Are You a Textpert… Or Not?
Do you use texting for communication? Maybe the better question is: do your disciples or ministry partners use texting? Perhaps the person you want to reach is the textpert and you aren’t. Whether or not you use texting personally, consider using this great tool for MPD. Discover each ministry partners’ favorite way to communicate and use it to reach them.
Until a year-and-a-half ago, I only exchanged a text now and then with family members, until I planned a trip to a conference which included a long layover. I made sure I had some mobile numbers for top donors on my phone before the trip and then I texted them from Chicago asking for prayer for the conference. More than half replied that they would. I thanked them and asked for their prayer requests. I was able to pray for several of them during my four-hour layover in O’Hare.
Emily recently shared in the Facebook group, MPD Sharing of Ideas, about including current ministry partners in her journey of finding additional partners:
Wanted to share a recent success: We’re in full-time initial MPD. Recently, I started texting three of our ministry partners at a time just before we go on appointments to ask them to pray. After the appointment I text back and let them know what God did and thank them. (I work my way through our list until I get to the end, and then just start at the beginning again.)
This evening, I got this reply: “Wow! So cool! I was praying she would join your team and give plenty of referrals. Glad to hear God’s at work. Seriously, thanks for thinking to involve me in that process, it means a lot.”
I’ve gotten a lot of other positive responses, too. A quick, easy way to involve people in what we’re doing.
Also, I’m all about efficiency so I use an app called FratBlast to send them out at the same time. It’s like “Mail Merge” but for texting.
What a great idea from Emily!
After downloading the FratBlast app to your phone, send personalized mass text messages by using “@blast” in your text. This merge field is replaced with each receiver’s first name when you press send.
I use PushBullet so I can type texts rapidly on my computer and send them through my mobile phone. PushBullet automatically added all of my contacts, including land lines and mobile numbers, because I sync with TntMPD. So, when I was ready to text on my computer, I had TntMPD open to be sure I was using the right phone number.
One day, I spent 1.5 hours texting donors from my computer (41 people. 92 texts exchanged.) I sent the same message, and most replies, to each person using cut and paste. I started receiving responses before I was finished texting.
- I met a new neighbor in our subdivision that morning. She’s a believer from China and he’s an atheist. I asked for prayer for his salvation.
- For the twelve who responded that they’d pray, I thanked them for making a difference in their lives through prayer.
- For those that I had wanted to set a phone appointment, I started a new conversation after thanking them for their prayers, asking about an appointment to talk with Mike and me. Alternatively, I could have dialed them right then. I set up one appointment and tried for two other appointments.
- For the others, I asked how they were. If I had a previous prayer request recorded in TntMPD, I asked how that was going.
- One gal wanted more details about my new neighbor. She thanked me for including her in this opportunity to pray for them.
- A few didn’t recognize my number and asked who I was. Of course, I replied. Now I know that I could use texting to communicate with them.
- Several prayer requests came from donors. I replied back that I prayed.
- The next day, I sent 20 merged emails to the folks that didn’t respond to the text. I told them my mobile number (in case they didn’t know it was me yesterday) and asked it they want texted prayer requests. I said these requests would be of a more immediate nature, like our son’s car accident last January. No one responded.
It was fairly easy to keep this text marathon straight by using the computer and cutting and pasting, but in the future, I think I’d do “smaller batches” of names.
I also put the prayer request in our Facebook prayer group after texting. Only three responded to that. So, using a Facebook group took less time to put up and administer, but texting the prayer request reached more people and had many immediate responses.
I now have 23 names in a group in TntMPD of the folks who respond to text messages. It was a definite plus as well for me to show an interest in their prayer needs and for setting an appointment quickly. I like Emily’s idea of cycling through my names so I don’t overload the same people with texts. I also decided to track in TntMPD which types of text messages seem to get more responses.
Every staff member needs emailing, texting, and social media messaging in their communication toolbox. Know how to use the favorite tools of the people you want to reach.
What’s your favorite texting app?
- Sign up for the Facebook group, MPD Sharing of Ideas, to get more great ideas from fellow staff.
- PushBullet does a lot more. Check out this article by LifeHacker: How to Use PushBullet to Bridge the Gap Between All Your Devices.
- If you google “textpert,” you’ll find Rhett and Link’s video reminding us: don’t text and drive!
- The original texting image is by Melina Sampaio Manfrinatti and is available on Flickr Creative Commons.