I have been researching some different resources for our student ministry this past week.  I’m trying to streamline some things….specifically tracking attendance of students in our ministry.  Yesterday I posted a few questions on twitter to see what people use in their ministry.  I was hoping for a bunch of responses with options…unfortunately I only got a few responses.

This will be a 2 part “series” in order to give both questions a fair amount of time and space.

The first question I asked was,what do you use to track attendance in your student ministry?”

I got  few good responses to this question.  The responses ranged anywhere from excel spreadsheets to services that you can subscribe to or software you can buy and download.  Right now we are using the excel solution – which would work for us for a while.  It does take a little more time to do it this way but it works.  It took me a good amount of time yesterday to enter all of the addresses and names then to alphabetize the names on the spreadsheet to make it easier for them to check in each week.

Another suggestion I got was Youth Track.  You Track looks like it’s a good option.  If you are a PC user.  Here in our offices we have Mac’s.  While Youth Track looks like it would be a decent software to use and is only $185 – it’s just not a valid option for us.

The next one was YouthTracker.net.  Youth Tracker is a web-based attendance tracking database…there’s no download or software needed.  This is definitely a good option for Mac users.  Youth Tracker starts out at $205 a year and goes up from there.  Although on their site it looks like it goes down…the basic price does but then you have to pay per month for other “areas” of the site.  I think Youth  Tracker could be a valid option but it seems a little pricey for a small ministry (like ours).

The third option was Church Community Builder.  This is geared for churches and has different applications (student ministry, children’s ministry, IT, etc..)  From everything I saw on their site it looks like a web-based solution as well – but there’s no pricing on their site.  From what I have found is that if there’s not pricing option then it’s usually pricey.  Sometimes though services won’t put pricing plans on their sites becuase they are so flexible and will custom build a plan that works for you saving you money.  In all fairness I did not call them so I’m hoping the latter is more true for them.

Then if you’re a large (mega?) church with a lot of money you have Youth Assistant.  It’s definitely the Cadillac of all of the attendance tracking solutions out there.

There are 4 pretty decent options really.  They are all similar but they have some differences too.  For now we’re just going to stick with excel spreadsheets because it seems to be the most financially appropriate solution for us right now.