3 Apps You Can’t Live Without in Youth Ministry

Tim Balow
October 22nd, 2018

I think it’s safe to say, that for most of us in the youth ministry world, our phones double as ministry tools. I’m using mine on a regular basis for a ton of things like planning, advertising, and connecting with students and parents. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Here are my top 3 favorite and most used apps for youth ministry (I threw in a few honorable mentions just for fun).

Planning Center

Planning  Center is a website and app designed primarily for putting together a detailed outline and plan for events and worship services. They also have a check in and registration component. As a very detailed over planner, Planning Center has become a game changer for me when it comes to planning and running youth worship gatherings, events, lock ins, retreats, meetings and much more. It has been an extremely helpful tool for our student leadership team to use as well.  It helps them put together a worship service or event.  They can see it laid out and then execute it without me having to tell them what they need to do step by step. It is also fantastic for making sure worship flows well and for getting the plans out to everyone involved in our events.


Canva is a website and app for designing graphics and flyers. I use it for social media graphics, advertisements, posters, logos, and slide show graphics. It allows you to use templates, most of them free, to design professional looking presentations in a matter of minutes. I tend to use this website for more complicated flyers  However,   I love the app when I want to quickly put something on social media that doesn’t look like I put it together while waiting in line at Starbucks. I also love the app for downloading previously made graphics when I need to access them on my phone.


If you don’t know, Spotify is a music streaming app.  I think it also a super valuable ministry tool. We have a Spotify account for our student ministry and we use it in a variety of ways. After every event, we create a Spotify playlist that we share with the students. They love having access to the songs they learned at camp, on retreat or during a special worship event, and it gets them listening to that music outside of our youth ministry programming. We post a new playlist every year where we add songs that we are doing during our regular, weekly student worship gatherings. That way, if we do a new song they really enjoyed or they have favorite songs they love, they are all in one place for them to access. We also use Spotify during events and worship. We have playlists that we use for pre worship or pre event hype, playlists that we have created for events like Thrift Store Formal, Decade Nights, Glow Raves, and playlists that we use for background at experiential prayer experiences and reflection times. Plus, an added bonus, you can access tons of amazing playlists that have already been put together. Spotify makes it super easy to connect your device to blue tooth or the sound system and just hit play!

Honorable Mention:

Here’s a couple other apps I use regularly that I believe are worth mentioning:

Instagram: Social media may seem like a given when it comes to youth ministry apps, but I felt like it is still worth mentioning. As far as social media goes, Instagram is where our ministry connects most with our group of students. It is great for advertising upcoming events, sharing our worship set, posting pictures at our events, and  posting encouraging verses and things that relate to the week’s message. We also love Stories and Instagram Live for sharing what’s happening in the moment.

Min Hub Youth: Min Hub Youth is a check in app that also keeps track of your attendance and graphs it out into different categories. It’s extremely helpful for keeping track of who is coming and who has missed allowing our team to keep in touch with students who are absent. I will say that it is not without its quirks, which is why I did not list it in my top 3, but overall it’s a great tool.

Tim Balow

Youth Specialties exists to elevate the role of youth ministry and the youth worker to grow the faith of the next generation.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.