Thursday, September 30, 2010

Technology in Student Ministry

·        I have tried to stay up with the latest technology since I started in Youth Ministry in 1997.  Since my first church I have always found it important to have a youth group website.  Over the years it has evolved as technology has changed.  I use our website to give visitors an open house of what our ministry is about.  The website is updated several times a week to help parents and students keep up with current and future events.   The website allows visitors to see what we are doing and what we have done.
·         I have always had a newsletter in youth ministry, and in recent years I have adapted with technology and send out two weekly newsletter via email using www.constantcontact.  I give weekly announcements, give information about future retreats, and give a summary of the current topics we are teaching in youth group, small groups, and Sunday school.  I also print out several copies for those who do not have internet access that can pick them up in the church office.  I also post the link on Facebook and in our churches weekly email newsletter.
·         Since 2008, when I attended Youth Specialties and stopped by the vender Youth Tracker, I have used this website to keep attendance and organize our students in small groups, outreach, events, and more
·         Text messaging is the language of most teenagers today.  I use text messaging to weekly send out announcements and reminders.  I also use it to send the students daily scripture readings.  I use Simply Text.
·         I also use the technology of Facebook.   I have set up several groups online for parents, youth, small groups, and our praise band to keep everyone connected.  I also encourage parents to use Facebook to stay connected with their students.  I use Facebook to post articles, blogs, announcements, newsletters, and scripture.
·         Twitter is also used in my student ministries.  I use it for quick updates, announcements and to share links with my students and parents.  I also use it for personal use to network with other ministry leaders around the world.
·         Video is another key use of technology in my ministry.  I always take a video camera with me to school events and make highlight videos to help encourage students to bring their friends.  I always video any retreat and mission trip to document our trip.   I make a highlight video that I share at youth group and with the congregation.  We always make these videos available on our website and on youtube.   For the past two summers on our mission trip, we have made daily video blogs to help connect our mission trip to the parents and our congregation.  I also make funny videos for youth group.  I use videos from different church media outlets such as Blue Fish TV and the Skit Guys for illustrations in my devotions and lessons.  We use a DV camecorder as well as two Flip video cameras and my iPhone for videos.  I use Pinnacle Studios 14 for video editing on my computer.
·         In 1997 the technology for leading worship was an overhead projector with transperancy song sheets.  As worship technology has changed, I have moved to powerpoint and now use Media Shout 4.5 during youth program time.  I have also used Easy Worship and Song Show Plus.  
·         My iPhone has also become a big part of my ministry.  I use it for texting, photos during events and youth, quick videos, and iPhone Apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Bible Commentarires, NIV Bible, Youth Specialties, and other ministry Apps.

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