God isn't bland. The Church shouldn't be, either.
New Idea: Prayer Bounceback Text Messages

To Our Readers: We originally posted this article last week, but decided to give it additional exposure this week because of the level of interest generated.  In addition, we just had another successful weekend of utilizing this technology at The Chapel.

MediaSalt played a part in brainstorming and implementing something cool this past weekend.

The Chapel is placing a huge emphasis on prayer this fall, and looking at fresh ways to make it relevant in people’s lives.

I proposed prayer bounceback text messaging.

How does it work?

Basically, folks text their prayer requests to a central number and keyword, and immediately get a bounceback prayer request from someone else in the database.

If someone just wants to pray, but doesn’t have a prayer request, all they have to do is send an empty text to the keyword.

On the backend, there are several forces at work.

  1. A pro account at TextMarks.com — $9.95/month. You can create a free account, but you get a small ad line at the bottom of the text.
  2. Custom PHP programming. This resides on your server, and powers the random prayer requests that feed the bounceback.
  3. A moderator. Someone has to make sure the prayer requests are anonymous and not off color before approving for prime time. The ability to edit is huge.

Did folks use it?

Absolutely, and they loved it!

I’m a big fan of this technology because no one has to jump through hoops or subscribe to an altert group to send and immediately receive a prayer request. Folks can submit and receive prayer requests as much as they like.

Even though it was set up for just one weekend, to support current prayer initiatives and the message for last week, there have been a large number of people requesting it stay around for the long term.

In fact, here is one praise that came in from someone who participated:

I have to share… I texted a prayer request and the prayer request that came back to me gave me an idea to help with a serious problem my family is facing right now. Now if that’s not GOD at work, I don’t know what is.

God is definitely blessing these efforts.

Interested in prayer bouncebacks for your church or ministry?

Does this sound like something your church or ministry would like to use? Let us know, and we will be happy to help you get this set up and configured.  Email hello@mediableep.com.

What other ways is your church utilizing text messaging?

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  1. Mitch (Reply) on October 13th, 2009

    that is soooooo cool! i’m sending this around to leadership and spiritual formation. i have a meeting about YouVersion Live next week, and i’ll probably bring this up too.

  2. Eric Granata (Reply) on October 13th, 2009

    Very awesome!


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