Youth Ministry and media. These days those two words seem inseparable. If we are going to be effective in youth ministry in today’s culture we must use media in one way or another. I keep a few church media sites bookmarked such as Igniter Media, Centerline New Media, Bluefish TV, and Wing Clips. I ran over a new one the other day called Youth Ministry Media. So far I have been extremely impressed by the resources and things on this site. This is a site every youth pastor needs to bookmark and keep an eye on.
If you subscribe to their e-mail list you will receive a short, FREE e-book called Youth Ministry Media: 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively in a Digital World (Click here to go to the sign up page). It’s only a few pages long so I quickly read it and got some great practical tips for youth ministry from it. The short book basically gives you a 5 step process to effectively use media in your youth group. I will quickly list them and explain them briefly.
1. Set up a plan. Before you start to use any type of media, especially social media, find out what type of social media your students are using. Don’t us Twitter if your students are not using it. If all your students on Facebook then you better start using Facebook!
2. Facebook. Facebook has 500 million active members including your students! Your students, and parents, are already on Facebook so start using it in your ministry! Create a page or group and have it has a hub for your ministry. Also, use the Facebook to promote and get rsvp’s for events.
3. Website. Even though most of your students, and parents, will use Facebook has the main hub for your ministry, don’t neglect having a good website. Websites are more professional and still there will be some who would rather go to a website than Facebook. If you are going to have a website, make sure it is always up to date!
4. E-Mail. Sending out a monthly or quarterly e-mail is a great way to keep parents, and students, up to date on activities and things in the youth ministry. I would recommend you use these e-mails as newsletters that have information, recommended resources for parents, and a quick word about the youth ministry from the youth pastor himself.
5. Texting. Almost every student has a cell phone and are texting. Neglecting to use texting in your youth ministry would be to neglect one of the most effective ways of communicating with your students! There are great programs and apps out there that will help you organize all your students, leaders, and parents numbers for texting such as Simply Text, Google Voice, and Group Text.
Even though media is a must for youth ministry these days, make sure you are wise and use caution because it can be, and has been, used by our enemy to destroy many students and youth workers. Take a few moments and read a blog post I posted awhile back called Guidelines for Using Social Media in Youth Ministry that will help you understand how you can use social media and be wise at the same time.