Technology has become an integral part of the way we do ministry; from the way we communicate to the tools we use to plan. It can even be essential to the efficiency of our work. So, how can we better our ministries with technology? We sat down with Aaron Knigge, youth director at a local church in Minneapolis, and he gave us the inside scoop on the apps he recommends for youth workers. Let’s dive in.
Planning center is a tool widely used by churches to notify volunteers when it’s their time to serve. Knigge’s church utilizes it across all their ministries, creating fluid communication of events and, who/what needs present. The technology is easy and simple to use. The software comes in app form and has an intuitive website for those without smartphones. If you want to give it a try, there’s a free trial that doesn’t even require your credit card. Check it out!
Quick communication with leaders
Every youth ministry has its last-minute needs.
“With youth ministry, you can’t always predict how things will go,” said Knigge. “You have to be able to communicate quickly with your volunteers, and that’s been made a lot easier with Voxer. You just speak your message and hit send. No texting it out, just quick and easy communication.”
Voxer is free and available for all smartphones. Find out more info here.
Communication with students
When communicating with students, remember that there’s no equal playing field when it comes to technology.
“Not every kid has cellular service or the same type of phone, but they usually have some sort of smart device,” said Knigge. “You can’t just have a big iMessage group to communicate. WhatApp has given us the ability to reach out to everybody easily across different devices.”
WhatsApp is free to use and will allow you to let your kids know quickly about event updates, last minute get-togethers, or even just some encouragement you may have for them.
Knigge shared that while technology has been essential to his ministry, it comes with the downside of distracting students. Many students can be glued to their phones and it can be a hinderance to ministry time.
Sound like a familiar issue?
“Use technology for your planning and communication, but it when it comes time to connect with each other at youth group – do the unpopular thing and ask students to put their phones away,” said Knigge. “It’s worth it.”
Our weekly Youth Ministry Podcast continues the conversation for youth leaders by offering essential tips, insight, and inspiration! Catch our latest episode or catch up on our library here.