Text Your Student Ministry
Youth ministry takes a special kind of person. You know, the type of person who enjoys no sleep and weird games. And while you won't find us drinking Sprite through an old sock, we'd love to be a part of your ministry in a different way. The texting kind of way.
Texting is the best way to reach your students. Why? Teenagers are always on their phone. And what's that saying? "If you can't beat them, join them." Well, welcome to the team, friend. Here are a few tips and tricks to get your student texting strategy started.
Create a student ministry subaccount
Before you start communicating with students, create a separate texting account. Subaccounts keep conversations with teens and parents intentional and organized. Invite leaders as users in your account, where they can have two-way conversations.
Dedicate a number to prayer
Encourage a safe space for teens by letting them know their prayer requests will remain confidential. Set up a long code specifically for prayer requests. Your volunteers can easily manage incoming messages by responding straight from their laptop or mobile phone.
Follow up with new students
A simple way to interact with new students is through a keyword. Each keyword comes with a QR code that can be placed in a digital slide during your announcements. When students feel comfortable, they can scan the QR code and automatically enter an onboarding series that welcomes them and encourages them to get connected. You can even use delayed messaging in your workflows to send multiple texts over the course of a few days or weeks, making sure no student falls through the cracks.
Reconnect with students
If you notice a student is absent, send a “check-in” text. Create a list of students you want to touch base with, and update that list each week. Trigger automated messages reminding students they're missed and you hope to see them the following week. If students reply back, you can easily break off into a one-on-one conversation from your inbox.
Make sure no one misses a student event
Students often forget about upcoming events. They seem to be diagnosed with short-term memory loss. 🤔 Luckily, we've got the cure. Send announcement texts that include sign-up links to help eliminate registration stressors. Close the “I never knew about that” communication gap by sending weekly updates to parents and students.
Text during student services
Keep your students focused during a sermon by texting them questions or creating fun trivia games through polls. Display live, on-screen poll results for all students to see. Polls are also helpful for gathering feedback on topics students are interested in studying, what days are best for small groups, or what snacks to have at the next event.
Empower volunteer leaders
Create small group lists and encourage your leaders to send weekly texts to the groups they lead. You can also use lists to send recurring updates to your volunteers, reminding them to reach out to their groups. This is a great way to encourage your leaders, remind them of upcoming services/events, or send small group materials.
Stay connected at all times
Connect from anywhere at anytime. For unexpected event cancelations, parent questions, when Tyler breaks his leg for the third time, or reminder announcements – send messages from the mobile app (IOS or Android). Make sure to enable push notifications for your mobile app.
Talk soon. ✌️