by Patrick Bradley: Keeping your intercessory prayer team up-to-date and praying for you can be easier if you pick one of these prayer team software tools.
Missionaries to countries across the globe commonly set up a prayer team back home that covers them in prayer while they’re in the field. As a missionary to your own community, you should do no less.
One of the hardest things in that process can be sticking with the discipline of sending regular updates. Not that you don’t want to, but if you set up a system that’s burdensome to maintain, you won’t. Keep your administrative burden light so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming to have to send out another update.
Each of the following prayer team software options have both mobile apps and web browser interfaces, so they’re easy to use wherever you find yourself sitting down to write a few bullet points for your team to pray over:
MailChimp and MailerLite are group email programs that help you create quick & stylish email newsletters. They both have a freemium plan that will allow to get away with a lot for free before you hit the premium ceiling and have to start paying.
Email doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon since you need a valid email address to sign up for just about any other service. But your newsletter will also get buried in all the inbox noise and/or shuffled off to a promotions or forums folder by gmail.
Group email will also require the most set up of the options: you need to pick a template and get it all ready to use before you start sending emails to your prayer team. And you’ll need to add or invite everyone to the distribution list. But that’s mostly just a 1-time activity in the life of the team.
Social Media Group
Another great option is to set up a private Facebook Group (not Page). Every time you post new prayer requests, all group members get a notification or email about it.
This requires less set up – mostly creating the Group, which is pretty easy, and then adding or inviting Facebook users to the Group. Again, mostly a 1-time deal.
This is probably the easiest, quick-and-dirty prayer team software option. Simply add everyone to your first text message and send it out. From there on out you should be able to just re-use the same conversation thread.
The browser option here probably only works if you have an iPhone-Mac combo. But texting with your mobile phone is what we do, right?
I’m sure there are practical limits here. Casual poking around suggests that it’s probably 10-25 people that you can have in a group text group. I’m sure I wouldn’t want to be part of a 200-person group text anyway. I’ve had lots of church planters with prayer teams larger than 200, so this wouldn’t work if that’s you.
I heard one futurist predict that messaging apps will be the next big thing after social media. They allow you to chat in groups in real time and more easily control who’s seeing what (instead of everyone seeing everything on your wall). And, at least for now, have fewer annoying ads.
WhatsApp seems to be the rising star. It’s built primarily for mobile but has a web browser interface, too. It’s free and has simpler privacy settings and mobile app permissions. You can have up to 256 users in a group.
Messenger is similar and published by the 1,000-pound gorilla, Facebook. It’s popular and tries to merge itself with (or take over) the SMS text functionality of your phone. If your people are on Facebook, chances are good they have Messenger, too.
But I won’t personally install it on my android device because of the incredibly invasive permissions it requires. It gives itself more access to every piece of data and function on my phone than my phone even gets.
The bottom line is that you should pick a prayer team software tool that allows you to quickly & easily send out updates. That removes a major hurdle to sending updates out regularly. Your prayer partners want to hear from you! Set one of these prayer team software tools up today.