Honest conversations, real connections, and healthy relationships—they’re all hard to get these days, especially at church. That’s because if you want to genuinely communicate with people at church, you must do so at a personal level.
And technology, despite all the opinions against it, can actually help you communicate at a personal level with the people at church. Allow our good guest, Amy Wilson Payne, the Discipleship Pastor at Victory Hill, to show you the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this matter in this episode.
It’s time to join the Text In Church crew and Amy Payne in another honest and inspiring episode. You’ll get to hear for yourself the power of technology in communicating with the church family on a personal level.
Specifically, this episode highlights the following themes:
Most church leaders really struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance because making ministry calls on the go means you can’t keep your personal cell phone. number private. Talk In Church is an easy-to-use phone system created for churches so you can make and take calls on the go and on your schedule without sharing your personal cell phone number ever again.
Text the word, CONNECT, to 816-429-9396 to start your free 60-day trial of Text In Church today to see just how easy it is.
Tech in Church Podcast
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The Tech In Church Podcast is a Text In Church team production. For more information about this podcast, go to https://podcast.textinchurch.com. For more information on Text in Church, visit https://textinchurch.com.
Amy Wilson Payne 0:00
Text in Church. Absolutely, Text in Church. It also helps me to invite them what our discipleship path looks like. And so like everybody that comes for the very first time in January, as soon as I get put in that, like connect as a guest, Text in Church allows me to start having personal conversations with them. I can reach out and like, 'Hey, thank you for joining us. How was your experience?' And we start having like real one-on-one conversations. Well, then everyone that it comes in the month prior, they get a communication group, I already have a relationship with them.
Jeanette Yates 0:38
So if you are hopping in and seeing this, welcome, I'm Jeannette Yates. I'm here with my colleague Nina, and we are here for In the Trenches live with Amy. I had it in my head and I lost it victory Hill Church in Scottsville, Kentucky. Welcome Amy, why don't you take a couple of moments here and introduce yourself? We'd love to hear about you.
Amy Wilson Payne 0:59
Hi, guys. Yeah, thank you for having me today. And yeah, like you said, I am the Discipleship Pastor here at Baker Hill. Our church runs around 600, between six and seven, right now in regular attendance, and have been in ministry for about three or four years now. But yeah, live in the bluegrass state is a wonderful place to be it's cold one day and hot the next then we just absolutely love it. I'm married to the love of my life, my best friend. And we have four children. So we've got three boys that are grown and have blessed us with grandchildren. We've got eight grandchildren that we love. And then we've got a teenage daughter. So she's just turned 17. It's like starting all over. like starting all over again. The girl and the baby. That's our family unit right now. And that I love ministry. When I'm not in ministry or not working here at church, I enjoy spending time with my family. We love fishing, and I love cooking. I got a motto if you freeze it, you can fry it. So I needed on a t shirt. That's literally me. And I'm a person committed to long-term recovery. So I've got a recovery community that keep tight with me as well.
Jeanette Yates 2:26
Well, first of all, I think every In the Trenches live, Nina, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we have something that we need to put on a t-shirt pretty much every time there's always something I want? Let's just have that on a t-shirt too.
Nina Hampton 2:38
We walk away with the new merch idea every time we do an interview.
Amy Wilson Payne 2:43
I love it. I co-sign it. That's it.
Jeanette Yates 2:46
Oh, I know Nina, you're like, can we get on to the interview and not to not stop? But this is part of my brand. But so you're gonna clear that up? Okay, Nina.
Nina Hampton 3:00
Do anything that in Kansas City. It's all about barbecue and smoke. You smoking it for. So that's kind of how we get down.
Amy Wilson Payne 3:06
I'm down with that too.
Nina Hampton 3:13
Anyway, that she can get it, I'm good. That's me. So talking a little bit about just like a day in the life, right, of all the things that you do. Because being the Discipleship Pastor, especially at a church that large, there's probably things that you got to do, ten things you got to check off your to-do list. So just walk us through kind of what that looks like a day in the life of being a Discipleship Pastor at Victory Hill Church.
Amy Wilson Payne 3:33
Yeah. So I'm responsible for our social media that I struggle with a lot. But our social media, all of our communications, be that with guest follower, or are all-team or volunteers. So I usually organize and schedule our communications that go out, whether that be social media, or through Text in Church, or snail mail or email. And in addition to that, I kind of oversee our small groups. We're getting ready to launch this week. Sign-ups are getting ready to start this weekend. I'm so excited. We're kicking our new semester off next month. So excited about it. I love small groups. They change my life. So I definitely have a heart for that community. Also, I oversee our discipleship path. So like our assimilation, and so that includes guests follow-up, salvations, next steps, all of that so I'm very hands on with that. And then we most recently, this past year opened a Dream Center up in our community. Yeah. So I kind of oversee and direct that property. Yeah, so that's my day to day. It's pretty busy. Yeah.
