Posted by Ray Majoran
I was at a Jr. High retreat a few weeks ago and got into an interesting discussion with a friend of mine – a youth pastor at a local church. The conversation went like this:
Friend: I love AdvancedMinistry… it’s enabled me to do more than I ever wanted on the web… but… (I always love it when someone says “but”)… if I could make one recommendation it would be to allow people to make updates from their mobile devices (in his case, a Blackberry).
Ray: Give me an example of what you’d like to accomplish?
Friend: While I’m up here on this retreat, I’d love to update all of the parents as to what’s going on. For example, ‘We arrived safely… We’re having a great time… Session tonight was fantastic, etc.’
Ray: No problem. Ever heard of Twitter?
Friend: Yeah, but isn’t Twitter about telling everyone your life story on a minute-by-minute basis? I don’t have time for that!
Ray: Didn’t you just tell me that you want to update your parents on pretty much a minute-by-minute basis?
Friend: Yeah, but I don’t want to do that through Twitter; then everyone has to have a Twitter account to follow me… I just want make announcements on our website.
Ray: Perfect. Here’s what we’re going to do. Step 1… Sign up for a Twitter account online. It takes about 30 seconds.
Friend: Didn’t I just say that I didn’t want everyone to need a Twitter account to receive updates?
Ray: No one is every going to know you use Twitter… just bear with me. :)
Friend: OK. <laughing>
<We proceeded to sign him up for a Twitter account>
Ray: Next we are going to login to your AdvancedMinistry website and enable Twitter updates.
Friend: OK, sounds good. I’ve seen that before and it looks pretty easy. But once again, I don’t want people to see “Twitter Updates”.
Ray: No problem. We’re going to rename it to “Youth Retreat Updates”. No one will ever know you are using Twitter.
Friend: Ahhhhh… I’m starting to see where you’re going with this!
<We quickly logged into his AdvancedMinistry website and enabled Twitter updates to show on his front page. We renamed “Twitter Updates” to “Retreat Updates”.>
Ray: Next, we’re going to download a mobile app for your Blackberry… there’s tons of free ones out there… just pick one.
<In our case, we went on to his Blackberry clicked on “Blackberry App World”. We then searched for “Twitter” and downloaded a program called UberTwitter. Whether you’re on iPhone, Blackberry or another mobile service, there’s bound to be an application that allows you to update your Twitter status.>
Ray: OK, so update your status.
Friend: You’re kidding me, right? It’s that easy?
Ray: Yep. :)
<Friend updates his status through UberTwitter to say “Arrived safely at retreat.” Immediately we refreshed his website, and there it was – “Retreat Updates: Arrived safely at retreat”.>
Friend: Oh my goodness.
<He then proceeded to add further updates for the weekend and kept all of his parents up to date. When he got home, he removed “Retreat Updates” from his home page and put everything back to normal. No one ever knew he had a Twitter account!>
Hopefully you can see some application here for your church or ministry. Whether you’re a missionary that wants to give updates on the road, or a youth leader looking to give updates on a retreat, this technology gives you that ability. Enjoy!