Okay, that is an arrogant statement. But we have seen a lot of people talking online about how they changed youth ministry or are preparing to and promising you something different, but nothing really changes.
For years we(Jamie and I) have been deeply invested in youth ministry just like you and have faced the same challenges of overloaded schedules, tight budgets, and pressure from all sides. So we wanted to make sure that you were aware of 5 changes we made when with our recent overhaul of the Youth Ministry Toolbox. Because we realized, even before the recent global pandemic, that we needed to do things differently in order to better utilize our time and resources and most importantly reach students. This allowed for more community outreach, time for students and leaders, partnerships with schools, resources to invest in feeding students, and more students reached. So we rolled them all into the Youth Ministry Toolbox and think they might just transform the way you do ministry as well.
1. Everything on one site.
We got sick of going to a million sites and remembering just as many logins for our youth ministry resources. So we changed that. No more going one place for your sermons and games, another for your small group Bible Study curriculum, another for retreat/Disciple now curriculum, and yet another app for attendance and student information. We have put everything on one site.
That means that for every event, from Sunday Morning, to midweek, to camp, to follow-up, you get to go to one place for everything you need.
2. One trip to the financial secretary per year.
A long time ago we discovered one of our biggest time wasters, which in turn was one of our biggest detractors from being able to invest in students the way we should, was going over and over again for PO’s, reimbursements, and permission to purchase be that on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. We figured you were in the same boat.
So we now offer an annual subscription in tiers so you can get everything you need and nothing you don’t.
This means you go for one reimbursement or purchase approval per year and you are done.
This also means you are not having to remember how many credits you have left for downloads and are not left wondering how much you have actually spent on games and sermons this year.
3. Multi-platform compatibility.
We got tired of having to have a specific device, requesting IT to install something, or even worse data and information being tied to our phone or Dropbox and having to go through the hassle of getting data from our leaders. Not to mention there are certain things your phone can’t do so our data was not very useful. So we built our tools to be web based and work on mobile and desktop platforms with unique features to each experience. For example, if you want to print rosters, postcards, mailing labels, or curriculum, our desktop version offers that. But maybe you want to quickly communicate to a student or leader on your phone? Our mobile version is formatted for tap and go contact to those in your ministry.
So no matter where you or your leaders are the tools you need are readily available.
4. Leader Access.
Why do we buy tools and then only we can get benefit from them? This was a hard question we had to ask ourselves. Especially when our leaders are truly the backbone of our ministries. So we made some changes. We set the Youth Ministry Toolbox up so that leaders can login and access info and data for groups and students assigned to them, or all students if they are high capacity leaders and you want to make them account admins. Also, leaders can pull up their curriculum right on their preferred device. This not only means it is easier for them to prepare, but also you save time by not having to re-order and re-distribute the curriculum. You also get the added bonus of you and your leaders being ready for whatever meeting format you find yourself having to accommodate.
5. Spiritual Growth Tracking Tools.
We do have attendance taking tools and data reports, we think they are great, but who doesn’t these days? If students lives are not changing then what is the point? But do you know whether or not your students are growing spiritually?
Honestly we did not. While we accept you can never fully quantify where a student is spiritually growing, we did add in features and reports to our data management tools to track when a student gets saved and whether or not they have progressed through what we believe to be 10 important spiritual milestones before they leave our ministry. You can use our goals or create your own.
I want to add one last thing. Every tool, feature, and resource we have in the Youth Ministry Toolbox came from talking to youth pastors just like you and hearing your needs or from our own conversations with each other of how we can better reach students. So you can know that everything we have and continue to build and add is created by youth pastors, for youth pastors.