Below you’ll find the show notes for episode 58, Tech Tools for Women’s Ministry, from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links.
Tech Tools for Women’s Ministry
New technology tools take time to learn. Think about how we all learned to use Zoom during the pandemic. This was a new thing for a lot of women in our church. We sent out a video we’d found online that showed women set-by-set how to download and use Zoom.
Today as I share different tech tools you may want to use, don’t be too quick to dismiss those that require a learning curve. Find some good YouTube videos to walk you through the process step-by-step. The time you spend learning to use a new tool may more than make up for the time you’ll save.
I’ll make some recommendations along the way for specific apps and websites, but there are many more that may work better for you. Consider my suggestions a starting point and check to see what other options are available. I find narrowing it down to my two favorites and searching for a comparison between the two helps me make the best decision.
Before selecting a new tool to use, I want to encourage you to do two things:
- Find out what options your church offers. It’s almost always best to use something your women are already familiar with.
- Pick something you’ll use. It does no good to purchase an app, membership, or course if you’re not going to use it.
I geek out over tools that help me stay organized. This year I’m specifically focused on finding tools that eliminate the time I too often waste searching for things.
I have been a die-hard pen-and-paper girl for years. If I can make the transition you can too!
Storing documents and graphics online provides accessibility to your entire team.
- Google Docs is great for sharing files and documents with your team.
- Google Calendar allows you to share team meetings and women’s ministry events with your team and your women.
- Google Photos is a great place to store women’s ministry event photos. (I’m working on a folder of personal event décor to share with the woman on our team that is in charge of decorations for our events. While we’ve got a good amount in our storage closet, sometimes it’s nice to change things up. Showing her what I have, is much easier than telling her.)
- Google Spreadsheets or Excel (not online) can be used to track budget expenses and income and registration for events.
How can you simplify and streamline the sharing of women’s ministry information between team members?
I have a lot of passwords. We all know it’s not safe to use the same password on every account. The strongest passwords contain a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols making them even harder to remember. Apps like Roboform save, create, and organize passwords. You just need to remember one password to unlock all the others.
I keep a lot of tabs open on my computer screen at once. It’s not unusual for me to have 20-30 tabs open. OneTab is a Chrome extension that saves and stores your tabs. It’s searchable too!
I have far too many sticky notes and letter-size notepads lying around our house. While I love jotting down ideas and writing out my messages, I spend too much time trying to locate handwritten notes.
This year I’m trying something new. I had been considering the Remarkable (it’s like an electronic notepad) and then I got word Amazon was coming out with the Kindle Scribe.
- I can write my notes with a pen in my electronic notebook.
- I can also make notes in my Kindle books using the Kindle Scribe (the scribe allows you to create electronic sticky notes inside books to make notes as you read).
- I used it to take notes at our last women’s ministry meeting. I can send a PDF of the meeting notes to any email address.
- I can also email files to my Kindle. It was super helpful to have my speaking notes on my Kindle Scribe to review while I was en route to my last speaking engagement.
Finding a way to organize your notes can increase your productivity and lower your stress.
Communication is probably the most obvious use of tech tools for ministry.
There’s a good chance your church has a communication policy. Please get a copy if you don’t have one. I haven’t seen the one for our church, but I know it has guidance about when and how often communication can be sent out.
How does your women’s ministry team communicate in between meetings?
Do you have a group text set up? I’m not a fan of using group texts and there’s a good chance some women on your team aren’t too. It’s impossible to search and the constant notifications are an issue. Also, if you have a mix of iPhone and Android users, you may run into issues.
Personally prefer Slack because you can set up multiple threads – one for prayer requests, meeting minutes, etc. You might even want to use one of these apps to communicate with all of the women in your church. Take it on a test run with your team first and be sure to train your women how to use it.
I’m all about automating reminders. If you’re setting up a meal train, recruiting volunteers, or hosting a potluck consider using Take-Them-a-Meal and SignUp Genius. Go into the settings to make sure those participating receive a reminder email.
Tech tools can help us spread the word about upcoming events and activities. However, not all of our women are on social media.
Our publicity efforts have to be a multi-pronged approach. You’ll need to:
- send out emails
- put the information on the church website
- share it on social media
- send out a text (if you can)
- hang publicity in the women’s bathrooms
The more places your women see the information the better.
Canva is my go-to tool for creating sharp-looking graphics for social media and printed materials.
Churches can get a free non-profit account – ask if you can have access. They have thousands of templates that you can easily customize. Create a folder for your women’s ministry graphics on Canva so you can easily share them with other team members. Out-dated publicity date your ministry. If you’re struggling to attract younger women this may be one reason why.
Video content is incredibly powerful. Try to take the time to capture the action of your next event on video or create a video invitation for your next event.
There are lots of great video editing apps. Find one that you will use and like. My current favorite is Videoleap. It’s great for creating reels and editing videos on my phone.
Check with your church to see if you can use their email software so you don’t have to create and then continually update a new database. Every women’s ministry needs its own email list.
Please do not use the “cc” function and load everyone into your email address book. You want something multiple people can use and something that doesn’t need to be recreated if you were to get sick, move, or step down suddenly.
Almost every woman has an email account – she may not check it regularly, but she probably has one. Use social media to remind her to check her email for more detailed info.
More and more churches are moving away from physical sign-up sheets to digital registration. The ability to sign up when it’s convenient and from any location is important.
First, check with your church to see what software program they use. Many use Planning Center (also called Church Center). If possible, use what women are already familiar with. The easier you can make it the more they will use it.
Train your women to register for every event regardless of whether or not there is a fee. This encourages commitment and helps your team be good stewards so you’re not wasting supplies or food. It’s also pretty awkward to have too many or not enough tables and chairs set up for an event.
SignUp Genius, Google Forms, and Eventbrite (if you need to collect a registration fee) are a few alternatives if your church isn’t there yet. Make sure they know how much you need a church-wide solution.
Canva has some great templates for programs if you need one for your event. They even have templates for name tags!
I’m a big fan of utilizing online surveys the day after an event – women aren’t rushing to get home and they’ve had some time to process and reflect. Google Forms is a great free option. Check to see if your church has access to Survey Monkey – the stats and ways you can filter it are super helpful!
If the idea of using new tech tools overwhelms you, I’ve got a couple of tips for lowering the learning curve.
- Find a person in your church that knows how to do it and ask them to teach you (it’s not just younger women that have tech skills – if any of your women speak or blog, they might be able to help you).
- Find some YouTube videos. Search for exactly what you need on YouTube (not on Google). For example, how to resize a Canva graphic. How to set up Mailchimp.
Today’s Toolbox Tasks:
- Determine your biggest tech need right now in women’s ministry.
- Research tools that would meet that need.
- Select one and learn how to use it.
- Put it to use!
You can do new and hard things! If you get frustrated, go take a walk, set it down for a few hours or come back to it tomorrow and try again.
Isaiah 40:28-31– says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
God will help you if you ask.
You may also want to read:
How to Use Social Media to Encourage Connection
8 Benefits of Adding a Social Media Coordinator to Your Team
Women’s Ministry Email List Service Options
How to Create a Women’s Ministry Social Media Plan
How to Schedule Social Media Posts
How to Create Social Media Graphics
How to Use Facebook Groups for Women’s Ministry