Remember all those people who show up on Christmas and Easter but don’t come to church for the rest of the year? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a way to let them know that something is going on? What about that horribly disorganized youth trip that everyone is so confused about? What if you could quickly and easily get last minute info to everyone and be SURE they all got it? How many questions can I ask before I give an answer? Okay, that was overkill… Sorry… The point is that we live in a day where there’s a piece of technology for everything. Even better, most people have unlimited texting now. So let’s combine those two ideas
The wonderful technology I’m talking about is called Remind101. It was originally created for teachers to get information to their students and parents, but it has many more applications. All it takes is creating a free account and setting up groups or “classes.” Name the classes whatever you want–”Youth Group,” for example.
Once you’re all set to go, there is one tricky part. You have to make sure everyone signs up for the “class.” You will be given a phone number and a code. Tell everyone to text the code to that number to sign up for the group. Unfortunately, the codes don’t always make complete sense. A class called “Youth Group” may get the code “@youthgr.” The best way to combat this is to make sure that everyone actually sees the code. Display it on screen during announcement time each service. Send it out in emails and post it on Facebook.
So how does it actually work? Well I’ll tell you. You very simply write a message and press send. That’s it. Everyone who is signed up for the group will get a text with the information. Seeing as text messages are the most pertinent form of communication today, I think we can be sure that everyone will get your message
Okay, that’s fantastic, but what about those of us who came before the texting generation? Don’t worry, this can still be helpful. Remember that code? All of them start with “@”. Take that symbol and put it at the end of the code instead of the beginning and then write “mail.remind101.com”. So a code that said “@youthgr” can be changed to “firstname.lastname@example.org” to become an email address. Anyone can send an email to this address. No subject or body necessary. Now all of your updates will come in via email.
Now for the icing on the cake. You have two ways to manage your remind101 account. You can grab your computer and send messages from the website, or, if you like to do things on the go, there’s a remind101 app for both iPhone and Android. Just remember that these messages are send via an internet connection, so make sure you’re connected to wifi or you have at least a 3G connection on your phone. A simple cell phone signal is not enough.