It has been a while since we posted on the subject of using mobile devices in ministry. https://wordpress.com/post/ionprayer.com/67 So it is time again look at this topic. . .
In this day of technology, how might we use Mobile Apps for Prayer and Prayer Mobilization?
Recently this topic has come up several times. I wondered after my last conversation if there were articles out there that might help people to see how effective using apps in prayer is.
Well did some research, found out there is not very much written. So decided that maybe I could share from time to time some of the apps we are aware of and how we use them.
Prayer updates via WhatsApp
You can offer a prayer alert service on WhatsApp. This might be used to share urgent prayer requests from around the world with individuals or with groups. Or to send out a quick praise report when needed! When you are out in the field, you can let those who pray for you receive up to date reports. You might use this with your prayer team members who connect fairly regularly. This app saves you from having to pull up your email on the run!
WhatsApp allows you to connect via text message alerts, send images or video or audio message embedded into your message. You can use this to help people to feel connected in a deeper way and will help remind them pray.
Most people recommend unless you have previously told people it will be more, that you not send more than two messages a week. You might want to put some “housekeeping guidelines” in place, such as how much you want them to respond and if they should engage as a group with each other. These two areas can crank up the noise and activity. Unless your group is small or know each other well, I would recommend at first you just use it like a bulletin board. Share with those who agree to join that they do not necessarily need to respond to messages. And if they have something they need to share to put it in a separate email to you or separate message from the group message. Then you can share it as needed with the group. Group messaging can get out of control pretty easily if you open it up for everyone to respond at will. People can easily get overwhelmed if too many messages are coming into their phone.
If you decide to use WhatsApp, here are some things to keep in mind or ways you can use the app to relay information to your Prayer Team:
How to Use WhatsApp for groups — 3 different ways
1. Status updates
Use your WhatsApp status updates to take people along with you. You can also change your profile picture as you choose.
Remember that to link with others in your contact list, you may have to “INVITE” them to use WhatsApp. The app allows you to do that with anyone in your contact listing. If you are in the field and need to use WhatsApp as a phone, it allows you to use video, audio features with very little Wi-Fi power needed.
You might want to use the “Broadcasts” feature to use your WhatsApp account to share daily or weekly broadcasts with individuals, but from a particular group of people.
To initiate this feature go to the “Chats” option, select “New Broadcast List” and add everyone whom you’d like to send a broadcast message to. Your messages will be delivered to each person individually rather than in a group message.
To use the Groups feature you will need to set up different groups. Be sure to title them appropriately (maybe by project). You can change the name of the group as you choose to.
1. Let your group know and share through the app any specific, current ways they can pray. You can share needs with the group together in real time along your journey. If you are not sure of how much connectivity you have, it might be a good idea to choose a point person who can relay messages to the group to keep everything flowing.
2. WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Service (SMS). WhatsApp works like a “Messenger service” and is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, no matter what kind of phone is used everyone can all message each other.
3. WhatsApp does require each person to have a phone number and you have to have Wi-Fi or a service plan to connect. The messages wait out there in cloud until the person turns on the app and then will fill in all the messages and allow for them to check it at their convenience.
4. WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.
However you choose to use the GROUP feature, you will need to get people to join:
How do I join?
Thank you for agreeing to be on the Prayer Team. Joining is simple. Here’s what to do:
- Add my number or the dedicated WhatsApp number ___________ to your phone’s contacts
- Send ‘UPDATE‘ via WhatsApp to us on the above number
- We will add you to our prayer list and send you regular prayer alerts
- We expect to be sending out ____ messages a week, unless it is urgent. (Specify an approximate amount of messages they can expect to receive. You can set up more than one group -maybe different levels of interaction or deeper levels of prayer support.)
How do I unsubscribe?
If you want to unsubscribe, you can at any time by sending ‘STOP‘ via WhatsApp to the same number or leave the group.
Because this is social media you might need to ask people at anytime that they feel there is something going on that needs attention with the Prayer Group Message Service to please send a private message (separate message than to the larger group message) back to the contact number. Things can go wrong, and messages can be out of place. It helps to have more eyes on the situation at all times.
2. Echo App
More info at – https://new.echoprayer.com/
Pure and simple, Echo is a tool to help you pray more diligently.
1. You create a prayer list
2. You set times throughout the week for reminders
3. Echo emails you one prayer at a time from your list
You can set reminders for specific prayers or random ones, and get them as emails, text messages or both.
There’s also a built-in prayer journal that lets you write notes and automatically keep track of answered prayers.
I always use “copy and paste” to take prayer info from emails and to move them to the app.
Echo’s number one goal is to help people pray. You customize it in the way that’s most useful for you — you can set it up to get emails or text messages any time throughout the week — and it reminds you to pray for one person or issue at a time. Echo is a tool to help you pray more diligently. Pray for your coworkers, your friends, your family, your church, your country, your issues. And thank God continually.
Whether it be to simply keep track of prayer requests, give space to engage with God, or simply help remind people to pray… Echo is a tool to help Christ-followers engage with God.
More info at – http://www.signupgenius.com/
SignUp Genius will allow you to make up “projects” that you can then ask people to sign up for.
Two areas you might use it for prayer mobilization:
1. Think about how this might work for you to use to get people to sign up as individuals or groups such as if you are running a 24/7 Prayer Event. Each person can sign up for specific hours for praying.
2. When you are trying to sign people up to be on prayer teams or connect together on a prayer project where tasks or sections of jobs have to be done, this is the app to track everything with.
Check out the app and think beyond the normal thought process and use this app!
For additional information and how to video library on how you might use this app — See http://www.signupgenius.com/videos/
There is even a SignUpGenius Payment section allows you to use this app for events. You can register people and collect their registration fee or if you have products to sell you can collect the payment through the app. The charge is relatively low at a 5% fee and a 50 cents per transaction fee involved when you use this payment feature. If you are doing a small event or have a small amount of products or resources to share, this might be helpful to you.
Check out this Mobile Ministry Resource:
Renew World Outreach – More info at – http://www.renewoutreach.com/mobile-ministry/
Would love to hear from you as to how you use technology apps in your ministry and specifically in prayer ministry or prayer mobilization.
We invite you to join the Weekly ION Prayer each Thursday at 2pm (EST) GMT-5 see the February 2017 ION Prayer Focus.