SYM Tools helps you get organized in youth ministry

My messy desk
This is my desk as I write this. I’m obviously not the most organized person in the world. (Click to enlarge my mess.)

Simply Youth Ministry has been working hard on their SYM Tools product for a long time and so far it’s looking pretty sweet! It’s an online tool that helps youth workers organize various parts of their ministry in one, easy-to-use location: communication, volunteers, contacts, and more. Anyone who glances at my desk will see that I’m not the most organized person in the world. In fact, the photo to the right is a picture of my desk as I write this post. (Click it to enlarge my mess.)

For people like me, Simply Youth Ministry Tools is a very welcomed resource!

I had the opportunity to interview Jake Rasmussen, the lead guy behind this resource. Below is our discussion, but first here’s a quick video highlighting SYM Tools:

TIM: How will the SYM Tools attempt to help youth workers who struggle with administration?

JAKE: As you know, one of the heartbeats of Simply Youth Ministry is to help youth workers with what matters most. We desire to help youth workers look good though the use of these Tools and to allow for students to be cared more and impacted greater by the Gospel.

Contact – This is the online Rolodex. It’s in the cloud and all your contacts in one place: Students, Parents, Volunteers, Vendors, Grandma. Did I mention this was in the cloud? That means you can empower others to assist you with the data entry!

Communicate – We have worked hard to develop a Tool to assist you in talking with people where they are. We know you desire to have your message and reminders to get to them where they are. This Tool will do it. Currently, it is though the medium of text message. Oh, here is something new for you and your Schmoyerites. Text2Join is coming this year!!!

Simply Youth Ministry ToolsTeam – We have heard over the years this deep desire to have an easy to use Tool to help raise the bar of leadership within a churches’ youth ministry. This Tool does that. It assists you in setting up an outward facing webpage where your current and potential volunteers will fill out an application. This will alert, you, the lead youth worker that someone has submitted an application. They we provide a plethora of resources for the next potential steps. Like reference checks, interviewing and background checks. “What,” you say? Yep Tim, that’s right. We have created a partnership with LexisNexus, a leader in background checks, to run backgrounds checks on your behalf and have that data come back into your dashboard. Once a new victim, I mean… awesome volunteer is approved then they are provided with their own login credentials so they can log in an access online video training.

Attendance – We are developing a Tool to track those connected to your ministry as they attend different events. It will all be online. We are talking web check-in, reporting, notifications for connecting with students who have been missing in action, and so much more. This Tool will be RAD!

TIM: We all know solid communication is critical in youth ministry because people will form their opinions about us and our ministry based on how included they feel with news and information. How will the SYM Tools help us communicate better?

JAKE: Using the Tools suite you will be able to:

  • See whom you are communicating to. Using the free Tool “Contact” you will be able to have unlimited Groups and Teams (sub-groups). You can drill down to exactly whom you desire to communicate with. The Junior High guys or the High School Drama Ministry Team, or Parents of high school Seniors.
  • Using the soon to be revamped Communicate Tool you can talk with those who need to hear your message where they are at, via text message. A lot of emails go unread but text messages on the other hand are read almost all the time. So, if you want to word to get out, think about using a text message next time.

TIM: What feature coming up at SYM Tools are you most excited about?

JAKE: Team and Text-2-Join I am totally stoked about! After chatting with hundreds of youth workers the past few months it is easy to see the need of the “Team” Tool. We are also excited about the price points to allow most churches the ability to take advantage of this amazing Tool. And Text-2-Join will be a sweet upgrade within the “Communicate” Tool. For $10 a month ministries will purchase a “keyword.” You know, “Text the Word SYM to XXXXXX” kind of thing. This is one of the most asked for upgrades right now.

TIM: When will all these features be available?

The current timeline is this:

Communicate – Live now! It is still branded SimplyTxT but soon will be rebranded as “Communicate” with Text-2-Join coming this fall. But, just for Life In Student Ministry readers we have a 45 day FREE trial. Just use the promo code: studentministry

Team – This will go live late summer.

Contact – This will go live this fall.

Attendance – This winter.

And more Tools are in the pre-planning stages as we speak.

I am always available to chat about Tools as well. There are many avenues to connect with me.

Check out!

[ Full Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post ]

Posted on June 7, 2011

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