PastorsLine Review, Pricing & Features: Effective bulk text & calling solution for churches

PastorsLine Review, Pricing & Features: Effective bulk text & calling solution for churches

PastorsLine is an effective, reasonably priced church communication system. It offers a text-based conversation product and the ability to send complex campaigns through email, text and voice. It also offers valuable integrations with many of the popular church management systems.

Pros

  • Very affordable pricing, including entry plan at $8 per month
  • Unused message credits roll over each month
  • Integrations with the popular church management systems including Breeze, CCB, PCO, and Tithe.ly

Cons

  • Parts of the interface are not super intuitive
  • Requires a Mailchimp integration to send emails
  • System allows you to manage group conversations over text message, but not email

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

PastorsLine Pricing & Cost

PastorsLine offers plans that are priced based upon your number of texts per month and the number of integrations you use. Here's the cost four of their most popular plans:

  • Inception: $8/month for 300 texts per month and 0 integrations
  • Dash: $21/month for 1000 texts per month and 1 integration
  • Locomotion: $42/month for 2000 texts per month and 2 integrations
  • Launch: $200/month for 10,000 texts per month and 5 integrations

Cancellation: PastorsLine customers can cancel at any time.

To see more pricing information, visit PastorsLine here.

Table of Contents

Full Review: PastorsLine

PastorsLine is built by Fluid Ministry LLC. The product was created by Jason Alexis to help churches communicate effectively with their members and visitors through text, voice, and social media. PastorsLine currently serves more than 800 active church leaders from churches of all sizes. The company is based in Grandville, Michigan.

PastorsLine makes it easy to have text-based conversations with multiple individuals and groups. The system also allows you to set up more complex, multi-step campaigns that can be used to collect member information or create highly engaging experiences for your congregation. When evaluating the system, you should be aware that the conversations functionality only works with text messages, and not email. PastorsLine does support email and voice messages for those more complex, time-based campaigns.

PastorsLine also integrates with many of the most popular church management software systems: Breeze, Church Community Builder, Planning Center, and Tithe.ly. To stay up to date on the latest, PastorsLine maintains an updates page that shares the most recently released features, as well as a public roadmap to share planned developments.

Overall, PastorsLine is an effective, reasonably priced communication system that we recommend to churches that want to improve engagement through text campaigns. The integrations it's built with church management systems are a big plus if your church also uses one of these systems. While PastorsLine does allow you to communicate through text, email and voice, its email functionality is less robust than other solutions. Additionally, more expensive alternatives like Text In Church do offer more intuitive, faster-loading user interfaces. Finally, if you send an exceptionally high volume of text messages, you might consider Flocknote, which prices its product on a per member basis.

Key Features

Below, we'll discuss some of the key features of PastorsLine, and how they would benefit your church. We have also included images to give you a sense of the look and feel of the software.

Getting Started

Getting started with PastorsLine is relatively simple and takes less than 20 minutes. Through their website, you can pick a plan, create your account, select a phone number and begin sending messages. Here is a view of the main dashboard that you will see once you create your account:

pastorsline dashboard

You can add new members into PastorsLine one at a time or using a CSV and their bulk importer tool. When you add a new member, you add their name, contact information, birthday, and add any tags or appropriate groups. From the member profile, you can start a chat, block or unsubscribe each member. Here's what a profile looks like in PastorsLine:

pastorsline member profile

Communication channels

PastorsLine is built to support text, voice and email communications. All new text messages are composed in the inbox page. To create and send a new text you select the desired person or group, add your message copy, include any links, files or merge fields, and schedule to send immediately or in the future. An important note is that you are not able to send emails or voice messages through this part of PastorsLine's application. However, if you are primarily interested in using an application to send text messages, this should not be an issue. Here's an image of the text message builder in PastorsLine:

pastorsline text builder

Voice broadcasts can be created by uploading an existing file, or using PastorsLine's text-to-voice feature. When scheduling your voice message, you can specify what to do if a human answers the phone, or if it is sent to an answering machine. It's important to remember that voice messages cost twice as much as text messages. Here's a look at the interface for sending voice messages in PastorsLine:

pastorsline voice

PastorsLine also allows you to create and send more complex campaigns. Campaigns are a series of email, text, or voice messages that can be scheduled to send to contacts in the future. Campaigns can be triggered when you receive a new piece of data from a member, or when a member is added to a group. One of our favorites is PastorsLine's SMS brithday campaign, which allows you to automatically send happy birthday wishes to each of your members on their special day. Here's a look at a welcome guest campaign in PastorsLine with an internal message, poll, and four follow-up messages:

pastorsline campaign

Groups

PastorsLine allows you to create an unlimited number of groups. In addition to other benefits, groups help you increase member engagement by only sending specific messages to the recipients who want them. No more one-size-fits-all communication. In the groups page, you can:

