- What many were doing in January was MOSTLY working.
- What most shifted to in March was SORT OF successful.
- What we do in April could make the BIGGEST difference moving forward.
Unplug. Go old school.
The pendulum swung hard and fast to digital.
The church beat the schools, coaches and peers to Zoom. The first week of coronavirus shut-down brought about the fastest changes in church and youth ministry programming. We did well.
However, the teachers, tutors and friends have all caught up and taken over. So much is “required” by these schools, clubs and even the friendships. Our students are online for school, hobbies, friendships and entertainment.
The pendulum should swing back so that eventual balance is established post-Covid-19.
Principle One: Your Hand Will Show Your Heart: Very few students know the feeling of getting a handwritten letter, card or homemade gift. Snaps, Texts and DM’s have become the norm. The Pendulum Swing: Whether you’re a pastor or small group leader, your heart and love will be shown when use snail mail or a front-porch drop off.
Principle Two: Your Voice Will Be Louder: My friend Bob Lenz called me the other day. A call. I was fresh off of an infinity number of Zoom calls.
It. Was. So. Nice. To. Just. Talk.
The relief, and love, I felt from an out-of-the-blue call was wonderful. It was as if I could hear him better than I heard the voices on my video-chats. The Pendulum Swing: Even if a student doesn’t answer, the sound of your voice on a voicemail could be the blessing they didn’t know was coming. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll pick up and your impromptu call could be exactly what was needed today. I get that so many Youth Pastors grew up on texts, but allow the ol’ school rulz to apply, go pre-text, make 3 calls per day.
Principle Three: Remember Your Audience: I’ve watched about ten Student Ministry “Messages” or “Talks” in the last two weeks, ranging from five to 30 minutes. It’s completely subjective (or simply my opinion) but it felt that seven of the ten were more geared for an adult audience. It made me wonder, “are youth pastors so aware that parents, staff and our peers around the country are watching that we need to ‘up our game?’” The Pendulum Swing: Keep it even more simple than you think you should. Tell more stories. Invite them to the simplicity of Scripture while showing your heart. Keep it short, they are already watching SO MUCH on video.
It’s time to go ol’ school. It may be an over-reaction, but that’s okay. The pendulum can swing for a couple of weeks, we’ll balance out later, but you won’t regret the personal touch of a hand-written note, a phone call and a more simple message.