My Five Youth Ministry Favorites
Today, I'd like to share with you all some of my youth ministry favorites. In no particular order, I have compiled a list of things that make my job just a little bit easier.
1. Favorite App - Remind 101:
One of the biggest challenges I faced when I initially began my youth ministry journey was finding a way to contact my students and volunteers. Even with a small group, it can be pretty difficult texting every person individually. And texting everyone in a group can be hard, too. (I mean, really...who likes getting stuck in group messages that cause your phone to go off constantly?) There are several apps out there that could be a possible solution to your ministry communication problem, but my go-to has become Remind.
If you have children in school, you've probably heard about Remind 101, as it is used by teachers to stay in touch with students and parents. You all know that as a former aspiring teacher, I tend to steal a lot of ideas from the education world. I love using Remind to stay in touch with everyone in our ministry, because it allows you to create different groups (or classes) and adding people to them is super easy. Another great thing about this app is that you can send a message to an entire group and others can reply to you individually--not to everyone else. Say goodbye to annoying group message notifications! There's so much more I could say about Remind, but I'll let you learn more for yourself. Check it out here!
2. Favorite Curriculum: Grow Curriculum
Before working in student ministry, I never knew how important the topic of curriculum would be. When looking for the right set of lessons and teachings for your students, there are several questions to ask: Is it Biblical? Is it relevant? Will it keep the attention of my students? Will it work for the size of our group?
While there are tons of great curriculums out there, my absolute favorite would have to be Grow Curriculum from Stuff You Can Use. Not only do you receive a year's worth of incredible lessons (written by ACTUAL youth workers!), but you get tons of game ideas, ministry resources, and so much more to help grow your youth group both deep and wide. Click here to learn more about Grow!
3. Favorite Check-In System: Grow Numbers
Not only does Stuff You Can Use put out great curriculum, but they also have an awesome Check-In and Database system. This system is affordable and incredibly easy to use on any phone, tablet, or computer. We use it on Sunday mornings to check our students in quickly. It has allowed us to ensure that we have all student information on hand when we need it, as well!
Grow Numbers will also send you a weekly report that gives you information about that week's check-ins, as well as a list of upcoming birthdays in your youth group. Even if you have a current check-in system that you are using, consider checking out Grow Numbers here!
4. Favorite Podcast: Teach 4 The Heart
Okay, this was a tough one, as there are a number of incredible student ministry podcasts out there. However, I always find myself looking to one that not only gives me great ideas, but keeps me encouraged in my relationship with the Lord.
The Teach 4 The Heart Podcast is hosted by a former teacher whose goal is to inspire educators to be the best they can be, while remembering to always keep God at the center of what they do. I know what you're thinking, and yes, a part of me loving this podcast comes from my "former teacher side". But, this podcast covers so many things that relate to student ministry. For instance, keeping your students' attention and learning how to see students individually--just to name a few. If you want to be encouraged and learn how to best lead your group, check out Teach 4 the Heart here!
5. Favorite Store: Five Below
I have yet to meet a student minister that doesn't like to purchase cool stuff for their ministry at a cheap price. When it comes to looking for prizes, candy, or things to place around our youth space, Five Below is my go-to store. If you've never heard of Five Below, picture this: An entire store filled with Target Dollar Spot items.
It's that amazing.
You can buy pretty much anything at this store--candy, decor, electronics, cards, games--all for $5.00 and under. And for the most part, the products are good quality! And, if you don't have one in your area, you can shop their website! Click here and be amazed at every youth pastor's dream store.
There are so many things I wished I could have added to this list. If I did, though, we'd be here all day.
So, tell me...what are some of your favorite youth ministry resources?