youth ministry programs

First Thoughts On Mavericks OS X

OS X Mavericks



Have you updated to OS X Mavericks yet? 

Last week apple dropped it’s new operating system called OS X Mavericks.  The best part about it is that it’s free!  I love that.  I hate to admit that I was still running my Mac pro and my iMac on snow leopard…yikes!  I was excited to hear that not only was it free, but that it is available for Apple computers all the way back to 2007.  It took about 30 minutes to download the 5.8 gigs, and another 30minutes to install Mavericks.  It was straight forward and easy to install.

Here are the things we love about it: 

1. Syncing every device.  I love that I can pull up a map and send it to my iphone.  I could email, or airdrop it to someone.  It is great being able to answer messages on my Mac Pro or iMac.  It is nice to have my iPad and iPhone synced to my desktop.  It makes the case for why I am all Apple, everything works together.

2. Calendar.  I have never like the OS X calendars of the past.  They looked terrible and were hard to use.  Do you remember the weird leather design?  Google seemed to be taking an edge until this release.

I love the new calendar.  One feature that is handy for youth ministry is the year view feature.  It will show red, yellow, or white for when days are jammed packed, or not.  It is an advantage to look at a yearly church calendar and see if there will be issues around events.  Love this feature.

3. Tabs.  I am a tab junky.  It is common for my intern to jump on my computer and instantly close 20+ tabs.  I love being able to read, and that is usually how I keep content until it ends up in evernote.  I love that I can create tabs in finder windows.  I just have to remember to keep closing them.

4. Notifications.  I love the new notifications for OS X Mavericks.  Being able to reply to an email, or respond to a iMessage from the notifications is awesome.  One feature that has been handy is to set the do not disturb during critical work hours so that I can focus on what is truly important . I can’t wait to modify this more, and learn how to use it to make me more productive.


Here is what we hate about it: 

1. The mail client is still horrible.  I hate Mac Mail program.  It is terrible.  We will post tomorrow on three programs to make you mac better.  One program has to do with mail because Mac Mail is just brutal.  With the rise of Gmail and apps like Mailbox, Apple needs to be aggressive in this space.


Why wouldn’t you get OS X Mavericks?  It’s free.  It won’t blow your mind, or revolutionize the way you run your Mac, but it will improve it.  This free download is well worth the 1 hour it will take to download and install.

What are the things you like about OS X Mavericks?  What don’t you like?  

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How to Develop a Texting Strategy for your Youth Ministry

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? 





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