Almost every day, I use these 10 gadgets to enhance or simplify my youth ministry :
1. AirPort Express ($99; apple.com/airport-express)—In addition to providing Wi-Fi in our youth room, this also offers support for Apple’s AirPlay. AirPlay lets me send music wirelessly to our soundboard by connecting it to my AirPort Express with an audio cable.
2. Silicone Suction Stand (99¢; available on Google or eBay)—If your phone has a flat space on the back, this stand works perfectly. I also stick it to the back of my iPad as a finger grip.
3. PlugBug ($34.99; twelvesouth.com)—This USB wall charger attaches to any MacBook power adapter. It lets me simultaneously charge my MacBook Pro and any USB charging device.
4. JBL Charge ($149.95; jbl.com)—This small but loud and durable device lets me bring tunes to parks, games, and even my house.
5. WD My Passport ($109 on Amazon; wdc.com)—Always back up your files! Western Digital’s My Passport is my external hard drive of choice. I use a 1TB with USB 3.0, which is super-fast and pretty small.
6. NomadKey ($29; hellonomad.com)—This portable keychain-size charging and sync cable is available for iOS or Android.
7. OtterBox ($99.90; otterbox.com)—This fairly thin case is perfect for mission trips and day-to-day use. We use iPads for guest registration, and I’m comfortable passing around my iPad to students only when it’s in this case.
8. Amazon Prime ($79; amazon.com)—Although not a gadget, this is a great resource for obtaining many of them. You receive orders in two business days at no additional charge or the next day for a small fee. You can share the shipping benefits with four household members. Other perks include Kindle book rentals and Amazon’s streaming video and audio service (not as good as Spotify but similar).
9. iMagnet Cradle-less Phone Mount ($25; imagnetmount.com)—This mount lets you focus on the road, with your phone in perfect view for GPS and hands-free communication.
10. Footballs and Frisbees—I always keep footballs (Nerf and leather) and a Wham-o Frisbee in my office and my car trunk. These cheap classic “gadgets” provide the gift of quality time with kids. At any moment, you can turn awkward standing around into relational activity. And some of these toys are high-tech, too: Light-up footballs and flying disks are sweet at night or in a dark gym.