I can only imagine what it’s like to be a youth pastor these days. It’s difficult enough to keep up with kids here in the real world, but add the online space and the task seems impossible.
Thankfully, for every challenge the Internet brings, someone is trying to find a solution. I discovered a browser plugin a few months ago that, although designed for business-folk, has the dual benefit of meeting a critical need for Youth Pastors.
Check this out.
It’s called Rapportive and it requires Gmail and the Rapportive plugin which is available for both Chrome and FireFox. Once installed it will perform the equivalent of a “social network background check” on anyone who sends you an email. It actually replaces the Google advertisements to the right of each email message in Gmail and spits out a the rap sheet next to the email body.
Here is a conversation I’m having with John. Actually, I’m spamming his inbox and he’s ignoring me. But it serves the same purpose. Rapportive did a lookup on the other person included in the thread and this is what it found.
I didn’t have to do anything! All the usual suspects are there. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Job titles too? Impressive!
Like I said, it was designed to meet the needs of a social business, but when I look at it I see Church application through and through especially in the realm of youth ministry. Your inbox is instantly transformed into an auto-updating social media dashboard which helps you stay connected in the lives of your students.
It’s worth a gander.