Social media and apps are everywhere. And if the girls in your ministry are anything like mine these are apart of their lives. How do we enter into this world with them and also use Social Media to help build community and encourage our girls with truth? Here are a few ideas that I have been using:
- Facebook: Create a group page for your girls to build a community. You can utilize polls asking all sorts of questions like, “How do you spend your lunch hour?” When using the polls you can add your own answers for the girls to pick from. If you set up the group to be private it can be a safe place for girls to place prayer requests and praises from their week. You can also create a discussion by posting a question, verse, or quote and allowing the girls to comment their thoughts. Another feature is creating an event invite in the group page. When you create the event all those who are members of the group are sent the invite.
- Pinterest: If you are not familiar with pinterst, it is a way that you can organize all the great ideas that you find on the web. You can create boards (displays) for upcoming events that you are planning, find ideas for girls events and be inspired with new and creative ways to help with messages for girls. Here is one of my boards to get you started. Another way to use pinterest, is follow your girls boards and see what is trending among them. Maybe you will see an idea of a snack they all seem to want and make it for your next small group or event. You can also see what their interests are which may help in guiding your conversations with them.
- Instagram: Photography is a great way to advertise events, share verses and encourage girls. Take a picture of some of the set up to an event you are preparing and tag the girls in description (click here for an example). This can build anticipation for the event. Create a specific hash tags for your event and have students use that hash tags as they take pictures from the event. You can post pictures of what God is teaching you in your instagram. And always take pics with your girls and post it with description of why they are so great.
- Snapchat: This is an app like texting but with pictures and videos that are not saved to your phone. Yes, this app has potential for danger with girls (conversations for another time) but I believe that it can be used for good. Take a silly pic of you and add an encouraging comment to a girl. When they have been studying hard for a test, send your pic during the night and maybe they will see it in the morning and be encouraged. Don’t take this app to serious, but have fun chatting with girls and encouraging them.
- Photo Challenge: You may have seen those monthly photo-a-day challenges out there. I have yet to see one done the whole month. What if you try only a week long challenge? Give ideas that girls can take pictures of each day (again use hash tags). Another photo challenge you could do is give them a verse, quote or phrase and have them interpret those words through photography or art. You could encourage them to post their interpretations on Instagram or facebook and hold a contest for a small prize for most creative, funny or whatever category you’d want to make. The point with this idea is to get the girls thinking about what you send them and how they would want to share those words through an art form. Here is an example.
These are just a few ideas of how we can use social media and apps to connect with girls in our ministry and share everyday life with them. These ideas are not a substitute for one on one and actual conversations but rather a tool to help you connect with girls in their world and help them see how God can be glorified in all aspects of our lives.
What are some ways you connect with girls using social media and apps?
Kim Bowers is an amazing youth worker who is married to a youth pastor in Southern California. She recently wrote some amazing curriculum about the women in the Bible….be sure to check it out!