What is it? Not really sure…these type of things have been going on since the technology of capturing home movies has trickled down into the hands of people that work with students. I am sure if someone looked hard enough, there would be some sort of room invasion, student highlight, “me and my locker”, or something of that nature on reel-to-reel 8mm somewhere. That would be fun to see. So, from shoulder cannon VHS to the latest HD Digital, we can assume there are youth pastors that use this technology to highlight students and improve our relationships with students all over the world. Keep those cameras rollin’ and here is our little take on subject of shining the spotlight on students.
I have done different variations of this for many years, but I think we have found the right mixture of fun and shenanigans to share with you as an idea that can really go places in your ministry. It is easy and students love it. The mission we have is to highlight a student’s room, ransack it, and clean it up without getting caught. Obviously you want to get the parents involved otherwise…or you will have to explain to your Pastor and church how you were arrested and wonder if the bail money could possibly come out of your travel expense…or even better, jail ministry mission trip!
I begin with a mass sign up…students can sign up to have their room “invaded”, but this is not a guarantee that their room will be hit. We use “Room Invasions” as a special treat in our ministry and it is not a scheduled event. This helps you as well since there really is no “deadline” to have it cut and ready for primetime. So with a base list of students to choose from, we work with the parents and get permission from them. Get the details on the “subject’s” room and even let them participate if they wish. If it is a female student, you specifically want to know from the parent which “areas” of the room are off-limits. These are articles of clothing that could embarrass both you and the student and with the goal of fun…not abuse…you stay away from those areas. No worries, because most students have plenty of material in the room to fill a 5 minute video.
Here are some things to think about:
- Highlight things that make the student unique. Hobbies, sports, awards, collections, i.e. stacks of broken skateboards
- Take tons of footage, sure there will be dull moments or things that are not remotely funny…but those will never see the light of day and you don’t want to get to editing and not have enough footage.
- Remember-everyone and everything looks cool in slow motion.
- Bring props…the right goofy CD or “mom’s” prom dress in the closet can make for good fun and many laughs…but make sure you know your student and that they can take it.
- All else fails…embarrass yourself. Fall down, put on the clothes, taste the make-up, etc.
- Pick great music to drive the video forward. A great soundtrack can make ok-funny clips hilarious. i.e. I once found a Kenny G CD on the floor…enough said.
- Trash the room, but don’t break anything…explaining a broken tiara that is treasured to that student is not where I want to be.
- Then clean everything up. We have done tons of these videos and still haven’t been caught. I even leave hints that I was there. Money missing, names written on boards, hats left behind, etc. Still, no one has come up to me before we roll that beautiful bean footage on Wednesday and asked, “Hey, have you been in my room?”
- Thank the parents…burn them copies to keep. It is a great tool to get to know the parents of the students and thanks them for letting their most treasured possession hang out with you.
- Put your own spin on it…there are no real rules saying it has to look one way or another. Have fun with it.
These are just a few ideas…but go crazy…you will find a niche that fits your personality, use college students if you are too old or just not funny. It is ok and we won’t tell anyone. There is a reason that MTV/VH1 latched onto the idea as well, however, I think a youth pastor invented it first. But it wasn’t me. Have fun.