Nina Hampton 3:53
It's a big umbrella that a lot of stuff falls underneath your umbrella.
Amy Wilson Payne 4:54
It is a big umbrella. God has really, eally blessed our church. And, you know, we were a little bit, prior to COVID, and we didn't like, we kind of hit the national average on, you know, returning members. But we really are starting to see some sustainable growth. And that I really feel like during that downtime, that we were able to put some systems in place, and really want to get laser focused on how to prepare and handle that growth. So I'm an outward for an awesome thing. Like the most awesome team. We have the most awesome staff here and our lead pastor is amazing and pours into us, and they equip us they give us permission to fail. So yeah, you know, because that's part of it.
Nina Hampton 5:49
Yeah. Part of it. And that's huge. Having a safe place to fail. That's everything.
Amy Wilson Payne 5:57
Absolutely. Yeah. So.
Jeanette Yates 5:59
Well, with all of that responsibility duties, the to-do list that goes in a lot of different directions, what do you think has been or historically has been your biggest challenge with all of that on your plate?
Amy Wilson Payne 6:16
Absolutely. 100%, just lack of experience and knowledge, and how to leverage social media. If I'm just going to be 100% honest, when I start to get a grip on it, like rhythm and content, and when I start to kind of get a basic understanding, everything changed. I was gonna say something changes. And so that's one thing that I kind of really struggle with. So I lean towards different platforms and software companies that kind of helped me out on that. I struggle with the video content, like the short video, but that's one of my goals this year is to get better in that area. So a comment I got last year's goal was just to get better at editing fairly light. And just to get better at that. Yeah. And I feel like that I've got enough to get me in trouble. You know, I've learned and again, that permission to fail, I've learned enough that I think that's one of my goals this year is to get better at that.
Jeanette Yates 7:19
That's awesome. Well, I think we can all relate to that. And I love what you said about social media is changing all the time. And they're all doing their own thing. And who knows how the algorithms work and all of that. And so as much as we want to be able to say this is coming from someone who runs social media, for some church, we want to say, hey, we put it on social media, we've communicated it. The truth is, who knows who's gonna see it, right? And so you having to taking advantage of the other ways to communicate the information or your mission or your values, or what's going on in your church family, we've got to reach out and use those other things. We can't rely on social media. It is...Not everybody's on the same ones. Not everybody sees what you do, all of that kind of stuff. And so you recognize that and like.
Nina Hampton 8:12
You can think that you're doing some right, and then you go and listen to a different expert. And he's like, 'you're doing everything completely wrong.' You're like, well, what am I supposed to do? So kind of moving into that one thing that you mentioned. Amy was kind of in the different platforms and softwares that you lean on. So kind of going into three top tech tools that you use, that kind of help you solve some of those challenges that you were talking about specifically, which would they be?
Amy Wilson Payne 8:36
Okay, so number one. Absolutely. This may shock you. Okay, my prayer time this morning, I was, but I was just had an overwhelming moment of gratitude for Text in Church. I don't know how I would handle the multiple responsibilities that I have right now without Text in Church. This is my number one. Number one, I use it for small groups. I use it for all team communications. I use it for everything. It is life, but number two would probably be Linktree. That's how we have our digital connect card set up through Linktree. I'm able to share all of those Text in Church groups and different things packaged up really nicely to our church. And I don't have to print out those worship guides and handouts and all that anymore. And then Sprout. Sprout is one of my best friends. So it allows me just to kind of what to do figure out what I'm gonna post.
Jeanette Yates 9:38
Yes, Sprout Social is one of the popular, easy-to-use, gives you a lot of stuff to use, statistics and things like that insights. Can you like I said, Nina, I'm going off book again. Don't worry, Amy. She's like, I don't want you to go up. But I promise it's easy. I just want you to tell, explain a little bit more how you use Linktree and Text in Church together. Because I think that's a really, a lot of people would benefit from hearing how you use Linktree to share your digital connection cards.
