How Texting Changed My Youth Group
In my youth group EVERY youth has a cell phone and for a long time it was such a battle to get them to stop texting each other or friends not at youth group while I was trying to give a lesson or during worship. We tried collecting phones (parents got upset), we tried not taking them unless we saw them (then kids were "going to the bathroom" to use them). After trying to figure out what to do for over a year one of my leaders had a brilliant idea. She said:
"What if they texted us their questions about the lesson?"
And there it started. We unveiled it during our fall retreat and we put one leader's cell phone number on the projector screen and allowed the teens to text her any question they head about the lessons we were giving and at the end of the lesson the youth broke up into groups of 5-7 and discussed the questions we put on the screen.
This had a few unintended affects. First, the kids were listening but they never looked at me. They were texting almost the whole time. However they were paying attention in ways I never knew was possible. My youth loved it because this was the first time adults were telling them to use their cell phone instead of putting it away.
The other thing this has allowed is for the youth to ask questions they would never ask out loud. We did this during valentines day where the youth could text a relationship question to either a married, engaged, dating, or single person and one asked "I am in a violent relationship what do I do?" That you would never have come to us in person but being able to text the question allowed the doors of communication to open.
Now, we use this almost every week and the youth have come to expect this from us.
There are services out there that you can pay for that will do the exact same thing we do but the way we do it is free and easy. It is the high tech version of questions in a hat.
Enjoy and I hope you can use it.
About Rev. BT Gilligan
Hi, thanks for looking for more information on me. My name is BT Gilligan I am a United Methodist Pastor outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I have been doing youth ministry for ten years and I love every second of it. I have a wonderful wife and two wonderful children.
Everything I am and everything I have is because of Jesus it is to Him that I owe all of this.
If you like what you read you are welcome to read my personal blog at www.divinecrash.com where you can find access to my sermons and my non-youth ministry thoughts.
I am also available for speaking engagements, if you would like to arrange that please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact page on my blog.