6 Common Technologies You Can Use in Youth Ministry
10.09.2014 posted by Chris Marchand
How much tech do you use in your youth ministry? Do you use tech at all? How do you keep it all straight? Who manages it? Do you farm it out? Do your students keep everything up to date? Most of you would probably say Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are the key sites that you regularly access. Here are some apps and ideas to help you utilize technology for ministry.
Announcements can eat into your group time like a pile of maggots on decomposing flesh. Okay… that was graphic. However, announcements and even unplanned announcements can drastically eat into your small group, games, and large group teaching time. Here’s a tip. Don’t do announcements live at group. If you are going to do announcements keep them very short. Use YouTube as a means to broadcast your pre-recorded video announcement messages. Take some time during the week. Record a video of yourself communicating the key announcements. You can use your phone or your computers webcam to do this. Then, post them to YouTube and have your students and parents subscribe to your channel. Boom! You just have a permanent archive of announcements. You can send anyone the link at any time for the important information related to next week’s camping trip, etc.… Aside from announcements you can also use YouTube to send your students and parents messages quickly. Everything from a sermon teaser to policy and program updates.
You don’t have to be at small group in order to have a small group. Is it winter break and your students are scattered? Have a quick thirty-minute hangout and catch up. You can see each other and meet to pray or just go around the room and share what is going on. Also, want to make sure your guys or girls are doing their study? Google classroom is a great tool (though it’s a bit formal) to give “assignments” to your small group. You can have them respond to questions you might want to send their way in order to prep them.
No more prayer request in spiral ring notebooks that get drenched in Mountain Dew. Put it all online. Create a notebook of prayer requests and invite your students to share a notebook. Your group will always have the requests and can add to them as well. You can use Evernote for just about anything from word processing to a pre-camp or retreat checklist for your students and parents. Eliminate paper that will most certainly end up in the back of their cars or on the floor of your meeting space.
Did you see something online and know that it would make a good sermon illustration? Pocket is a great app that can help store images, articles, and anything you might want to use later. No more bookmarking webpages. Pocket is a great app to use as you surf the web and gather ideas that can translate into message illustrations or training for your volunteer leaders. Consider it a second brain as you soak in the web.
If you communicate with your students then texting is probably thrown into the mix somewhere. I like the new voice-messaging feature from the new IOS 8.0 update. It’s a new an interesting way to get Scripture to your students. Instead of a daily verse app… just record yourself saying the verse of the day and send it to your students. Send program updates to your students. Record gross sounds and send them as texts. The sky is the limit.
I like to know what the pastor or ministry leader is reading. If they are not reading… I’m worried. Goodreads is a great app for sharing what you’re reading with your faith community. You can do so much in this particular app. Let your parents know what curriculum you’re using or what books you have recently read. Also, find out what your students are reading or what your leaders and parents are reading. If you want to know a lot about someone then just ask him or her what books they are reading.