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How do I send a text message?
How do I send a text message?

Describes how to send a text message individually or in bulk

Updated yesterday

You will need the Limited SMS permission to perform this action.

One Church allows you to send text messages (SMS) from within the system to any mobile number on a person's profile. You can even respond to incoming messages. This article explains how this works.


To send a text message individually, navigate to the person's profile and look under the "Contact" section of the "Info" tab. Any mobile numbers will have a dialog bubble icon. This means you can send a text message to that phone number. In fact, anywhere in the system you see that icon, you can just click it to send a text message.

Once clicked, a pop up will appear with the following fields:

  • To - this contains the individuals that will receive the text message.  Click on "+add people" to add any additional recipients. In the pop up, clicking on the down arrow next to the label allows you to toggle between adding individual people or members from a group.

  • Message - the text box contains the message to send. Text messages are limited to 160 characters so you will only be able to send that many at a time. Try to keep the message short and to the point. Any long URLs can be shortened by clicking on the "shorten links" button underneath the text box.

  • Receive replies? - if set, you will be emailed when this person replies to your text message. You will also be able to reply back by responding to that email. Remove all text above the "##- Please type your reply..." line for the best results. This includes the email signature. 

  • Timing - either now or later. If later, you can choose any date and time in the future in 15 minute increments.

Once you have filled in the required fields, click on the "Send SMS" button to send the text message.

Via Send Button in Header

You can also send text messages by choosing "Text Message" under the Send button in the header on any screen.

This will bring up the exact same pop up as when sending text messages individually (see previous section) but without any individuals in the "To" field initially. You can start adding people using the "+ add people" button.

From a Group

If you want to text everyone in a group, you can simply go to the group, then under the Members tab choose "Text Message" in the Actions menu. You can filter the table beforehand if you want to only text a subset of members.

You can also do the exact same thing by simply selecting "Send > Text Message" in the top header, clicking on "+ add people," changing the search type to Group, and selecting the group you want to send a text message to.

In Bulk

You will need the Reporting permission in addition to the Limited SMS permission to send text messages in bulk. To get started, navigate to the People Query Builder by selecting "Reporting > Query Builder > People" in the left-hand navigation.

From here, construct a query which targets the people you are interested in sending the text message to. For more information on writing queries, see the "People Query Builder" section on this page.

After you are finished writing the query, select "Send Text Message" from the "Actions" drop down.

A pop up will appear similar to the one that opens when sending text messages individually. See section above named "Individually" for details on the fields. When done, click the "Send" button to send the text message out.

Responding to Replies

If you have opted to receive text message replies when sending out the text message, you will be emailed whenever someone replies to the message. Replies will be sent to the primary email address of the user who sent the text message. See below for an example:

Only the last message sent will appear in the "In response to" line. Try to limit your responses to 160 characters to avoid sending multiple text messages to the person. Also, when replying, remove all text above the "##- Please type your reply..." line for the best results. This includes any email signatures that are automatically added for you.

The reply will then be sent to the person via text message. They can then reply and it will be emailed to you and so on. You can also view a log of all non-financial text messages by clicking on the “cog” at the top right-hand side of the page, selecting Text messages and choosing the Logs tab.

Helpful Tips

  • Text message will not be sent to anyone who has opted out or does not have a mobile number. 

  • When replying to a text message via email, remove all text above the "##- Please type your reply..." line for the best results. This includes the email signature.

  • Per message data rates apply. Please make sure there are enough funds on your account to send a text message. If remaining balance falls to $0.00, no text message will be sent out.

  • Do NOT include any links created from a URL shortener (i.e.,,, etc.). Messages that include such links have a high likelihood of being marked as spam by network carriers and being rejected.

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