A great new youth ministry app

Out of the front lines of ministry comes an app designed by youth leaders for youth leaders. There are countless web-based, subscription based web-applications for managing youth ministry. But this is the first mobile app to really leverage the device you have with you all the time, your iPhone.

The app is built with features that will be really helpful in ministry. You are able to capture info from students, track attendance for events, monitor attendance trends over time by gender and school, and create smart filtered groups for powerful communication.

Capturing info gets everything you want from students. It would be nice if every teen came with a business card, but they don’t. So you hand them the phone with the app open and it leads them through a series of screens. By the end, you will have everything you need to follow up with the students, and this info helps create really smart tracking metrics.

Once you create ministry events in the app, you can take attendance or add new students at the event. The attendance screen features a picture of the student as well as their first name or nick name just in case you can’t quite remember everything about a newer student.

As you take attendance at events, the app is automatically generating graphs over time that highlight different statistical metrics. These will show you how your group is growing and how attendance is trending over time. The really helpful part on this screen is being able to show different graphs for gender, school breakdown or all of the students. This can help you catch any trend issues that may be coming up as they happen.

Our favorite feature of the app is really putting all of the data to use on the Groups screen. You can create static groups where you control the participants like “My Leader Students” or “The Worship Team.” You can also create dynamic smart groups like “All the new kids from my last event” or “High school students that have come on a Wednesday but not on a Sunday in the last month.” With the powerful filters in the app, creating smart groups with the data you collect has never been easier.

The bonus feature that only works on iPhones but not on the iPad or the iPod touch (because they lack a phone number) is that you can then send a text message to everyone in those groups with personalized name holders. For instance, you can type out "Hey [NAME]! Just wanted to see if there is anything I could pray for you about?" Then it will auto generate the text message, filling in the right name for each student when you send it. This will seriously cut down on those mass texts and allow youth pastors to say the same thing to a lot of students with a personal touch.

The immediate roadmap for the app is to include a native iPad version in the fall of 2014 and a cloud based backend for accessing and taking attendance on the same database with multiple devices in early 2015. To get on the wait list, visit www.youthministrytracker.com.

The app will debut in August at 33% off for everyone on the list.