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I was recently asked by a friend of mine from college about 5 tools for youth ministry that I use on a regular basis. This is a bit different than my normal, “What apps do you like?” question I’m asked. I took it as a welcome change of pace to evaluate anything that could be seen as a tool, and what I use most.
Here, in no particular order, is my answer. 5 tools I regularly use for youth ministry.
The campus I pastor at is about a 40 minute drive from the central campus. Theres usually something each week that requires me to make the commute, and there’s no other way I’d rather spend it than listening to podcasts. Sometimes, I’ll listen to other pastors. If I do that, I end up trying to rip sermons, which isn’t how I want to operate. Instead, I’ll end up listening to leadership podcasts or, more often than not, Doug and his team. It’s nice to hear questions from other pastors fielded by veterans. If you haven’t listened, check it out.
It may go without saying, but I’m a blog fan. Google Reader allows me to subscribe to any blog I want to. It compiles the feeds, and sorts them in order of publishing time, and even tracks which ones I’ve read and not read. Usually, I’ll use FLIPBOARD to read them on my iPad or iPhone every few nights. In case you’re curious, I have a healthy balance of leadership, church leadership, photography, and student ministry blogs!
I just wrote a blog post on this, it’s an app I’ve returned to for writing anything from blog posts to sermon outlines/manuscripts. Helps me push through distractions and get done anything I need to write!
Dropbox is an every week tool for me. Usually even daily! We live in a computer saturated world. I have a laptop for work, an iMac at home, an iPad and and iPhone (fanboy anyone?). If I want to work on an Excel sheet at home, pick it up at work, and show it in a meeting, I’ll throw it up on dropbox. I know Apple’s iCloud does something along these lines, but Dropbox is what I’ve used, it’s what I know, it’s free, and I like it. I’d encourage anyone to check it out, it’s a time saver, and a CD-RW saver!
By this, I mean relationships with other people in ministry in particular. I love having a group of student pastors I can text when I’ve got a question. Some are in town, most are even out of state, but having “go to” people is helpful. I’d encourage you, through Youthmin.org, twitter, facebook, or anything else, reach out to some other student pastors. Develop relationships that you trust, so when hard times come, you have encouragement, outside opinion, and experienced wisdom to keep you in check!
What about you, what are some tools you’ve found super helpful over the years?