Amy Wilson Payne 10:08
Okay, so we just we have a Linktree account. And what you do is you just go in and you create an account. And what it does, it's a landing page for all your different links. And then instead of like having to send a, share a link with your church for first-time guest to fill out and then there's a link for returning guests. Then there's a link for someone that wants to give. Instead, it's just a place where you share one card, one digital connection card. Ours is we you know, we've got a QR code that's on the back of the chairs, or you can text 'Hello!', and we'll send you the link in our digital connect card. So when you hit that link, when you scan that QR code, it takes you to a new or you click on newish, or a returning guest, I'm gonna give prayer requests, sermon notes, all that is our Linktree account.
Nina Hampton 10:58
Yeah, you usually never see people using Linktree. It's always putting in social media or online. That's awesome!
Amy Wilson Payne 11:04
Yeah, it's worked best with us. And then like, we have video announcements. We kind of move towards that during this season. And you can embed videos on there. And one thing that when we started going towards digital, the reason we went to Linktree is because I had printed out these QR codes, add them all over the back of our chairs. And it is awesome. And the link got broken. And we're one Sunday morning, nothing's working and like I lost it. So what Linktree allows us to do is if we need to change something, that landing page always stays the same, right? So whatever that is published on or printed on, or shared on is always the same, but allows us to go and change that content, whatever, however we want. And then, you know, it just saves us having to redo it. That's awesome.
Jeanette Yates 12:02
Yeah, like I said, you mentioned that, and I'm gonna ask you to talk about something else here in a second. But I was like, Oh, that might be helpful too for people trying to figure out that multiple thing right now. So...
Amy Wilson Payne 12:15
If anybody has more questions on that, or wants to know what it looks like, even if you can't hear that later, you can share my email and contact information. And I'm always available, like I'll take a minute.
Jeanette Yates 12:27
That's why we love you, Amy. You are very open and willing to share always. So we appreciate that. But I wanted to allow you to if you had to pick one of those tools that you mentioned, three, what would you share is that tool? And why has it been so helpful to you?
Amy Wilson Payne 12:44
Text in Church. Absolutely, Text in Church. And, you know, I've kind of shared some of the things that I do, but just overseeing our Discipleship Path, Text in Church would be that. If I had to get rid of all connect with our first-time guest. And then it also helps me to invite them what our Discipleship Path looks like and so like everybody that comes for the very first time in January, as soon as I get putting that, you know, the 'connect as a guest, Text in Church allows me to start having personal conversations with them. Like I can reach out and like, 'Hey, thank you for joining us. How was your experience? Like, we start having like real one- on-one conversations. Well, then everyone that it comes in the month prior, they get put in a communication group, I already have a relationship with them. We've been talking right. And so then I'm able to say, 'Hi, it's Amy. This week, we're having New Victory, and it's gonna take five of our team. And so that's our first step, and then everybody that comes to that, I'm able to they're put a group. I follow-up with them. Everything is done Text in Church. And so then those people are invited to the second week, which is Discover and our third week is Grow, which is it's kind of like it I know a lot of people are familiar with Growth Track. It's kind of like that, but in bite -size pieces. It gives people small steps to take and just cater for us. But if I had to give you a definition, it's that. So...
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Jeanette Yates 15:20
So most of the people, most of our members when we like, I was using Text in Church. And then you know, and I was doing this and that, and then all of a sudden, this happened, and I knew it was working. Do you have one of those kind of stories where you were like, 'Aha'?
Amy Wilson Payne 15:35
The very first time we use Text in Church, and I know it was golden. So we were having. We had a trunk or treat event coming up, a Halloween event coming up. So we had really gotten together and was looking at our events, making sure we weren't having events, because we've always had our people come into Christ. Are we serving our community well? And let's be good stewards of what God give us, right? And let's reach people with the Gospel. And if that's not happening limits, then why are we doing it? And so the need for a way to connect with our guests come out of that conversation. And we were having our trunk or treat event, was getting ready to come up. And we were known, like, we are known for putting on two major events in our area, right. And we were expecting 2000 people and like we pull it off for like an hour and a half. We served well, loved well, but they were leaving, coming and going and us have no idea who they were. Yeah, no way to invite them back to church other than loving and serving them well. And I'm not saying anything's wrong with that. But we really wanted to build a personal connection with everybody that was coming. So we got on a phone call. And we had a good conversation was like, Okay, well, let's do it. Let's just do it. And we got it. And so how we used it for the very first time was at our trunk or treat, and we had a giveaway. To enter the giveaway, you had to text the word 'candy.' You had to text the word 'candy' to this Text in Church group to enter. And I remember we had QR codes on lanyards, and nobody knew how to use them then. So this was before. And I remember almost everyone that came that night, when they left, we got their name, their phone number, and their email address. It was crazy. But we did it with just a couple people out in the parking lot engaging our guests while they were in line. So the majority of them shared it with us before they ever even walked in the door. Yeah. And I'm like, I remember running upstairs. Oh my gosh, we're gonna go. And we'vemessages in. I knew the end. So we were able to follow up with everybody. This is a laser focus group, right? And this is the people God has placed us around to reach with the Gospel. I had a phone number, and we pulled off an awesome event, right? So I was able to text each and every one of them. I was like, 'Hey, how'd you enjoy it?' You know, and then invite him back to church. It was awesome. So I knew then like we are married to Text in Church. We keep it in. So we just learned to use it and leverage it in every other area we possibly can. And I'm always if anybody's listening, you're like, I can use it like this. I'm like to me, no, I didn't.
