Using Technology in Youth Ministry
Youth ministry has obviously changed in America over the last 50 years, and especially over the last 10 years. Those changes have deeply impacted many things, but especially how we utilize technology within our youth ministries.
Over the last eight years, I’ve enjoyed using four specific things to help enhance my ministry through technology and I wanted to share what I’ve learned along the way.
Not every student who walks through your church doors will listen to podcasts, but some will. The podcast technology has become a huge bonus to the youth ministry world.
I’ve found it beneficial to offer a weekly 3-5-minute podcast for those who may have missed our last gathering so that they can stay in the loop. The key to any podcast in youth ministry is keep it short, but fruitful. You know your students better than anyone else, but know their attention span is very short.
A few years ago, I got into using web shows as a way to recap my message from a midweek service with our students. After the service, I’d gather a handful of student leaders (11TH-12TH graders) at a table on stage with me to recap the message. I loved it because these students were able to share points of application from a message they just heard 15 minutes earlier.
The web show was recorded and the video was edited and sent out on social media and on our website for students. Not only was it great for students, but parents also had a tool to recap the message with their students the next day.
I personally love having video announcements as part of our youth ministry. Having video announcements help different personalities be engaged with upcoming events. I would recommend having your students be the one’s making the announcements on the video because it helps the students to relate.
Also, be creative and have the students name the video announcements. We use our announcements to sound like a news cast or a sports talk show. Why? Just because it makes our students laugh, and that’s the type of engagement we want!
The students who sit within our ministries are becoming more and more visually driven. We can use video technology to share announcements and recaps, but how about using video to share a student’s testimony? It puts a name with a face, and allows students to share their story with less pressure than being in front of people.
No matter the size of your church or ministry begin to think outside of the box with technology. I have seen parents and students both become more involved because of bringing technology to the student ministry. Be creative and sit back to watch your students take ownership within the youth ministry.