As a youth pastor I want to be able to communicate regularly with my youth. “Hey everyone Youth Group this week is going to be awesome, we’ve got Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley and Francis Chan coming to do a panel- make sure you don’t miss it!” (Then send t0 200 recipients).
Sometimes when I’m organizing an event, like probably the most original awesome camp ever conceived, I want to check who’s coming, whether they need more information, or what they think of the new camp-food menu option- vegan tofu pie. “So with record setting signups to camp, I just wanted to check whether you are a: ‘definite’, ‘maybe’, ‘no’ or ‘stop-bugging-me’. If you are a ‘maybe’, do you need the camp-brochure? Also, how do you like your tofu-pie- ‘rare’, ‘medium’, or ‘well done’?”
The trouble is SMS text or WhatApp communication is not really geared to do this easily.
- Recipients numbers are limited to 20 for texts.
- Youth change their phone numbers and forget to tell me so I can update my contacts.
- Other youth leaders want to contact the whole group but have to do that through me who has the master contact list.
- Then I can’t make the message interactive with recipients able to select my response options.
What I need is an app that overcomes these obstacles.
- Ability for youth to update their own contact details
- Ability for leaders to create a message with various components they can drop into the message- yes/no option, select from multiple choices option (selecting one or many of choices), request additional info to be sent to their email option
- Automatically create groups and sub groups from the options youth select in the message- then, for example, I can follow up the ‘maybes’ with a message just by selecting this group of recipients for the particular event the original message was about.
- Some youth use only sms text form communication (because they don’t have data) so needs to work using this system.
I imagine a database behind this where contact details (Name, phone number, email address etc) and groups, sub-groups are stored.
The beauty (and originality) of the app would be the way it creates groups based on the selections made by the message recipients. By recipients selecting from several options (eg. yes, no, maybe) and a group being automatically made for each option, now I can tailor future messages to (say) just the yes group- potentially giving them additional choices.
This would revolutionize how I as a youth pastor can communicate with my youth group and would be useful for the wider church and anyone who wants to communicate with this kind of interactivity.