This may be a ridiculously obvious statement, but I use facebook in our ministry…..a lot! I would venture to say about 90% of our students use facebook regularly, I find it as a great tool to communicate and connect further with them. Here are some of the ways that I use facebook:
- To see what your students are up too. Sometimes, this is a great thing, and sometimes it can be discouraging. The discouraging part is when your students are not up to good things during the week. That is when ministry gets tough, but it is what God has called you to do. Your facebook and any social media account can be a tattletail on your heart. I teach our students this, and using facebook helps you know the heart of the students you are working with.
- Create a fan page for your student ministry. I created a fan page for the Grove, and we have quite a few followers that are not even in our ministry that keep up to date with the ministry! This also is a great way to post events, status updates, lesson notes, photos, and videos. I post regularly on our facebook page to keep the students, parents, and leaders up to speed with what is going on.
- Email. I receive more facebook messages than I do email. Now, this is especially true when it comes to students, but now parents and leaders are facebooking me more than emailing. I now consider checking my email as checking my facebook messages. Message your students on here and let them know that you are praying for them. Encourage them through messaging. Do not be afraid to send a private message to a student.
- Event Sign Ups– I try to create an event on facebook for all of our Grove events. It is tough to do sometimes, but it helps me get the word out. I will say that the list of attending/non attending/and maybe’s are hardly ever accurate, but it gives you a rough idea. You also can share this event after you create on your own page or on your fan page as the event gets closer.
- Groups– Honestly, before fan pages, groups were the thing, but now fan pages are becoming better and more effective. For your student ministry, create a fan page and send it to your students, leaders, and parents. Update your status and everything about your ministry on your fan page. So, should we use groups? Absolutely! I still am in several groups for connecting and networking with other student pastors and leaders. I have been able to network with student pastors in our area through these youth pastor groups. Also, it is a great source for hands on practical conversations about student ministry!
Obviously, facebook is a great way to get the word out, but there is more to facebook than status updates, and I encourage you to connect with the students where they are, and they are on facebook.
If you use facebook for different ideas and things, please comment and let us know how you are using facebook effectively in student ministry: