Fire Giving software integrates with current church management software. But it also serves as a standalone product. Users can easily sign up and the software saves the contact information. Leaders can then use this database to communicate with church members.
The software behind New Fire Giving offers these key features:
- Email statements of giving
- Giving analytics
- Recurring payments
- Custom branded app and online giving page
- Apple Pay integration
- Multi-campus functionality
- Unlimited custom giving categories
New Fire also makes it easy for church members to sign up for small groups, volunteer for events, and join in giving campaigns. All from their phones.
New Fire Giving doesn't just focus on sharing information through text. The platform uses text and digital giving to encourage congregations to give, volunteer, and participate in the wider mission of the church.
With increased engagement also comes the need to effectively communicate church goals. New Fire Giving provides coaching and training for pastors. The Ignite Coaching and Generosity Framework helps leaders assess their church and build an action plan that supports the donation software.
New Fire Giving has three tiers at three different costs, depending on church needs. They offer basic coaching, a complete package, and an accelerated package. The complete package is the most popular for $147 per month and provides Ignite coaching as well as the digital giving software.
What Others are Saying About Text In Church and New Fire Giving
One of the best ways to learn about a product is to see what others are saying. Your peers and fellow church leaders are already using these products. What do they think about them?
Reviews of Text In Church
On Capterra.com, Text In Church received an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on g2 Crowd. Customers enjoy the ability to easily text congregants and organize their congregations into groups.
Several customers mentioned that they mainly use the service to connect with volunteer teams. The interface is clean and simple, but some state that there is a learning curve involved. There are also some ongoing integration issues that users find frustrating. The feature people love the most is that it’s text! They are seeing a higher response rate than with only using emails to communicate. Overall, users had good things to say about Text In Church:
“The Text In Church software is very easy to use and quite user friendly…The response rate is amazing as the majority of our people are getting and reading our messages to them. Can't say the same about emails, though. Don't like how the text messages split up into multiple messages if you go over the character limit. It's way too easy to put in too much information and bam…you're over the limit.”
“Great program with good features. Please wage functionality vs. support. If function is the main concern, this product is great. If you would like help along the way, don't buy this product.”
Easy to use: According to customers, the biggest pros of Text In Church is the ease of communicating with church members.
Automated workflow: Customers also like the automation features that allow them to easily connect with guests and new members.
Saves time: Many churches commented on how much time they saved using the platform.
Lack of support: Several users commented on the lack of support when they experienced issues with the software and billing.
Poor Integration: Text In Church advertises integration with a few existing programs. Some churches, however, struggled to use it with their current software.
Reviews of New Fire Giving
Customers of New Fire Giving enjoy the growth in giving and engagement within their churches. The majority of reviews on Facebook are 5-star ratings. Many customers also expressed satisfaction with the way the Ignite Coaching changed their perspective on giving. One customer shared their satisfaction with the entire program that New Fire Giving offers, from software to coaching. Here is what a few customers have to say:
“The NewFire Giving Framework has increased our giving by 20% every year for the last 6 years.”
“We came into this approach thinking it was a marketing meeting. We left with a whole new mindset on giving.”
Increased giving: Customers love to see their congregations engage in campaigns, capture church vision, and increase their giving.
Easy to use: Customers also like how easy the digital giving software is to use. Congregants can easily give from their phones.
Change in perspective: The New Fire Giving framework provides leaders with a new way to think and talk about giving. This, in turn, impacts the congregation's perspective on giving and generosity.
So far, customers are really satisfied with New Fire Giving. According to their website, New Fire Giving has consulted over 5,000 churches and provided a digital giving framework for more than 2,300. They also share that it is more than 42% more likely that a donor will set up recurring giving on a branded page. Customers are seeing the reality of these statistics and more through New Fire Giving’s coaching and digital software.
Finding the Right Church Software for Your Congregation
Keeping your congregation connected and engaged is important, but how do you know which software or tools are right for you?
Text In Church and New Fire Giving both offers easy, supportive, and mobile-friendly ways to increase engagement in your church. It is important, however, to invest in software and platforms that best support your congregation. As you review each company, consider your church’s budget, goals, and engagement needs.
For churches that have solid giving practices, but that struggle to stay connected, Text In Church could be the best solution. The texting and communication platform helps keep people connected and improve retention.
Increased church retention, however, doesn’t always mean increased giving. For churches that seek to improve church generosity, New Fire Giving could be the tool you need. You can improve church member engagement with software that keeps church members up to date on campaigns, events, and financial goals. The digital and coaching tools from New Fire Giving may be the best way for your church to boost involvement while also increasing support.
Which platform best fits your needs? Those who are looking for a way to stay connected with their congregations will find some great features from Text In Church. If you want to increase engagement, involvement, and donations, New Fire Giving is a great place to start.