QR Codes and Some Ways to Use Them in Church Planting

A QR code (which stands for quick response) is a two dimensional bar code that looks like a black and white patterned square. It can be encoded with information of various kinds, like a website, e-mail address, coupon, map location, movie trailers, simple text or phone number.

QR codes have the capacity to store much more data than traditional bar codes. To decipher them, a QR reader is needed. This can be downloaded to smart phones with a free app, of which many are available. Right now, QR items are really hot in the United States, and becoming more so. They are even more popular in parts of Asia.

While it seems as if it might be complex to create a QR code, it is actually very simple and can take just a few minutes. Like the QR reader app, a QR code generator is usually free. Here are just a few: http://www.beqrious.com/generator, http://www.qrstuff.com, http://azonmedia.com/qrcode-generator, http://zxing.appspot.com/generator. When you select a QR generator, look for one that is easy to use and intuitive. Choose one that is flexible enough to help you use it easily to display many kinds of information. You may want to choose one that allows you to download codes in pdf format so that it works when enlarged for things like signs and t-shirts as well as when just an inch or so square.

You may also want the option to store and manage codes so that different ones can be used for different purposes and retrieved again as needed. There is no limit to the number of free QR codes you can create. Here are a few ways to use QR codes in church planting. I borrowed these ideas from various QR code users:

  • Create bumper stickers with QR codes that lead to your church information.
  • Place codes on promo posters prompting people to “like” your facebook page, place them on clothing to drive people to your website, on your business card to provide contacts with a short video of your church, or ask shopkeepers for permission to post your website QR Codes on windows or bulletin boards.
  • Add a them to your church’s prospectus so that potential partner churches can hear a podcast of you talking about your vision for a new church.
  • Include them in brochures that direct people to a video that shows a worship team rehearsing.

Here’s my favorite – Widespread gospel seed sowing is key to church planting movements. Create all kinds of codes with evangelistic Bible verses, questions, videos and gospel presentations. Plaster them all over town in multiple languages.

How have you used QR codes in church planting? What are some ideas you’re willing to share here?

  • Here are a few other ideas for QR Codes that I picked up from various websites:
    Make it easy for people to see your member’s testimonies – add a QR Code to your next newsletter that drives people to an online page of testimonies. Do a QR Code that links to people ordering free bibles. Make it easy for people to find your church. Put a QR Code in one of your print ads that connects people to Google Maps. Get the most out of your promotional items. If someone’s going to keep a coffee mug or calendar with your logo on their desk, add a QR Code so they can easily access your website. Allow people to view the “making of”, or a behind-the-scenes look at how your team works- like a band rehersal. Create QR Codes that drive people to podcasts of messages. Promote future events- Maybe you don’t want to devote a lot of space on a printed item for an event that will occur in the future. Include a QR Code that directs people online, if they’d like to learn more. Put QR Codes on your printed materials to enable people to easily subscribe for email or SMS alerts. Use them to help people access additional training materials while perusing through a manual or guidebook. Allow people to interact with your greeting cards. A QR Code can allow them to view a personal picture or video from you. Connect your printed newsletter with online material – enable people to easily access additional information about a topic online. Develop interest by putting QR Codes on printed materials that drive people to virtual church tours. Encourage user-generated evangelistic content for the church. Put QR Codes throughout your city or town.
    Give people something to do while they’re waiting… If you often have a captive audience that is waiting in line, put a QR Code on a poster or billboard that is nearby. This will allow them to interact with your church while they are waiting.
    Put a QR Code at the bottom of your blog posts. When people print and save them, they’ll be able to easily get back to your blog later on. Use with name tags or greeter tags with sign up sheet to be a church volunteer. Drive donations for fundraising efforts… Make it easy as possible for people to give by adding a QR Code that drives them to a contribution page.