So I decided to hold a get-together online about how we do youth ministry in a time of chaos.
Here is the link to the YouTube video of this session.
For the brief notes from that meeting, read below...
Also, give yourself permission to EXPERIMENT with any or all of these options below. We are all figuring this out togehter.
- Above all, let your youth know...
- "I am here!"
- "You are NOT alone."
- "We are in this together."
- Get / Stay Connected
- Utilize group texting applications, like REMIND or GROUP ME
- Figure out how you can communicate best with your youth
- If you blast out a message, just ask for your youth to give you a thumbs up; just to kind of say "hey" virtually
- Set up virtual gatherings online (like via Zoom or Google Meet) REGULARLY
- LET PARENTS KNOW what you are doing and how to connect their kids to the group
- Think about checking in with parents to see how they are holding up in the midst of this uncertain time
- Use the "Marco Polo" app - like leaving video messages for those in your circles
- Doesn't hurt to actually CALL our youth on the phone to check in with each individual person
- WHEN Do we Connect Online?
- Keep in mind that your standard gathering times were set in place when life was VERY DIFFERENT
- Now, lunch time check-ins could be a good time to connect with folks, instead of waiting until Wednesday or Sunday nights
- Throw out the old schedule and figure out what works TODAY
- Utilizing Social Media
- Instagram - set a day for a "youth takeover" of your youth group Instagram account
- What to Do in our Online Gatherings
- What to Talk About in our Online Sessions
- ASK THE YOUTH what they want to talk about
- many youth are asking about the COVID-19 virus itself; find reputable sources (online or people in the medical field)
- Have guided faith talks
- Hold Confirmation Classes
- Share Children's Sermons
- How Can we do Service Projects?
- Write letter to veterans or shut-ins or emergency workers or doctors / nurses
- Questions to Ponder
- What do we do to connect with our folks who do not have social media or technology capable of connecting virtually?
- What else can we do to get ahead?