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Church Text Messaging Overview

Text messaging, or "texting" is the common term for sending short" (originally 160 characters or fewer, including spaces) text messages from mobile phones using the Short Message Service (SMS). To get the most out of those 160 characters or less, an entire new lexicon has been developed to shorten words and phrases. For example, “I love you,” is shortened to "ily" or "ilu". It’s a whole new form of shorthand called "textese" or "chatspeak."

Using Text Messaging

Similar to micro-blogging, text messaging is a way to communicate short tidbits of information with individuals or groups. With more people migrating from email and computers to text messaging and cell phones, especially youth and young adults, it is becoming an important way to keep in touch and communicate effectively. Consider these church text messaging ideas:

  • Send announcements and last-minute reminders.
  • Share birthday wishes.
  • Provide Bible verses and short devotions.
  • Conduct contests, quizzes and polls.
  • Create a prayer chain and praise reports.
  • Introduce the weekend’s upcoming Sunday school lesson or sermon.
  • Get quick feedback about an idea or question.

Several years ago, when text messaging was making its global debut as the latest and greatest form of digital communication, a contest was held for the best text message of the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew Campbell of York, England, was the winner. Here is his translation:

dad@hvn,ur spshl.we want wot u want&urth2b like hvn.giv us food&4giv r sins lyk we 4giv uvaz.don’t test us!save us!bcos we kno ur boss,ur tuf&ur cool 4 eva!ok?

Check out these SMS service providers for churches:

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