Social media has always been a good way for student ministers to connect with students. But, when Covid hit, student ministers got even more creative and found even more ways to connect with students during the pandemic. While it was a great time of experimenting and investing in online and digital tools, the reality is that as soon as being in person again it was back to being in person and less than connecting digitally or online.
Each student minister has to do what is best for their ministry. However, what ministry during the pandemic has taught us is that there is plenty of ways to connect, encourage and disciple others, especially digitally. As school is in session, and students become more busy, creating online and digital opportunities for students to connect with student ministers and volunteers leaders is going to be key to helping students grow in their faith this year.
So how can you do that? What are some digital ways you can connect with students this school year?
Text Discipleship. Start a Text Group via Remind, Text-in-Church or whatever platform your Church uses for text messaging and send daily or weekly spiritual encouragement and challenges. Students would opt in and then you can follow up on students
Video Devotionals. Students DEVOUR short form video content. Whether it is TikTok, YouTube Shorts or Reels, students are all over it. Create 1 minute devotionals and share them with students. It's a great way to inspire and connect with students throughout the week and it may be just the encouragement they need at that moment.
Online Game Nights. Online game nights became popular on the early stages of the pandemic. In fact, here is one way a Student Minister used it to minister to students and others during the pandemic. While being "in-person" is optimal, having online game nights is still a very viable option as gaming is very popular. It could be a way for you to draw new people in or just give students a stress reliever during the school year. They could be group games that happen over Zoom or they could be games like Super Smash Brothers online on the Nintendo Switch. There are lots of different types of online games you can play.
Social Media Take Over. This is where you have students take over all or some of the social media accounts for your Student Ministry. It gives students ownership and allows them to be creative. You should definitely have rules and boundaries in place, but let them have fun with it and show off their skill as a social media influencer.
Host "Live" Nights. These could be where you play a game together or where you encourage them spiritually. During the pandemic, when everything was shut down, lots of Youth Groups hosted "youth group" live online on YouTube or Instagram. And, for a time, they were very well attended. While this "Live" event is not a replication for you to do a full youth group online, you can use live to do some special announcements, giveaways, quick Bible Studies or a game.
While it is clear that may youth ministers prefer to minister to youth in person, being online and using digital tools and platforms to connect with students is a great way to do that. Students have their phones and mobile devices with them at all times. You can use the resources at the palm of your hands to encourage, inspire and help students have fun this school year. Ultimately, it will help aid your connection with students that will hopefully lead to more discipleship and outreach opportunities.
What do you think? What are some other digital ways you can connect with students this school year? Share your ideas below or on social media.
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