Remind is a great resource for these issues! It is a large group text service, originally developed to help teachers communicate with students and parents. In our office, we use it to send our Holy Herald messages during Advent and Lent. For youth ministry, it proves especially useful because:
1) It's free!
2) It comes in app (iTunes and Android) and web-based form.
3) It allows you to create multiple groups
Do you have some messages for just youth (reminders, resources, etc.), some for parents (paperwork, signatures, etc.), and some for both? Remind allows you to cater to all these needs.
4) Numbers are kept hidden
When someone subscribes to receive Remind messages, the sender sees only their name, not the number. The receiver will also never see the sender's number. Remind takes care of everything while maintaining privacy.
5) Messages can be scheduled in advance
Do you have a series of messages you'd like to send out on a daily, weekly, or another regular basis (such as a daily scripture verse or motivational quote)? Remind allows you to input these ahead of time and schedule them to be sent at a future date and time! Wonderful for planning ahead.
1) Remind is primarily a group texting service. If your parish prefers email communications, there may be other services better suited to your needs.
2) If a student or parent wants to unsubscribe from Remind communications for any reason, they must go through the process themselves. Since the leader does not have access to actual phone numbers, you will not be able to do this for them.