One of the most popular resources that is being spread throughout social media has been the “Read the Catechism in Year” email sign-up through Flocknote. I have seen Flocknote online for awhile and have been very interested in their ministry and how it can best be utilized in youth ministry. So I decided to check in with Matthew Warner the Founder of Flocknote. Here is what I asked and learned:
1. In one sentence, what is flocknote?
Flocknote is simple email newsletters and text messaging for churches, ministries, teams and organizations.
2. Your website lays out the features of Flocknote very well. But the biggest question I have, is what does Flocknote do that puts it apart from anything else? In other words, what are the one or two features that I should really play with during the 30 day free trial?
Text-to-register makes it fairly unique. Your members can subscribe to your various lists by simply texting in a keyword from their cell phone. They can text in their email address, too, which kicks off a full registration process for them, allowing them to subscribe to whatever ministries/services/lists you offer. Flocknote is also big on interaction. So any person on one of your Lists can click over from any email they get from you and immediately reply/comment and jump into the conversation or provide you with useful feedback all in one easy place. They can also vote in polls and RSVP to events you send out. Overall, Flocknote stands out because it’s simple and made for simple communication. People are bombarded with noisy communication all day long. The way to cut through the clutter is to get to your point, be concise and reach them where they’ll read it. Flocknote helps solve all of that.
3. From people that are using Flocknote, in what ways are they seeing the greatest engagement or response from their parishes?
It really just depends on how they are using it. DREs are getting hundreds of catechists and students organized and informed. Youth and young adults (and old adults!) are getting quick text updates that remind them about upcoming events. Pastors are able to easily manage and oversee all communication for their parish. Every ministry leader is being empowered to communicate effectively and simply. All parishioners are getting one, consistent system and place to connect with any information they want from their parish and all the ministries and services it offers. One of the main things is that we see parish leaders *actually doing* something to communicate better. They often have complex software solutions at their disposal, but they don’t use them because they aren’t simple enough to be practical. With Flocknote we see that change and all of a sudden people who never liked bothering with new communication methods at all are big Flocknote fans and power users.
4. What would you say Flocknote looks like in 5-10 years and how will our parishes need to adjust to better reach the parishioners?
That’s a good question but I have literally no idea what it will look like in 5-10 years. Things change so fast. At Flocknote, we just try to make ourselves agile enough to adapt as necessary. And we really focus on building relationships between parishioners and parish leaders…those are the things that last despite the technology involved. As far as what parishes need to do, there is a lot. But fundamentally, I think they have to have a shift from maintenance mode to mission mode. They have to rekindle the spirit of looking outward and building relationships, taking people somewhere that is inspiring and fulfilling. Technology can’t fix that, but it can help you do it more powerfully
5. Can you tell us briefly about the Catechism in a year sign-up you have made available through your web site?
Yep! Pope Benedict encouraged us all to read the Catechism for the Year of Faith. We wanted to help. So we partnered up with CatholicCrossReference.com and made a simple email list that sends you a short snippet of the Catechism each morning for the Year of Faith. Read that and you’ll read the whole Catechism this year. It’s totally free and we have about 90,000 other people from all over the world participating. Just go here to jump in with us: flocknote.com/catechism
6. How can people get a hold of you and learn more about Flocknote?
Just check out Flocknote.com! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and our Happiness Engineer will be happy to help! We have a lot of youth ministers who have adopted it for their own youth ministry…and then the rest of the parish decided to adopt it, too, after that! Youth ministers are building the most important relationships for the future of the Church. Their role in the parish is absolutely vital and, in many ways, ends up leading the way for the rest of the parish.