The goal of most religious organizations is to provide spiritual and family guidance to its members. In support of this goal, these organizations are sustained through contributions from its members. Religious organizations can now look to new technologies to assist them in accomplishing both goals. One of these technologies is audio conferencing. Here are five new apps using audio conferencing that can provide spiritual and family guidance to the organization’s membership, in addition to increasing new contributions to their coffers.
Administrative Calls. Religious organizations are composed of a formal structure of hierarchical levels within the denomination, starting from the local church or parish, continuing up to the state, regional of diocesan level and then up to the national headquarters and ultimately to the world headquarters or the Vatican, as in the Roman Catholic religion. Each religious denomination has constant communication needs up and down their respective hierarchies. Audio conferencing can be used to provide instant meetings without having to travel, saving both time and money.
Dial A Sermon. One of the most popular apps for audio conferencing is the Dial A Sermon application. Local churches and parishes would like to have their sermons heard by as many members and guests as possible. At any one time, there are several members that are homebound, ill or out of town and cannot make it into church. Consequently, these members cannot hear the sermon. With voice conferencing, the pulpit microphone can be attached to a phone line and the conference bridge can be dialed up, enabling the pastor to give the sermon over the bridge, in addition to the members, who are present in church. Now the homebound and out of town members can dial into the bridge using their home or mobile phone and listen to the entire worship service. Each sermon or worship service can be recorded and stored for later playback by members, who were unable to listen to the service live.
Prayer Line. Another popular conferencing app for religious organizations is the Prayer Line. With this app, a scheduled date and time (usually in the evening) is published for prayer service using the conference bridge. The Prayer Line schedule is then published in all of the church’s written and online publications. A dial in telephone number with a pass code is published with directions for the members to dial in at a specific date and time to pray along with a pastor or priest for each occasion. The pastor or priest would lead the participating members in the prayer session, which usually lasts an hour.
Fund Raising Appeals. Teleconferencing can also be used to raise contributions from the membership. Whether a church is raising money for a parishioner’s family member, who is in crisis, missionary work overseas or a capital campaign for a building addition, conference calls can be utilized to get the appeal out to many members at one time. An operator from the conference service provider can be used to hold a Q&A session with the members on the call to answer all of their questions and concerns. The appeal call also can be recorded and played back later by members, who missed the original call.
Affinity Programs. Affinity programs can be developed to promote the use of conference calling services throughout the religious organization in order to drive down the conferencing costs by increasing the volume of minutes. With conferencing services, the more you use, the less expensive your costs are. Therefore, in negotiating your pricing with a conference service provider, inquire about affinity programs and what discounts are available through increased volume.
There you have them, the five conferencing apps that religious organizations can utilize to get the message out to the membership and to raise additional funds for special projects.