One of the main goals of youth ministry today is to meet students where they are and to point them in the direction of Christ. The place that most teenagers find themselves is, you guessed it, their phones. Social media has its positives and its negatives. Like the tongue, it is used to build up and to tear down (James 3:9-10.)
This raises an important question. Should social media be used for any part of the church? Do the positive outcomes outweigh the negative ones?
Youth ministers should try to reach their students with social media in a way that tips this scale to the positive side. In doing so, they would not only be meeting students where they are, but also providing an example of what a positive use of social media looks like.
Related: Great Lakes offers an online degree in Youth Ministry
How can social media be used in a positive, effective way?
- It can be used as a communication tool. Having a Facebook group including all youth group members is a surefire way to keep everyone in the loop.
- It is a quick way to get information to a large group of people in a short amount of time. Sometimes plans change fifteen minutes before an event.
- It can be used as an organizational tool. Facebook events work well for sending personal invitations to students and families for specific gatherings. They act as reminders to attendees and they give youth ministers a reliable headcount for more accurate preparation.
- It can be used to build up. Encouraging posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are great ways to remind students of God’s truth throughout the week.
- It can keep youth ministers up to date on how their students are doing during the week and what is going on in their lives.
- It can be a place to keep memories. Private pages are a great place to post pictures from camp, conferences, or week-to-week youth group fun!
- Have a creative student come up with a unique hashtag where your youth group pictures can be easily accessed!
Know Your Youth Group
In everything, the students in the youth group shape it into what it is.
- If a few students do not have social media, then youth ministers need to be intentional about getting them the same information in an alternative way.
- If the majority of students do not have social media, then it will not serve as an effective communication tool.
- If a youth minister sees that social media has become a problem in the group, then it must be addressed with love.
Whatever is most beneficial for the students and their personal walk with God is what should be done. Every ministry is different. If social media is a good way for the group to connect with each other and be reminded that God loves them, then it should be encouraged in that ministry.
Interested in Youth Ministry?
Great Lakes Christian College gives a Bible-based, community-driven education. Our Youth Ministry program is taught by experienced professors who want their students to do well in the church and world. The Youth Ministry degree emphasizes scripture, psychology, and church management for a well-rounded understanding of what a job in this field really means. There is a lot that youth ministers have to offer the church and Great Lakes wants to be a part of that. Would you like to put your interest in youth ministry into action? Apply to Great Lakes today!
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To learn more about our accredited online classes please contact:
Jon Jakubowski, Recruiting Director for Online Education
Phone: 517-321-0242, ext 249