How Ministry Leaders Can Use Text Messaging for Parent Communication

How Ministry Leaders Can Use Text Messaging for Parent Communication

Have you ever wanted to communicate with all of the parents of the kids in your ministry through text messaging? It is totally possible! There are multiple ways to do this, but the following way is the easiest way that I have found to be successful.

The best part is that you can use an easy social media tool to text your parents. That tool is Twitter! All you need to do is follow four easy steps to get started.

Do you have trouble using Twitter? No problem. Once you have an account set up, you just have to send out a text message from your phone, and Twitter will turn that text into a tweet, which will then go out to your parents as a text. Trust me on this one: it’s super easy once it is set up.

In the steps listed below, I walk you through how to set up your own Twitter account, then how to allow parents to receive your text messages. Please note that for this method, parents must choose to sign up to receive these messages. I have found that parents typically sign up, unless they REALLY don’t want to receive text messages in the first place, in which case they probably wouldn’t appreciate you texting them without their permission anyways.

Here is how you set it up:

  1. Create a Twitter account that will be dedicated to this text list (consider naming it after your kids ministry, ex: @KidsChurchAlerts or @KidsChurchParents). Follow the easy steps to do this here.
  2. Ask parents to text “Follow @InsertYourTwitterName” to the number 40404. Their phone will now follow your Twitter account.
  3. You now have two options for contacting parents through text messaging. You can either use Twitter to create a “tweet” that will go out to them (if you feel comfortable using Twitter), or you can set up your phone using the following step.
  4. This step allows you to send a text that will go out to all of your parents. Send a text message (say anything, like “Hi”) to the number 40404. Then, follow the instructions to sign-in to your Twitter account. Whenever you would like to text all of your parents, simply write your text out and send it to 40404. Now you’re good to go!

Optional: The fifth step is the best. Want to get creative? Add the number 40404 to your contacts, but make the name a creative one. For example, I labeled the 40404 number in my contacts as “Tony Stark.” When I’m with kids, I’ll tell Siri to “send text message to Tony Stark,” and they just go crazy! Just don’t accidentally send a bunch of text messages while trying to impress the kids, otherwise you may get a few emails from parents!

There you have it! Do you have any questions about this process? Drop a comment, and I will do my best to help!

  • Rob Page

    Hi Steven:

    Great article – easy to follow instructions. If you are open for a suggestion – you should check our Reacht – http://www.reachtapp.com

    I’d love to give you a personal demo. Let me know if you’re interested!

    Twitter: @rspz

    • stevenknight09

      Thanks for the app suggestion! Shoot me an email with info, and we can connect about it. My email is kidmintoolbox (at) gmail.com

  • Kevin Litton

    is there a limit on how many people can follow you for free? Does it work for all phones? Also, do the people that follow the Twitter feed on their phone have to have a Twitter account?

    • stevenknight09

      Kevin, great questions!

      1. You can follow as many people as you would like for free.
      2. Any phone that has text messaging has the capability of doing this. If you have a non-smartphone, you will just have to register your phone with Twitter, which is both safe and easy (I don’t normally register my phone number with any social media services, but this is the equivalent of downloading an app). You can register here: http://twitter.com/devices
      3. From my research, it looks like you need a Twitter account to do this (correct me if you find otherwise). That would be the biggest downside, but if you want to get parents on board, share about this great opportunity for communication during a parent’s meeting or similar situation, where you can walk parents through the steps if they are interested.

      Again, great questions! I’d love to hear your thoughts about whether or not this could work in your ministry.