Over the past few weeks, my business partner at Five Espressos and I have launched a new service called ymLaunch. ymLaunch is a WordPress multisite that is built to help youth ministries have their own website. I was a youth pastor for 12 years or so, and I always wanted my own web site. I never had the time or the know-how to pull it off. When it was time for me to be done as a full time youth pastor, I started learning and working as a WordPress developer. About a year into that, I realized that the perfect service for me to build would be one that was for youth ministries. So we built it.
So far, this has been a much larger undertaking than I ever imagined. Don’t think for a moment, that just because a large percentage of sites today are being built on WordPress… it is easy work. To do things right, it takes time, patience, development skill, amazing people that are willing to help (quite possibly the biggest upside of WordPress), and the willingness to dig deep and learn.
This is all extremely exciting, and a little scary all at the same time. The product is not quite where I want it to be just yet, but we focused on getting the basics set for Launch. We will be continuing to make it better, prettier, and easier to use for youth pastors.
ymLaunch is definitely a niche within a niche. There are plenty of services out there for church websites. What I found in my years as a youth pastor, though… is that it is really more ideal for youth ministries to have their own site. They will certainly still want a page on the church site, with basic info and a link to the youth ministry site. On their own site, though, they can have (and edit) their own calendar, downloads, pictures, and content. This should make life easier, as there can be ONE place to keep all the content and info people need with regards to the youth ministry. There are some other major benefits as well, but I’ll save those for another time. Ultimately, I want to make this as easy as possible (and reasonably inexpensive) for youth pastors, so that they can continue to focus on what is really important: ministering to students.