student ministry and technology

I don’t presume to be any sort of leader in ministry or in technology, but here is the “tech” i use for in our ministry. I’d love to hear your suggestions and opinions about what is better to use or why you use something different:

Facebook – We have facebook groups for our jr high group (roots) and our sr. high group (current). I send out messages whenever something is going on. I create events, write on students’ wall, upload pictures, chat with parents. Pretty great place to network.

Twitter – None of the students are on twitter. In fact, very few people in our church are on twitter (though I do have a twitter account for our church). I use twitter to get ideas, learn from smarter people, and connect with other youth ministry types.

Simply Youth Ministry Text – I use this program to send out scheduled mass text messages. I can pre-schedule a message to an entire group, to students from a certain school, or just the guys. This is my primary way of communicating with students. If I had to cut down to using only one thing on this list, I would keep this one and drop all the others. I do have a couple of students who don’t have cell phones yet and they tend to fall through the cracks when I only use this medium.

YouTube – I upload videos to our youtube channel. Sometimes it’s promo videos, sometimes it’s dumb stuff. Good stuff.

EasyWorship – This is our presentation software. I pretty much hate it and would rather use anything else, but it is what our church has right now. It crashes a ton, doesn’t work well with video files, has ugly fonts, and is pretty limited. Don’t pick this if you’re shopping around.

YouthTracker.net – I don’t have an assistant or anyone who can keep an excel sheet up to date and functional and Chris recommended this gem to me. YouthTracker.Net is a gold mine. I use it to track attendance, keep track of registration for trips, remember birthdays, compile addresses/phone numbers of students, and keep track of which students haven’t been contacted in a long time. I love this. I’m on it every day.

WingClips – I use this to find relevant clips to download for message illustrations. I get pretty frustrated with the database, but our church uses it so I essentially have a free membership. Also, easyworship doesn’t handle big file sizes so i’m left either showing low quality clips or trying to not crash easyworship. Nice.

PollEverywhere – I use this to have audience surveys. Students can text their responses in and I get to track them real time. We used this service to do a series called “txt” where the students sent in questions for the adult leaders via text message and we were able to get into some interesting stuff. I’d recommend it for anyone.

that’s all I got. What technology services or products to you use in your ministry? Which of these would you tell me not to use? Which of these would you recommend to others?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. adam,

    does youth tracker cost money?

    Reply

  2. @Jeremy

    Yeah, there is a monthly cost.

    Reply

  3. i’d add http://planningcenteronline.com we use it in the big church and i added an account for us. it is a huge tool. web based.

    Reply

  4. Posted by joshdecker on May 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

    For ministry admin, I’ve found that Youth Assistant is a great tool: event:http://tinyurl.com/porpyz. There’s some stuff that isn’t really applicable, like biometric scanning, but overall it’s a good tool. Is a little pricey, but it’s a one-time expense instead of a recurring fee.

    Also, I do a weekly newsletter with my group, and use iContact for that: http://www.icontact.com/a.pl/397696. Again, a little bit of expense, but helps manage a list, integrates with our website for subscription management, and tracking for effectiveness tracking (good when presenting to our church elders why we’re putting out the money).

    Other than that, I do use polleverywhere.com as well. Did you know they just added a twitter application as well? Really cool stuff!

    Reply

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