Do you use a texting service for communicating with students in your youth ministry? 

To be honest, I didn’t have a plan.  I thought that facebook, twitter, handouts, emails and instagram were all great ways to communicate with students.  I was wrong!  I was missing one of the single most effective ways to communicate today with teenagers.  The thing I was missing was a texting program.

This past year I was researching what the best program was to sent texts.  I wanted to set this up, and succeed from day one.  The program that I landed with is called tatango.   I have written about this program in the past, Get A Great Texting Service At 20% Off,  The Best Texting Program for Youth Ministry.  I personally think this is one of the best texting resources online, and it is worth the $20 a month fee.

Here are two things you need to do before we start this series up:

1.  Get a tatango account.  This is the program that I am going to show you in detail.  We will show you how to se up a campaign, and how to build a list of students.  If you are purchasing an account don’t pay the full price, use this promo code to get 20% off, NPDISCOUNT.  My texting list grows every week because it is the best way to communicate what is happening with your youth ministry.  I am trying to sell my church on this service.

2.  Get ready to see results.  I was so skeptical, and I only signed up because it was free for 7 days.  I used it then next week at my youth group and over 50% of the students signed up.  That weekend there was an event, and I sent a text message out, and I was amazed at what I saw.  I still can’t believe that each week when I send out a message 100% of the students see it.  That today is crazy.  If I facebook something out, only 33% of students see it unless you have a strategy.  I love using this program.

Here is where the series is going to go:

1. Setting the texting service up

2. Building a texting list

3. Using social media

4. Keeping students connected

5. Building a strategy that you can pass off.


I look forward to your interactions during this series!  Do you have a texting service for your youth ministry?  If so, what do you use? 





  • Tatango no longer has practical plans for ministry. They were really good but I contacted them recently and no longer off plans for $20 or anything like that. I went to smsmarketing360 and got a plan for $25 that is unlimited texts for up to 250 people.

    • I didn’t realize they changed it. I am talking with them to see if they would be able to offer the cheaper deal through me!

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  • Why not use Twitter to accomplish the same thing for free? All they have to do is type “follow (whatever your user name is)” to the number 40404. Then whatever you tweet they receive in a text. Set up an account strictly for text announcements and tell your students to follow it on their phones.

    • How would they “unfollow” the account if they want to stop receiving texts?

      • Thanks for the comment John. All you would do is type “stop” and you will opt out of the texting service.

  • THELukeAngus

    Yeah, I had an incredible deal with them for a while, but they bumped up prices so much on me that I left as well. Now I use

    • Hey Luke, I am working out a deal with another company to provide a great resource to youth pastors. I am tired of companies switching the price.

      • THELukeAngus

        Great! If you can beat my current pricing, I’d definitely be interested.

    • Thanks for the comment Luke! It is too bad that tatango up’d their price.

  • chetcromer

    So true… If you want to get a hold of a teen, you’ll have better luck sending them a text than knocking on their front door when you know they’re home.

    At my church, we use It’s a tool I’ve helped build (disclaimer) but is set apart from other tools in that it is FOUNDED on the notion that we as leaders of youth must set strong boundaries and keep ourselves accountable – especially to parents. Kids can’t get connected with a group until their parent gives permission, and there is never any exchange of phone numbers. Parents get a weekly (or live) email showing all the communication that went back and forth between the leader and their children.

    There’s all sorts of tools out there for bulk texting and public feeds, but so many of them require the parent to “go looking” for what’s being communicated to their kids. While we make the parent jump through a hoop at the beginning by making them sign up their kids, from that point on it’s extremely easy for them to monitor what’s being said to their kids.

    Again, this is my product. I’d love to talk to others about using it. But in reality, I’m just glad to see people like you posting about this and continuing to raise awareness and get us leaders of youth to do SOMETHING before we wind up with a cell phone full of personal, private contact information for a bunch of hormone-charged girls and boys.

    • Thanks for the comment chet! I will check out your program! If there is anyway I could help you please let us know!

      • I appreciate that, and thanks for checking out our site. What is quite helpful for us right now is finding some others with shared values and platforms from which we can share our value based ideas. If a guest blog post or Q&A is something you’d be interested in, I’d be more than happy to do so.


  • why not just use a group txt app like “group sms” for iphone?

    • Aaron, if that app works for you use it! I like using a professional program, plus I don’t want a ton of replies to my phone personally.

  • Eli

    remind101 it is free

  • Kelly

    We use Flocknote for our youth ministry. I like that it will send a text and/or email and they even have call option. You can send messages from their site, app or your email. Lots of cool options. Downside, multi-step, slightly complicated sign up.

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