  • View all groups
  • Create, edit and delete groups
  • See which groups are synced with your church management system
  • Send group text or voice messages

Here is what the groups section of PastorsLine looks like:

pastorsline groups

Conversations

You manage all conversations in PastorsLine through the inbox. The inbox provides a list of all historic conversation threads. You can search through this list using phone numbers, names, groups and tags. In the inbox you can also:

  • Read unread messages
  • View scheduled messages
  • Read and reply to messages
  • Send group messages
  • Add contact information

As noted above, the conversations managed in PastorLine's inbox must be text-only. Here's what the inbox looks like:

pastorsline conversation

Advanced Features

Data Capture: PastorsLine has built a data capture tool to make it easy for you to collect information from your members. For example, you could create a text-based data capture that asks your new members a few questions about their name, email, address and birthday. This data is automatically added to the member profile.

Message templates: PastorsLine allows you to create and save templates for your most commonly used messages. These can include merge fields and attachments.

Web-widget: PastorsLine offers a digital connect card that you can design to collect member information. Once built, you can embed the widget on your website.

PastorsLine private Facebook community: PastorsLine has a private Facebook community where you can share best practices with other customers, get updates, and join sub-groups on specific PastorsLine topics.

Analytics

System administrators and owners have access to a basic analytics page in PastorsLine that has reports and communication logs. While helpful, the analytics are not quite as robust as alternatives like Flocknotes.

The most valuable reports in PastorsLine are subscribers, & unsubscribers. For each, you can see members that have either subscribed or unsubscribed in a given date range. The communication logs allow you to see all historical messages sent from PastorsLine. For each message you can see the date, message type, user, who the message was sent from, its status and number of credits. You can export the logs as a CSV file for additional analysis.

Integrations

PastorsLine has built integrations with a few very useful partners:

  • Breeze
  • Church Community Builder
  • Planning Center
  • Tithe.ly
  • Mailchimp

Each of the church management integrations has similar functionality – groups and people from the church management system will be brought into PastorsLine as contacts you can communicate with. The integrations are 2-way, so contacts created in PastorsLine will also be added to your church management system.

PastorsLine vs. Text In Church

PastorsLine and Text In Church are two of the leaders in the church communications space. When comparing PastorsLine vs. Text In Church, there are a few key differences to keep in mind:

  • Price: PastorsLine is significantly cheaper. A plan with 1,500 texts per month costs $67 at Text In Church vs. $37.50 with PastorsLine.
  • Credit Rollover: Your unused text credits roll over into the next month with PastorsLine. With Text In Church, they do not.
  • Email functionality: Emails can be used to manage two-way conversations in Text In Church for free. In PastorsLine, emails are only available for automated campaigns.
  • Text functionality: Polling and contests are available in PastorsLine, but not Text In Church.
  • Voice messaging: Only available in PastorsLine.
  • Usability: Text In Church has a slightly cleaner interface that makes it easier to use the tool.
  • Integrations: Only PastorsLine integrates with Breeze and Tithe.ly, while Text In Church integrates with Zapier.

Is PastorsLine right for you?

Overall, PastorsLine is an effective, reasonably priced communication system that we recommend to churches that want to improve engagement through text campaigns. The integrations it's built with church management systems are a big plus if your church also uses one of these systems. While PastorsLine does allow you to communicate through text, email and voice, its email functionality is less robust than other solutions. Additionally, more expensive alternatives like Text In Church do offer more intuitive, faster-loading user interfaces. Finally, if you send an exceptionally high volume of text messages, you might consider Flocknote, which prices its product on a per member basis.

To start your free trial, visit PastorsLine here.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed Internet companies, and launching new businesses.