If you work in student ministry you probably have a diverse job description—from sermon writing and student counseling to camp planning and van cleaning. You juggle all these responsibilities because you want your students to feel welcomed and wanted by both you and God.

But sometimes all that craziness means missed opportunities.

Planning Center has a number of tools designed to help you capture every opportunity to connect with students. Here are six ways you can start creating a system to make sure you don't lose anyone in the crowd:

1. Follow Up with No-shows

Before you can know who is missing, you have to know who is normally there. It is time to start having students check in!

Youth Check In

Most of the students in your group probably have smart phones, so create a kiosk station with Planning Center Check-Ins where students can check in by scanning mobile passes on their phones!

If they don’t have smartphones for a mobile pass, no problem, they can just type their numbers in to the system. When students check in each week you’ll see who is consistently showing up and who is falling away and needs to be contacted.

I love being able to see who comes every week and who doesn’t. It helps me keep track of students if they stop coming allowing for follow up.

Brent, Student Ministries Pastor

2. Welcome the New Kid

In a room packed with students who need your time, it’s easy to overlook a few. To make sure no one falls through the cracks and every student is reached, you can create a system using our free People app to notify you when someone new checks in and be reminded to contact them later.

New Kid With the Lists feature you can pull a report of every student who checks in to your event for the first time, and automatically add them to a workflow, which you and your team can use to go through your follow-up steps.

3. Take Prayer Requests

Students aren’t always comfortable sharing prayer requests in a group setting, so create a safe place for them to share privately using another feature in People: Forms. The form can automatically email requests to you and your team and add them to a workflow so you can follow up with each student individually.

4. Engage through Small Groups

Encourage students to strengthen their relationships with one another and stay connected throughout the week! Use Planning Center Groups to give your groups a central place to find information! Once you set up a group, leaders can take attendance and share study materials directly with the group.

5. Organize Volunteers

Volunteering Youth One of the ways you can get kids connected and committed is giving them the opportunity to serve! Use Forms to give students a place to express interest in volunteering and funnel them into your training workflows. Once you have your volunteers, you can start using Planning Center Services as your home base for scheduling, service planning, and rehearsing tools for your band.

You can communicate with students using the Services mobile app to send push notifications about scheduling, share chord charts, videos, and more!

6. Simplify Event Sign Up

Don’t make parents work too hard to get their kids involved in church. Planning Center Registrations is a way for you to give parents easy online sign up for events, like winter camp, and still manage all of the complex event-planning details. You can inform parents via email, accept online and in-person payments, offer scholarships, and let them purchase extra activities or merchandise all in the same application!

If you want to explore these tools for yourself, you can can try all of our applications free for 30 days!

If you have any questions, click the “?” in the top right hand corner of the application to access all of our how-to articles and a direct form to contact our amazing support team!

Keep doing good work,
The Planning Center Team