Share this article with a friend! 

See How This Church Grew Their Reach 50% in One Sunday

Uno watering a plant

For St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, Illinois, parishioners were shocked when their pastor asked them to bring their cell phones to church on Ash Wednesday. “We put up banners, and posters, asked the priests to mention it as every Mass, encouraging people to bring their cell phones into church with them on Ash Wednesday,” said parishioner and volunteer Brian Truckenbrod. “But of course, we did not tell them the reasons why.”

The reason was Text-to-Join, a feature available to every church using Flocknote as their communications tool. Each Flocknote network receives one free text-to-join keyword (and can purchase additional ones), which churches use to have their members “text-to-join” and sign up to receive their flock notes.

On Ash Wednesday, they had over 700 church members participate in the text-to-join.

“Within the next 24 hours several hundred more people joined, bringing the total number of people who “texted-to-join” to over 1,000.” Brian said.

St. Thomas the Apostle had an email database of 1,600 parishioners before implementing Flocknote through the text-to-join sign up on Ash Wednesday. After Ash Wednesday, they realized only 200 of the new emails overlapped – they had grown their database from 1,600 to over 2,450 in 24 hours!

Within 24 hours they had increased their member reach by 50%, something that could have taken years to do without Flocknote.

The best part is that, over the next year, by adopting tips from Flocknote on how to continually grow our connections to parishioners, our parishioner email contacts grew to over 3,500,” said Brian.

That’s an increase of nearly 120% in the ability to reach parishioners, in just the first year of using Flocknote and text-to-join!


graph showing growth

With a little effort to prepare announcements and help parishioners sign up, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish has been able to reach members more effectively than they perhaps ever thought possible.

What could your church do? Visit our Help Pages for resources on implementing a Signup Sunday with Flocknote text-to-join at your church to increase your membership reach!

Image of the interior of St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, Illinois

St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, Illinois

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.”