Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Youth Empowered - Bonus Chapter!

 


Since March of this year, many churches have been embracing more efforts that foster online community with their students. While we presented a few ideas for online youth ministry events earlier this year, the fall semester is beginning this week and many churches are still meeting online. Rather than operating with the mindset that we are planning for single-day virtual events, we have been shifting more toward an internet-based community that continues to meet online every week (or at least under a hybrid model that has some level of virtual interaction).

But should the youth pastor organize and manage all aspects of their online youth ministry? Readers of this blog and Youth Empowered are familiar with the argument that students are in fact some of the best candidates who can help manage the youth ministry’s online presence. And while Youth Empowered offers a breakdown of ten potential Empower Teams and how each team can contribute to the establishment of a student-led youth ministry, there is still room for us to explore what some of the digital components might look like for each of these ten teams. Because of this, I’m thrilled to announce that an entire new chapter of Youth Empowered will be released right here through the Focusing on Jesus blog, for free! Spanning over the course of the next few weeks, the chapter will be published in sections through a series of posts on this blog, so be sure to tune in and let your fellow youth workers know!  

To help get us started, we’ll first cover the Empower Team that plays a key role in establishing a youth ministry's online presence. For the remainder of our chapter, we will find that this team will integrate itself with each of the other Empower Teams and their respective digital components. Without this team, your youth ministry’s ability to effectively share the gospel with today’s youth online would be severely hampered.

Social Media Empower Team
Perhaps one of the most versatile teams within a digital student-led youth ministry, the Social Media Empower Team has the potential to reach the unchurched and lost in some of the most creative and engaging ways. Last year, we explored how a youth ministry can set up a team like this, and the post can be found here. Since the content in this earlier article is relevant to our digital approach to Empower Teams, it felt fitting to bring this article back into the spotlight.

In the context of a post-Covid world, a Social Media Empower Team can be exceptionally powerful. Within a digital youth ministry, it can function as the central hub of communication for an audience that is spending more time than ever on social media. Especially during an era of heightened confrontation and warring political viewpoints, the social media account of your youth ministry can operate as a beacon of hope and positivity on your students’ social media feeds.

While it’s expected for the youth pastor to hop online and say something faith-based, there is something arresting about a fellow student who posts something that uplifts and encourages their peers. It is an inescapable reality that our students will always have an advantage over us in reaching their friends on social media. By handing over the keys to your youth ministry’s social media accounts and then providing guidance on how students can post content that is in alignment with the youth ministry’s vision, your church could begin to effectively minister to a group of young individuals that you may have never been able to reach before.

Stay tuned as we begin to outline more digital characteristics and ideas for nine other Empower Teams in the coming weeks!

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