I recently had a youth pastor (Marcus Linton) ask me, “I’m looking into getting an app or some sort of program of some sort that would allow me to send out mass/group SMS text messages to my students. Could you help?”
Many student pastors and small group leaders are looking for different ways to communicate with students. I have tried multiple social media methods including facebook, instagram, emails, phone calls, and at the end of the day…drumroll please…the most effective way to reach a student where they are at is through text messaging! 96% of the time a student will check their text message right away.
We live in an era that communication is unfolding at a rapid rate. Though I’m 26 and part of the Y generation where we think anything is possible, and the world is a smaller place due to Internet and communication, I have the hardest time keeping up with the birth rate of technology. There is a new way to communicate every day.
How does this benefit youth ministry? How can we leverage the technology that has been given to us? Well, I have been introduced to GroupMe a few times this past year and believe it is time for us in student ministry to take the dive and try this out. GroupMe is definitely safer than private text messaging, technology can be used for good and bad, especially when it comes to adults communicating with students. There are loopholes with any app, or piece of technology, this one not excused but is much more above reproach than private messaging via text, fb, email, etc. This could be the answer to your problems Marcus, give it a try and let me know if it helps. Here are a few quick facts…
- It’s FREE! (However, regular text messaging rates apply. Most people have unlimited.)
- Set up multiple groups (I will be setting up some for my different leader groups) Your small group leaders could set up a GroupMe for their students.
- Collect money toward an event, project, or purchase – everyone can chip in!
- MUTE notifications…beware, it will blow up your phone once tons of people start replying. There is a way to MUTE the group so your phone isn’t constantly beeping at you.