Posted by: Brandon | November 3, 2009

ResourceRoom —

Today’s resource is the merging of two elements; one a desire and one a reality.

First, the desire: at the Christian Campus House, where I serve, we have long desired to make our large group meetings more interactive. We can do this by sharing ideas during the message and inviting students to respond. We can do this by getting up and moving around the room. We can do this by implementing various audience participation tactics.

Second, the reality: just about every college student has a cell phone and most have unlimited texting plans and are sending hundreds, if not thousands, of texts a month. And, if your ministry is like our ministry, they are probably sending texts during your large group meeting.

Well, we found a way to merge these two elements. If you don’t know of it already, allow me to introduce you to PollEverywhere. PollEverywhere allows you to create your own polls and then have students participate in them by sending text messages. The responses to the poll update in real time on a PowerPoint slide, assuming you are connected to the internet. Another cool feature is that you can have a multiple choice poll (What is your favorite color? Red, blue, green, or yellow.) or you can have an open ended poll (What is your major?)

We have used PollEverywhere a couple of different ways.

Usually, we use the texting poll to introduce the topic of the night’s teaching. For example, tonight we are talking about distractions. I plan on introducing the topic by introducing a texting poll question, “What is the biggest distraction in your life?” This allows the students to get their minds revved up around the topic and to participate in the teaching.

Sometimes, we just use the polls to have a good time. One night we asked the question, “Who would win in a fight?” and the two choices were two gentle, petite girls in our ministry. It was hilarious.

As with everything, there are potential pitfalls to using PollEverywhere, or any other technology in your meetings. It can become a distraction. Some students, albeit just a few, may not have a cell phone or a texting plan and then may feel left out. Your internet could stop working and you would look lame introducing a poll that doesn’t work. Therefore, we don’t do this every week.

With all of this in mind, I think it might be fun to brainstorm some potentially fun polling questions in the comments section. Have at it!



  1. This resource is new to me – thanks so much for the great information!

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