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Building Personal Relationships in a Large Church

Uno climbing on a graph

Building a personal relationship can be tough in a larger church. Just ask Lita Arroyo, Director of Parish Evangelization at Gilbert, Arizona’s St. Mary Magdalene Church, a parish with almost 5,000 families. St. Mary Magdalene started using Flocknote last year as a stepping stone to reaching out to all their members, and so far Lita said they have had some great results.

“Flocknote is a really great tool for starting the initial conversation,” said Lita. “With a huge church, it’s a challenge to reach everyone. Flocknote is a great way to get the information out to our members.”

t. Mary Magdalene Church exterior

St. Mary Magdalene Church, Gilbert, Arizona

Lita said the comment section and the ability to reply directly to members’ comments have also helped build one-on-one relationships with their people.

“It is a great way to know what the member really needs help with,” Lita said.

Inspiring Members with a Mid-Week Text

In addition to sending updates to their members and monthly eNewsletters from individual ministries, the pastor at St. Mary Magdalene sends out a weekly text on Wednesdays around lunchtime. Normally it’s simply an inspirational quote, meant to serve as a mid-week “pick-me-up” for their members.

“We get great feedback on this,” said Lita. “A lot of people respond saying ‘This is exactly what I needed, it was perfectly timed!’”

Sending Texts with Last Minute Changes

Every so often, St. Mary Magdalene also uses Flocknote to get a timely text out quickly to their members. They planned to have a Christmas Eve Mass outside last year, but due to freak weather, it had to be canceled fairly last minute.

“Luckily we were able to send a text using Flocknote to let everyone know it was canceled,” said Lita.

Forming Small Groups

This Lent, St. Mary Magdalene also offered a Lenten study series. They used both Flocknote and social media to send a video by a staff member each week, along with an excerpt for spiritual reading, some reflection questions and a prayer for the participants to focus on during the week.

“Flocknote was a really convenient way to get this information out to those who wanted to participate,” said Lita. “We are hoping to do more of these types of programs in the future – to give our members more opportunities to answer the questions they have and form small groups to pray and study together.”

Integrating Communications

Lita said they are also working on integrating all their communications. Before using Flocknote, St. Mary Magdalene used both Outlook and Constant Contact to try and reach people. Lita recounted that always having to maintain the database was a huge project, and included a lot of copying and pasting of emails. Using key Flocknote features like duplicating past emails and allowing members to update their own information, Lita is grateful that those days are behind them.

In the same vein, St. Mary Magdalene’s weekly bulletin is a magazine that also features articles and testimonials, which many of their members will use to pray and meditate with. Since not everyone picks up the bulletin, Lita is going to start highlighting certain articles via Flocknote, as well.

“Although we have come a long way in our communications, we still have a ways to go,” said Lita. “We are working on really entering into a relationship with people, instead of just sending information to them.”

Have you or your church done something really creative through Flocknote? If so, send us an email at and tell us more! You might just be the subject of our next Flocknotable!