Jeanette Yates 18:22
About this group, though, this Facebook group that we have is that you're always able to learn new ideas just by like sharing what you're doing. And you may think it's totally like what we do. But a lot of people are like, Oh, I didn't, I've never thought of using it like that. And so people come in and use it for guests follow up other members. And then you're like, Oh, I didn't even think about using it for events. So that's really encouraging. And so yes, I agree. Amy, there's always, you know, tell me more, tell me more and they teach me something.
Amy Wilson Payne 18:55
Absolutely. It's the best.
Nina Hampton 18:58
Well, and I think just even for like those of us on the team, on the Text in Church team, we get to talk to our members all day. And we get asked that question like, Hey, how can I use this? How should I be using this? So for me, I have those conversations. Anytime that I hear something, and I either haven't thought about myself, I should tell everybody, I'm sure it's gonna be effective for other people too.
Amy Wilson Payne 19:18
Nina Hampton 19:19
So kind of jumping in like we talked about how big your umbrella is, and all the things that you have to do. So can you tell us a little bit about how you unplug? How do you rest from all of the church comms work? Because I think, me Jeanette talks about this often. It never ends. Now, it never stops. It's never silent. You're checking all the social medias. And that's hard to do. It's hard to unplug without deleting the app. It's hard to unplug.
Amy Wilson Payne 19:45
So well Sprout allows me to even though I struggle with the rhythm, Sprout allows me to kind of schedule everything out. And since everything's already built in Text in Church, a lot of it's just kind of plug and play. And so I try my best. I'm just gonna tell you I'm not perfect, but I do try my best to my work week. I'm off on Friday and Saturday. And so I try to schedule everything to go out whether that's text or communications of any kind to go out before I leave on Thursday. But it's not a perfect world like. That's one of the things I love about Text in Church platform, though, is that you can respond in real time. You know, you can have those personal connections. So I'm just everbody else, I try to unplug the best I can. And you know, on Friday, I have a routine that I try to do that keeps me thinking about resting. I love to bakey'all. Did y'all know that?
Jeanette Yates 20:47
I want you to talk a little bit more about this because yeah.
Amy Wilson Payne 20:50
I love. I'm an amateur baker. I love to bake. And I love to cook. I said food'smy love language. I said that jokingly. But it really is. And I think that's one of those things growing up in the South. If someone's sick, you take them food. If someone had a loved one that's passed away, you take food to the funeral home. Food is just a comfort in for me in my life. And so I love food. And so every Friday morning, I bake. I try to bake something new once a week, but I get up and I bake Friday morning. So it's a time where I'm at the house by myself. My husband's at work. My daughter is at school. So I got like a four hour block where I get crafty in the kitchen.
Jeanette Yates 21:32
Yeah, so what did you make last week did you bake last week?
Amy Wilson Payne 21:36
That's a good idea. So I made some more cookie. So in case anybody needs to know if you're listening, this year is the year of the cookie. Now is the year of the cookie, so I made homemade, some more cookies. And I made these giant, colossal stuffed chocolate chip cookies that were like stuffed with more chocolate.
Nina Hampton 22:02
So yeah, I mean, anytime that you have extras, I'll go ahead and give you the address to the Text in Church office. So they don't even have...
Jeanette Yates 22:10
I'm gonna give you the Text in Church office address.
Nina Hampton 22:16
You'll never have to. You'll never have the hang up.
Nina Hampton 22:26
I can't send it to my house. Because if I do I won't get any.
Jeanette Yates 22:30
I know what you mean. So she's a cookie fanatic.
