Baptist Church messages its way through the different COVID alert levels.
Whanganui East Baptist Church supports a close knit congregation of approximately one hundred and fifty people. Members include young families and a number of older people. Keeping in touch with the entire community is an important part of the church’s role. Events over the last year motivated the pastor and administrator to explore new channels of communication, resulting in the successful uptake of Beep.
Whanganui East Baptist Church’s pastor approached administrator of ten years Rosalie McGeorge to evaluate Beep, “At first I thought it was probably too much for a church our size to have a dedicated communication platform but the team at Beep talked us through it. We could see how easy it was to send both email and text messages to our community and we knew what a difference it would make to staying in touch with them.”
During the first lockdown in March 2020, keeping in contact with all the congregation proved difficult, “I had a database with everyone’s email address but that was at the church and so I couldn’t access it once we were locked down. And even when I could access the list, a few of our older members don’t use email and don’t have smart phones, just the more basic mobile phones.”
The church launched Beep in September by holding a number of meetings to explain to the congregation how it would work and to get permissions, “We introduced the Beep app too but for some people that was too much, so we always send texts and emails to ensure that everyone gets the latest information.” The church has used Beep consistently since, “We use it to let people know about upcoming events because these days not everyone buys a newspaper.”
“It was such a relief to be able to quickly and easily send messages from home letting people know what was happening each week. Our community was so grateful to hear from us during such uncertain times.”
During the recent COVID alert level changes and the very fluid situation that resulted, Rosalie let everybody know what was happening prior to Sunday, “We held audio-only conference call services during alert level 4 and streamed services at the lower alert levels. It was such a relief to be able to quickly and easily send messages from home letting people know what was happening each week. Our community was so grateful to hear from us during such uncertain times.”
For Whanganui East Baptist Church, Beep has made keeping in touch simple, “Using Beep means I can send emails, text messages and alerts via the app all at the same time, from home or work. I will use the new Facebook integration too as our church has a Facebook page where we also share what’s happening.”