As you are looking at a black-and-white square that kind of looks like a mix between a crossword puzzle and a barcode, you might be thinking: A Q-what? What is it and how am I supposed to use it in my church?
QR codes are a great way to direct people to information, send them to a website quickly, and gather feedback. The key is to know what they are and how to use them in a way that benefits your church.
What is a QR code?
A QR code (quick response code) is a type of barcode. Fun fact: QR codes were invented in 1994 by a Japanese company to keep track of manufactured automotive parts. Unlike barcodes that were linked to a single item, QR codes could contain a variety of complex data.
Today, every smartphone is enabled to read QR codes from the camera automatically. These codes can be read off of a computer screen, printed on paper, or even painted on a building!
Now you may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but what does a QR code do?
Let’s say you wanted to tell someone how to find the event page on your website. Instead of telling them, “Go to www.churchwebsite.com, then click on events, then click on the calendar…,” you could have them pull out their phone and scan a QR code that automatically opens their browser to the event calendar page on your website.
If you’ve never tried it before, pull out your smartphone and give it a shot with the QR code below:
This is just one example of how you can link a website, video, form, survey, or really anything to a QR code.
How do you make a QR code?
You might be looking at the maze of boxes and shapes that make up a QR code and wonder how you could make one. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert to make a QR code!
While there are some QR code generators online, the easiest way to make one is to use the built-in QR code generator in One Church Software that will create one at the click of a button. There’s no complicated coding. All you have to do is know where you want the QR code to direct people and what background color you’d like. It’s as simple as that!
Check out this guide for where to find and generate a QR code in One Church Software.
How can I use QR codes in my church?
QR codes can feel like a pretty “technical” concept, especially if you have never heard of them before. However, now that you understand what they do and how easy it is to make one, let’s talk about some examples of how they can benefit your church:
1) Digital Bulletins
One of the most difficult parts of switching to a digital bulletin is getting people to the right spot on the website to read it. With a QR code, people can scan a code and be taken directly to your digital bulletin. We have seen churches get really creative here by putting the QR code for the digital bulletin on the seatbacks throughout the sanctuary for easy access or by putting a large QR code on the main screen.
2) Link to Sermon Notes or Outline
Even if your church has an app, a new visitor isn’t likely to download it just to get access to your sermon outline. By providing a QR code, they can easily access the notes without having to download anything right away.
3) Event Registration
If you are talking about events from the stage, you should be providing an easy way to get more information and register! Instead of people having to remember to go to your website later to RSVP, you can give them a way to do it at the moment by putting a QR code in your slides.
4) Gathering Data or Surveying a Group
Have you thought about integrating data from your congregation into your sermon? What if you could poll your congregation in advance or in real-time? You can use a QR code to direct people to a survey link.
5) Simplify Online Giving
Instead of having to click multiple times on your website to locate online giving, you can provide a QR code on digital or printed media that takes people to the page immediately. This can also be helpful if you have a special offering that your congregation can donate to that day.
QR codes can provide a way to quickly and easily direct people to information, forms, and resources that would otherwise take multiple clicks to find. By utilizing them throughout your ministry, you can optimize how people engage with your church.
If you already use One Church Software, then you have access to make your own QR codes right in your church management system!
If you don’t have a church management system or are considering switching, you can try One Church Software FREE for 14 days to see all the ways it can help you care for your members, empower your volunteers, and serve your community.