Amy Wilson Payne 22:34
Yeah, so here the thing about. I don't eat it. I don't like sweets. So I love to bake or decorate cakes. Cupcakes, like my specialty is caramel apples. I might call my flavor caramels. That's how it all began. And I've given all the way. So that's one of my things. I give somebody.
Nina Hampton 22:56
You have so much self-control than I do.
Jeanette Yates 22:58
Amy Wilson Payne 23:01
Thank you. If you put some meat and potatoes in front of me I have zero. So...
Nina Hampton 23:07
Amy Wilson Payne 23:08
Jeanette Yates 23:09
It does sound like it's almost like a ministry to you though that you bake these things and you share them with other people. I love that. You said it was a southern thing. But it's also a biblical thing, food coming around the table. And sharing food. Sharing a meal with people is something that is all throughout the Bible. And so I know that I did a study one time that talks about when it says in the Psalm 23 'You prepare a table before my enemies.' The teacher that was teaching, he actually said or she actually said that means more than you think it means at first I thought like you're eating in front of your enemies like nanny nanny boo. That's what I always thought it meant. Oh my god, okay. But what the teacher was saying was that it was more about that you don't share a meal with someone until you've forgiven, like there's the forgiveness part before you invite them to your table. And so when Peter is invited to have breakfast with Jesus on the beach after he's denied him, that's a sign that you can come to this table. You're forgiven and so I think it can be you know, it is that sign of something bigger than us. Something more important than us. That gift of food so I'm thankful that you did that. Also we're really on topic here in the Text in Church Facebook group but I really think we need like a recipe file or something to try to figure out how to make that match with the guidelines.
Nina Hampton 24:48
I think if it's right. For me personally if it's right in line.
Jeanette Yates 24:54
Gift ideas for your guests by Amy Payne. That's it. All are baking items.
Nina Hampton 25:02
We need to, you know, you need you need to do a fundraiser. You got a church bake sale. You need some new items to add to it. Yeah now, yeah,
Jeanette Yates 25:09
I gotta figure that out because that needs to start especially this the year of the cookie. Can you imagine every week to get a little peek at what Amy's cooking and an idea for our church? Coffee cart? There we go making it work. All right, well, it's about time for us to wrap up today. We could talk cookies for the rest of you. That's another podcast. We'll launch the cookie podcast with Amy Payne.
Amy Wilson Payne 25:32
Sponsor my name and if you can freeze.
Jeanette Yates 25:36
That's right. But we are wrapping up for today. Do you need to wrap it up a little bit? But we always ask our guests, Amy, as we're wrapping up to tell us what encouragement would you give an overwhelmed church communicator? What would you tell them to get them through today?
Amy Wilson Payne 25:55
You are not alone. You're not alone. Self-doubt doesn't come from God. And if he's called you to this position, there's resources available. He'll equip you to it. It's so much more than a daily job. It's so much more than connecting with first time guests. It's so much more than serving remainders. It's so much more than that. It's the people that you're serving. And just not to get caught up in the what and remember the why and remember the who. And remember that you're not alone. And I'm available. And there's thousands, just like me, that's available, and just keep showing up every day.
Jeanette Yates 26:34
Well, Amy, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate your time. I know we might have to do another segment again. I'm not joking. But I'm so thankful for your time. Nina, do you have anything you want to say as we wrap up?
Nina Hampton 26:48
I mean, just thank you for being honest and transparent. And yes, no. And just yourself. I mean, because that's what I think. That's what is sometimes the most valuable. It can feel anytime we can kind of look across across the kingdom and see somebody else in a role. We kind of think that they have it all together and that they know exactly what they're doing. And they don't have any of the same struggles. But it's when we have these kinds of conversations that you realize, okay, no, I'm struggling too. I'm not that consistent all the time either. And I'm just trying to find tools just like everyone else is. It's just your genuine spirit and that is also. Thank you.
Amy Wilson Payne 27:23
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Jeanette Yates 27:26
All right, you guys we're wrapping up today. Thank you so much for joining us. If you're watching this after time, just remember you can comment anytime if you have any questions for Amy, and if you want to get a recipe you want to know more about that Linktree. We'll be sharing as much as we can in the comments and we will see you again real soon with another In the Trenches Live. Thanks a lot.
Jeanette Yates 27:49
Thank you for listening to today's episode. If you want to watch the full interview or see a full list of tech tools mentioned in today's podcast, head to our show notes at podcast.textinchurch.com and remember to subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen, so you can spend less time worrying about technology and more time doing what you love in your ministry and in your personal life.