If you’re in a season where your youth ministry is currently taking a break from meeting physically, you still have plenty of opportunities to connect with your students and their families.
Make a plan to gather together online to share the Gospel with teens in your community.
Below are some tips from our resource partner, Dare 2 Share, that will help you create an excellent online experience for your students.
How to Do Youth Ministry Online
There are many ways to take your traditional youth ministry experience online. In this post, we’ll walk you through some best practices, share tools and ideas, and provide some communication tips to stay connected with your students.
Just like in a traditional setting, you’ll want to prepare a brief message with the gospel presentation included. Consider the book of Psalms, 1 Chronicles 16, Joshua 1, Isaiah 41 or 1 John 4, or download and use Dare 2 Share videos and resources free on Open Network.
You may be surprised by how much your online experience can resemble your in-person youth gatherings. Depending on the platform you use, your experience could have video (funny and serious), games, and conversation via chat. Don’t forget the gospel presentation!
At Dare 2 Share, we like to use the G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic to easily explain that invitation God offers us all:
- God created us to be with Him.
- Our sins separate us from God.
- Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
- Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
- Everyone that trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
- Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever!
As you segue into the gospel presentation, you can use language like “Even if times are tough right now, I’m so thankful we have the assurance of the hope that Jesus gives—that nothing can ever take away.”
Where to Digitally Host Your Youth Group
Church Online Platform. The Church Online Platform is a free tool from Life.Church Open Network and is built specifically for churches to take their ministry online. Calls-to-action, chat, and prayer features make this tool a great online ministry option.
Zoom. Zoom offers both a free and paid version, and has a great chat feature you can use during the call. Also, it gives you the ability to screen share from your computer. Simply send out the link to your students ahead of time and explain a few steps for them to join.
Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is similar to Zoom. It has a chat feature you can use for fun conversation and discussion.
YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. Each platform has a Live option you can use for your online ministry. Also, Facebook makes it easy to create a closed private group for your students. You can also do a pre-recorded video and put it on YouTube or Instagram TV. Consider a small group texting interaction to process and discuss the message afterwards.
How to Stay Connected
Perhaps even more important than broadcasting a message for students is connecting with them personally. Here are a few opportunities to interact with students and families.
- Record a brief video message to encourage and point students to the hope of Jesus. Post it on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms. You could also send this video out via group text message, email, or Messenger.
- Encourage your small group leaders to text students a verse and simple challenge/ application/reflection point.
- Send out video encouragement or daily tips for parents such as “make a daily schedule” and “express gratitude together.”
- Consider daily digital hangouts or posts with themes like Fun Day Friday—share a fun fact.
- Post different fun prayers, care, or share challenges on TikTok or other platforms to engage students.
- Connect with students individually, like meeting up in a park for Frisbee golf.
- Empower student leaders to create videos that encourage the group to share their faith.
As you can see, just because your youth ministry may not be meeting in person, that doesn’t mean creating an engaging environment is impossible. As you create your online experience for youth, don’t forget about the free resources you can use, including a few we’ve listed below.
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