QR Codes: 10 Ways Churches Can Use Them

church qr codeIn yesterday’s post, What is a QR Code? (and 4 other things you should know about them), we discussed the basics of QR codes. Today, we look at some practical and innovative ways churches can use QR codes to communicate more effectively to their members and connect better with people in the community.

1) In the Sunday bulletin/program, put a QR code next to each item for which there’s more info on the website.

2) Some people may want to skip the print bulletin entirely. Put the bulletin on the church website and place a QR code for the bulletin in the lobby so people can bypass the print version entirely.

3) Put it in a “sermon notes” part of the Sunday bulletin and link it to the audio (podcast), video, or notes for the message.

4) Put a QR code on your sign that links to your church’s homepage or a welcome page, so those driving or walking by your church can get more information about your church.

5) If your church sends out direct mail pieces to reach people in your community, include QR codes on them.

6) If your church building has rooms for specific ministries, put a QR code on the sign outside the door that links to more info about that ministry.

7) If your church creates invitation cards for your people to use to invite their friends to church, include a QR code that links to the service or event you’re inviting people to.

8 ) If you church staff have business cards, put a QR code on back that links to the church homepage or to a profile page for that staff person.

9) For evangelism purposes, your church could create a sign that says something intriguing like “Good News!” “Want a better life?” “Sick of being let down?” and below it put a QR code to a text or video gospel presentation on the church website. This could be put on yard signs, posters, stickers, or other things that could be posted and distributed in your community.

10) Create a coffee mug for your church with a QR code on it. Give it free to first-time visitors or sell it to regular attenders. In fact, you can put a QR code on any customizable items – a T-shirts, key chains, Frisbees, mouse pads, calendars, hats, tote bags, umbrellas, post-it notes, golf balls, thumb drives, and more.

Is your church using QR codes in any of these ways? If so, how have they been received?  What other ways could churches use QR codes?

Oh, and if you’re interested in helping churches make the most of mobile apps, Take the Ultimate Church Mobile App Survey

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

30 Responses to “QR Codes: 10 Ways Churches Can Use Them”

  1. love the idea that you can link to a podcast.
    perhaps there is a baptism and the link is to the online version of the person's story

  2. amelita mowatt Mar 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

    In addition a testimony to one of the church outreach programs for example : Street Ministry;Hands of compassion

  3. Great article Paul. I want to start using QR Codes at our church.

  4. Utterly brilliant Paul.

    I will start using some of these ideas JUST A SOON as I get the church to start using the website and not wanting to change the design before they even put content in it!!!!

  5. Thanks for the great ideas… I would like to find ways to get more people aware of our Reading Room, and your idea of a bookmark is really great!

  6. I've used geo QR codes for maps particularly for offsite events.

  7. Thanks Paul for the the comment on Smallbiztechnology. For some reason I couldn't reply on our blog. Technology for you!

  8. You nailed it. I'll be using these ideas in my church.

  9. I think number 3 is genius. Definitely something I can see people doing.

  10. One thing that I'd like to start with our church is to have the songs we sing shown at the end of the service with a QR code that will link to a page with places to buy the songs off of iTunes.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Aug 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      That would be cool. I don't know if you could make the QR code big enough on the screen to be read by a QR reader, but it'd be worth a shot. The song titles & QR codes could also be printed in a bulletin/program.

  11. We're using a QR code this Sunday…for the first time ever…to pump our new website that is rolling out. We're going to have it on the signs entering the worship center, on the screens in the auditorium, and all of our volunteers will have a t-shirt on with the QR code on it.

    Hoping it helps!

  12. We just started using QR codes so people can download our bulletin and sermon notes onto their phones as they enter the sanctuary. It took me about 15 minutes and NO money to setup a system for doing it in our church. I made a quick “how to” video on how to do it yourself. Here’s the link… http://youtu.be/iFtRkgyxObY

  13. Hi All! New to the site and I loved this article. I am a church planter and we are actively trying to increase people's awareness of our presence in the community. To that end, we have included a QR code on flyers and postcards that we are giving out in the community. Our QR Code leads to a lead capture page that includes a welcome video from my husband and I. When they visit the page they are invited to enter their name, email address and phone # in order to get a free download of a booklet about living a life of Godly purpose. The contact info allows us the opportunity to develop a line of communication and to regularly update them about activities at the church.

  14. How are QR codes being produced? Is there a software that we can purchase to produce a qr code that would be bulletin friendly? I've seen little quick generators online but wonder how efficient they may be? I am assisting in building a new bulletin. We are changing everything from the format to adding these QR codes so I am just looking for some help. =)

  15. For another interesting way you can use QR codes to spread the Gospel check out http://udderance.com/ Udderance is a christian t-shirt company that prints QR codes on all their t-shirts. Users can create a profile/testimony and redirect people to it when they scan the QR code. You can also set it up to go to a 3rd party website like a blog or a custom message.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Sep 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Interesting idea. Do people really walk up to someone and scan a QR code on someone's shirt?

      • Yes and no. Typically random people won't come up to you and scan your t-shirt however if you're in a busy place like standing in line or on a train, they might scan you from a distance. It works much better as a conversation starter and ender. Something like, "I know you gotta run but scan my code quick and you can learn a little bit more about my story." A lot of people will ask about the QR code just out of pure interest as well.

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