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Best Practices -
Breanna Riddell
Breanna Riddell
Content Manager

Youth ministry takes a special kind of person. You know, the type of person who enjoys no sleep, weird games, and lots of yelling. 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. With a 97% open rate (three times more successful than any other communication method), texting is the most sure way to connect. So here are some best practices for texting that you can easily implement in your student ministry.

Create a student ministry subaccount

Before you send your first text, set your ministry up with its own account. Having a subaccount helps intentional communication happen with volunteers and students. Invite your leaders as users in your account and encourage them to engage in two-way conversations with students.

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 newcomers is through a keyword. Each keyword comes with a QR code that you can place in a digital slide during your announcements. When students feel comfortable, they can text that keyword to your long 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 that 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

Set your leaders up for success. 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.

We hope you’ll try some of these strategies out in your student ministry. For any questions, reach out to our support team, or schedule a call. We’re happy to help!

Talk soon. ✌️

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