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Whiteboard Wednesday: Social Media & Youth Ministry

In this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we explore how you can use social media to make a big impact in your youth ministry.

 It’s tough to convince teenagers that anyone over age 20 with fewer than 5,000 Instagram followers is “culturally relevant.” You may not have thousands of followers, but using social media as a ministry tool is a great way to establish a base of relevance in your kids’ eyes. Let’s not get into the Snapchat vs. No Snapchat debate in this post—instead, use these ideas and tools to deepen your impact in your teenagers’ lives through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

How you use these tools depends on how your kids use social media. Are they even on Twitter anymore? If not, don’t try to tweet @ them. Does every one of them have an Instagram account? Post pictures from events and updates there. Here are some practical approaches for using these platforms effectively:

  1. Be contemplative. Post questions that encourage teenagers to stop and think about Jesus outside of youth group or their personal quiet time. Make social media a tool to connect kids with Jesus.
  2. Be interruptive. Post thought-provoking quotes, Bible verses, ideas from small group, or a reminder excerpt from your message. Interrupt teenagers’ usual timelines of cute animal photos and goofy memes with something impactful.
  3. Be encouraging. Share photos from events and show off how much you care about you teenagers and your ministry. So much of social media is negative and sets up unrealistic expectations. It’s important for kids to be reminded that they’re part of something epic.
  4. Promote events. Create Facebook events and Instagram images to advertise events and activities. Tag your teenagers so they get notifications, and your posts don’t get buried in their feed. Get creative, sharing a Spotify or YouTube road-trip playlist before a mission trip to get kids pumped.

Some tools you can use:

  1. Create a separate Facebook page or Instagram account just for your ministry, rather than using your personal page or account. Make it public so teenagers can share it, and word can spread about events and your awesome ministry.
  2. Canva is a great FREE resource for creating images and memes for social media. It offers templates and free images, and it takes about 10 minutes to figure out.
  3. Unsplash and Pexels are great resources for totally free stock images that don’t look like stock images.
  4. Slidely and Slidely Promo let you easily create professional-looking videos and photo slideshows.
  5. Scheduling tools make social media less time-consuming and help you maintain a consistent presence. You can plan all your weekly posts at once. Facebook pages allow you to schedule posts in advance under the “publishing tools” tab, but other providers such as Meet Edgar, Hootsuite, and Viraltag let you manage multiple accounts across multiple platforms in one place.

One thought on “Whiteboard Wednesday: Social Media & Youth Ministry

  1. Compared with other social networks, Instagram is relatively simple—it’s focused exclusively on sharing photos with your friends.

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