Sunday, April 26, 2009

Text Messaging and Sermons


On Easter Sunday Loretta and I worshipped with my parents at my home congregation (now called Lifebridge Christian Church) in Longmont, CO.  Rick Rusaw has been the preacher there for a number of years and has done powerful things in his leadership of the body there.  Rick is going to be preaching a series on “Home, Life and Relationships” this Spring. And so on Easter Sunday, he asked people to indicate their choice for sermon topics.  He gave a list of about a dozen choices: Divorce, Sex and Romance, Finding Balance, etc. with a text code beside each possible sermon topic. People were to text to a certain phone number and give the text codes of the sermons that they wanted to hear.  They specifically gave time in the service for people to text.  It was a great, contemporary and quick way to gain the pulse of those attending and a great hook to get Easter visitors to come back to see if “their” sermon was on the final list.

A couple of drawbacks and suggestions:

1. My parents (in their 70’s & early 80’s) both had their cell phone with them.  But neither one is very tech-savvy.  And although my mom tried to respond, she just doesn’t do text messaging and never was able to figure it out.  There was no alternative method offered for making your choice known.  The list with the codes was flashed up when the series was announced and at the end of the service, but there was no opportunity to pick up the list & try it at home.

2. The sampling was totally absent from their website.  I went on the website a day or two later to see if I could come up with the entire list for this blog post.  No luck.  No notice of the survey, no opportunity to do it online, nothing. 

Great concept.  Great presentation.  Just presumes that everyone is fast and tech savvy.  Not necessarily so. 

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