When Youth Ministry Goes Remote
As more and more school districts close and churches limit gatherings, there is going to be millions of teens sitting at home bored out of their minds. The good news is that there are more ways than ever to connect with and engage students virtually.
If you have ever complained about too many club sport tournaments, practices, recitals, homework, projects and extracurricular activities…now is your time!
Here is a list of 15 ideas to help students grow spiritually and in community during this time:
- Post a short devotional video every day. Make it fun. Give a tour of your house. Show them that you actually have toilet paper.
- Jump on Zoom or some other meeting app and take a small group through one of our free YouTube discussions (yes, these each have small group questions and scripture) or free Music Discussions (yes, Billie Eilish, Bieber, Mercy Me, For King & Country… they all have scripture and small group questions, and they’re all free).
- Utilize Bible Project Videos to have a remote Bible Study.
- Create or use an existing Bible Reading Plan to go through as a group.
- Challenge your students to read the Bible in a month. Send a group text with comments about what you read.
- Schedule a daily virtual prayer time.
- Answer a Bible question a day in a short post.
- Have your musically inclined students spend time writing new worship songs. Post them to YouTube and share them with the group.
- Video Game Tournament. Ask your students… they’ll tell you how.
- Short Story or Book writing competition. Seriously. They have nothing else to do. How much Netflix can one students actually watch?
- Binge watch a Netflix, Disney+, Hulu show and discuss. Did you know we have a Bible discussion posted for every single episode of The Walking Dead and Stranger Things?
- Coffee Time: Everyone brews a cup of coffee at home and hangs out virtually. Video conference and share your secret coffee recipe.
- Giant Game of Zoom Mafia.
- Homework Hour: Have time for students to gather online to work on their distance homework. Break into subject groups if needed.
- Take any one of these ideas and challenge students to help implement and run it. The more engaged they are, the more traction it will gain. Remember, they are the virtual generation. This is their playground.
If you have more ideas that are working, comment below. If we like them, we might add them to the post!
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
Cameron Pedicord is an experienced youth worker and avid lover of all things food and cooking. He is a leadership coach and consultant to church and nonprofit leaders and regularly blogs at VMI Leadership Solutions. He works to help churches and nonprofits clarify vision and generate momentum to multiply impact. Cameron, his wife Corrina, and soon to be two children live in Northern California.