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Posts Tagged ‘text’


Relationships. It’s a topic every youth pastor has to do a series on at least once a year.  So the question arises, “How do I keep it fresh? (since we’re really saying the same thing every time). Here’s one way…ask.  A couple weeks ago I posted about Poll Everywhere, a text voting service that we use. Here is one way we are using it.

Next week I’m starting a relationship series and for the first 5 min. of the sermon will give an introduction on “relationships”. During this time, students will VOTE for which question about relationships they want to hear about (see pic, click to enlarge). The poll will animate in real-time and I will then proceed with the most popular answer. At the close of the talk, I will again open another poll for questions that they now have as a result of this sermon (see next pic). And, just like that, there is complete interaction between the “Pastor” and the “congregant”.  How many times have I sat and said, I want to hear more about THIS or THAT. Well, these students will now have that option! I’ll let you know how it goes! Or you can watch our LIVE broadcast on May 19th at 7pm. Click here for our LIVE BROADCAST link.

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Simply TXT

Email is dead. Youth communicate primarily through text, so why are you still trying to communicate your announcements through email, snail mail, and (God forbid) fliers!

With mass text messaging you can communicate instantly to your entire youth group or congregation! Simply Youth Ministry has come up with a ministry focused program with a 30 day free trial and per month fees as low as $10.

How we have used it:
1) Youth group announcements
2) Sign-ups. Example: We need volunteers for VBS, text me back if you want more information.
3) On our church bulletin we have a tear off section: “Sign-up for Text Message Announcements”
4) On our Uturn website students can sign up to receive these announcements
5) Reminder announcements about events and weekly info about what’s going on at Uturn
6) Bible Verse reading for the day

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www.polleverywhere.com A-ma-zing. This little web software has an infinite number of applications. LIVE AUDIENCE POLLING through text.  It’s free for the first 30 responses, then the monthly fee kicks in. You can poll and have free rolling texts. Simple and effective. Here’s some application to ministry:

1) A game. Create a keyword for “boy” and “girl” and have the kids text in as much as possible, over and over and see the bar graph jump in real time.  Which gender can type faster!
2) A question. “What if….” and you let each person fill in the blank with their texts.
3) A survey. Each week poll your congregation with a question, this software will generate reports.
4) Voting or fund-raising. Have a contest and the audience can vote (once, they have the option to restrict voting to 1 vote per number) for a winner.
5) Choose your own adventure, I mean sermon. Start a message, pitch your 3 points, and let the audience decide which one you actually speak on…LIVE.

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We use this idea at least every 5 weeks in our youth group, Uturn. One of my recent epiphanies has been that I do a lot of reading about what this “next generation”  needs to hear and not a lot of asking.  So, we have TEXT ANYTHING nights. It involves a panel of experts on stage who will answer anonymous questions that are texted in and show up on the display screen. So, how do you do this…for free?
Simple Steps.
1) Sign up for a free account at http://www.textmarks.com/.  This will allow you to have anyone send a text to 41411 + (your keyword that you decide on, name of your organization, etc.) their message. It will collect all answers, completely anonymously, and then…

2) You can copy/paste them into your presentation program of choice: PowerPoint, Media Shout, Pro Presenter (my favorite) and send them up on the display screen so that your panel can answer them.

3) There really isn’t a step 3, but since most pastors only speak in 3 points, I’ll make one up (they’ve been known to do this too).  Another application for this technology. People can text in questions throughout the presenter’s speech or sermon and then the presenter can take a few of those questions at the end of his message.

Well, that’s it. Text Anything. Look for more “texting” ideas. I’ve actually stopped asking kids to put away their phones during service, they have become such an incredible tool for engagement.

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