There’s a great new app I just downloaded that was created by a youth pastor for youth pastors. RJ is a middle school youth pastor who has come up with a great way to use his iPhone for ministry. He’s the creator of YS’ MyGuitar app and just released Clips, an app with you in mind. I got a chance to talk with him about this project and future stuff he’s got cooking for us next:
Can you give everyone a 15-second description of Clips?
My new app (check it out right here on iTunes) is all about helping people engage with the Bible by using scenes from great films. It’s an app for pastors, small group leaders, youth workers, and parents. Clips tells you what scenes to use, what topics you could teach, the verses you could use, and even some potential discussion questions.
Where did you get the idea for CLIPS?
I always love when I can use movie scenes in my message. The Videos that Teach books have been one of my most used and most given away resource. I use it; our small group leaders use it. With the iPhone, I thought that an app like this could actually be even more helpful because leaders could have it with them wherever they go.
You’re a youth pastor. Tell us how someone might use the app in the trenches of their youth work?
This fall our middle school ministry is doing a series called “Now Showing:” where we take movies and teach through big ideas from the scripture using movie scenes. I often use the app when I’m writing a message and feel like it needs something else to help illustrate a point. In the next school year, many of our small group leaders will have the resource as an option for curriculum leading their small groups. I’ve even had one student leader use it in his school-led bible study groups to help with the discussion. Pastors, volunteers, and students can all find use from the app. I’m also hoping to see parents begin using the app as a tool for discussions with their families while they watch movies.
You can’t actually watch the videos from the device with a simple touch which is the only part I didn’t love about it. Is that a feature that is coming by chance? What other kind of updates are you working on in the future?
Unfortunately due to licensing, I can’t actually have the videos on the device. I’m working on figuring out some creative solutions to that problem, but at this point it’s still trial and error.
The updates that I’m working on right now … for sure the movie library needs to grow so I’m working on building that app as much as possible and we’ll be adding a “suggest a clip” feature so users can help me generate ideas. In one of the next versions Scripture readings will be built into the app, too.
As for updates that are further down the road I for sure want to find a solution for watching the movie scenes right on the device and also making Clips a universal app for iPhone and iPad.
That’d be awesome – I’m iPad2 all the way so universal is a must. So it costs a couple bucks to get Clips – any chance you’ll give me a few free codes to giveaway on iTunes to whoever reads this first?
Yes. It’d be cool if youth pastors gave the codes away to their volunteers. First come first serve on these: FMF9N9JP7KK3 and T99RT3MHJ7RH
*codes expire after 28 days or as soon as Clips gets updated
Thanks for that, man! I’ll save one for Twitter randomly this afternoon, too. So Clips is incredible, what’s next for you? Got another cool one cooking?
I’ve been trying to focus on ministry-related apps since its a niche that my code skills intersect with my passion for youth ministry. At this moment, I’m focusing on some of the bigger updates that I’d like to see happen in Clips so that it can become one of the go-to resources on the iPhone. There are also some cool apps that may be coming for potential clients, but I’ve been asked to not share those. I try to primarily do my iPhone stuff on days off from church-work so between updating Clips and client work, I haven’t worried much about turning my other ideas into apps.
Shameless plug: I also blog (www.rjgrune.com).
Dude, I’ll subscribe to you right now. Thanks for your time!