The “Snowpocalype” has landed on Arkansas in full effect, I was able to sled with my son, pull a dozen brain-dead rednecks from ditches, and catch up on some reading.  I wanted to pass on a good idea that was pulled off by a Youth Pastor friend in Texarkana.  He is a very humble guy and attributed the idea to his brother Brian Mills, but since I haven’t met Brian and creativity in Student Ministry is “forgetting who you stole the idea from” AND because Brian is still using blogspot…Brian is out of luck on getting props from me. 🙂

So onto my friend Sean and his team at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, AR.  Snow fell all over the place and most of us had to bail on our mid-week services around here…so with a video camera and Bible in hand, they busted out a quick Vlog to bring church to their students (and mine) via Facebook. Check it out here.  Another good use of tech and social media. Read Sean’s post about it on www.seanmillsh2o.com as well as other insights into student ministry.  This is surely a trick that anyone with a shoulder-cannon and software that is packaged with any computer now-a-days can do.  For those of you that are perfectionists and have the newest Mac…you can be as elaborate as you want.  But in the end, great message via great social media avenues that a lot of students are using…equals a good way to connect God’s word to those at home.  Grab a Mt. Dew and sit down and think about how you could do something like this.  Have a great continued snow day! DVS

[youtube]lFZ0z5Fm-Ng[/youtube]

Updated.  If you are not using social media to further your ministry you are missing some great opportunities.  The social media footprint that you and your ministry has, needs to be examined on a regular basis.  For example, our student ministry used to have a myspace page, not anymore.  Not because myspace is going away (it is not) it is just because the demographic of our student ministry is less impacted by myspace than it is with Facebook.  But there are tons of ways to connect with students via social networking.  To better use your time, try this…print up a quick survey for your students and ask!  Crazy, I know…keep it simple, we all know that the combined user totals for twitter and Facebook are over 600 million (if you didn’t know that, now you do) so you don’t need to ask how many use what…just ask which they prefer.

Some questions you may want to ask:

  • Would you rather get info about (your name here) from Facebook/myspace/email/twitter/ning.com etc.
  • Do you have a smart phone?
  • What apps do you use?
  • Would you be interested in YouVersion Live? (see below for video explaining this wicked cool feature) I am finding more and more students using their cell phones during our teaching time to follow along with the scripture that I am teaching from.

Just get a feel of what communicates to your students the best and spend your valuable time on those.  Your students still may be the type to want a postcard.  I have students that don’t have access to internet unless it is at school, so I just have them on a list to mail calendars to.  There are not many, but I don’t want to exclude those students that cannot afford the Inet at home.

Feel free to add your thoughts of questions to ask students…

[youtube]qKFkaEY35AY[/youtube]

[youtube]kMKrMHYtt3I[/youtube]

A huge resource of testimonies from www.iamsecond.com .  If you haven’t seen these videos, you need to.  Sometimes when I need to be encouraged, challenged, or inspired…this is where I go.  That is the power of video.  I encourage our students to watch these when they ask how to share their story.  Sure it won’t be as dramatic as some of these…but people want to here how your faith has changed you, not anyone else.  Share your faith.

This video of Chris sharing his story strikes a chord with me.  I pray for our armed forces, have family in them, family that retired from them, students that serve…they give so much and get much less thanks for what they do and the sacrifice that is a part of something bigger than themselves.  I hope it moves you as much as it did me. …DVS

Saw this a few months ago and I pray for believers in India more now than ever.  It is one thing to sit in our air conditioned homes and offices and say “that’s too bad” or “Isn’t that sad?” and another to be motivated to pray for the Christians that are being subjected to this type of treatment in many parts of the world.  I am sure it will motivate you as well.  I have friends that are doing God’s work in some of the most difficult areas to reach with the Gospel…pray.  I get angry, physically upset when I watch this…it is ok to be offended…man can do horrible things…

Below is a similar video with less edited film footage…be prepared

[youtube]pOy_V1mK4Ys[/youtube]

Amazing use of video to explain something that some of us know…but all of us should.  My question is how can we embrace the technology in a way that brings Glory to God?  Sure the social networks are great for marketing/advertising/getting the word out…but how can we use it to share Christ.  This is something that I ask myself over and over…can we as Christians create culture?  The message is amazing…better than any new ipod or flat screen…how can we get Gen Y and beyond to use social media to share their faith?  Is it just a high tech Christian T-shirt or can it be much more than that?  Isn’t this fun…?  There are many apps that allow us to read scripture and share “thoughts of the day”…but what else can we do?

[youtube]sIFYPQjYhv8[/youtube]