Whether you love technology, or have just recently become adequate at it because you had to, we can all agree that when you find the right tool at the right time, technology can have great benefits to our work on a daily basis. Recently though it seems like Zoom is the only tech tool anyone seems to think has any value for youth ministry. So I want to share 5 tech tools that can have great impact on your ministry, Zoom not included.
WeVideo is a web-based video editing program. You may already have a preferred video editor like iMovie or Final Cut or Adobe Premiere if you are more advanced in your video creations. I also use those, but there are times where WeVideo becomes my tool of choice even though I have access to higher end programs. Here are a few reasons why, and why I think you should check it out. Especially if you are a Windows user and just wanting to dip your toe in the waters of video editing.
- Web-based so you can login from any device and continue working.
- Collaborative so multiple people can add to and edit the project.
- Google Drive integration for easy sharing and importing of clips.
- Full control over title slides so you can change the font, font style, font color, background. and color of each line.
- Huge library of stock video footage and audio.
- Green screen color picker so you can remove things that aren’t Chroma key if you do not have access to a green screen.
This one is definitely worth a look.
2. Google Keep
I know a lot of you probably use One Note or something similar. But I like keep because it has the app and web based version. This way if I am on my computer I can leave the tab up and easily add notes for sermons, important phone calls, or just to do lists. Then I can also pull them up on my mobile device later. Another great feature is the ability to share notes for collaboration and feedback. But maybe my favorite things is the reminders so that I do not forget important meetings or tasks.
3. Google Slides
Yes, I really like Google tools. Sure, you can just use PowerPoint. But the reason I bring up Google Slides, specifically for Youth Ministry is the Google slides Q&A. Students can submit questions as you teach and those get saved. This way you can address them in real time, at the end, or evaluate them later to see what you might need to re-teach, who you might need to reach out to, and what you might need to teach on next. It is a great way to add some interactivity and engagement into your lessons.
I know a lot of you are Apple users. I am too. I know a lot of you utilize Apple TV’s. I do too. But I recently discovered Chromecast. If you are not familiar with them, they are similar to an Apple TV. It allows you to share content onto your TV if you do not have a Smart TV. The difference is it has no built in apps. You share to the TV by tapping the cast button on your Mobile device. Here is why I like it the most though. Once you cast music, a video, or presentation from your phone, laptop, or tablet, you can leave the app and do something else and the screen does not change unlike Airplay if you have experience with that. So I can cast my presentation for example, then go pull up my notes in Google Keep, or the Bible in the YouVersion bible App(another great tech tool). I absolutely love the freedom of still having access to use my device while also sharing content with my students.
5. The Youth Ministry Toolbox
Okay, I am partial to this one because I built it. But I wanted to make sure you were aware that we made some massive changes recently to make it a true toolbox for youth ministry.
- A true tap and go attendance system for your events
- Automated weekly Birthday reports with Birthday reminders the morning of each students Birthday
- Reports for not only attendance but also Salvations and spiritual growth
- Fully digital sermons, Sunday School Curriculum, and Disciple/NowRetreat Curriculum so you can login, pull up your lesson and teach
- Add unlimited leaders so they can access the lessons as well and help you take attendance or contact students.
- A lot more so I really do hope you will check out the new Youth Ministry Toolbox and see how we are working to change youth ministry.
Technology can be a burden sometimes when it is either too difficult to use or you try to force it where it is not needed. But when you find the right tools, like the ones on this list, you will be amazed at how it can transform the way you do ministry.