Friday Quick Tip: A Way to Use Facebook for Pastoral Care!

Thought I’d share this with you.  Creating a culture of students who pray for each other.  My first idea was to do a traditional prayer area that students could go get prayer.  I would staff the area with leaders and students.  I really wanted students to experience the value having people praying for them.  My first idea didn’t go the way I expected.  I would get a few students a month to the prayer area, where I would have leaders and students standing post.

Then I had the idea to use Facebook as the area for prayer and use that area for organic connections and prayer.  Since students are already on Facebook it was a matter of meeting them where they are.  So I created HSMiPRAY where students are praying for students.  The only people that can join  are high school students and our youth group leaders.  When a student joins they read the description and are free to start posting prayer request and praying for other students who post in the group.

Here’s the description:

iPRAY Ministry (Students Praying for Students) – We are devoted to praying for others and our ministry. Without self-gaining motives and we are thankful for the means of communication by which we can talk to God. God never intended for people to walk alone in life, but in community with him and others. So this group was created for us to walk together in prayer. Praying for each other and our ministry.

There is no prayer too SMALL that God is too busy to hear and there is also no prayer too BIG and CRAZY that God isn’t big enough to handle. From school work to parents divorcing, God cares about it all.

You can message us your prayer request and the iPRAY team will pray for you. hsmIPRAY@groups.facebook.com

or post it on our wall…if you don’t mind others that have joined the group to see and pray with you.

AGAIN – There is no prayer too SMALL that God is too busy to hear and there is also no prayer too BIG and CRAZY that God isn’t big enough to handle. From school work to parents divorcing, God cares about it all.

I would ask that we’re all mindful of people’s request…and just encourage others if comments are made.

When a prayer request is posted students either (like it) or post as a comment (“praying for you” or something encouraging).  We do not encourage or allow advice giving.  If a student posts a prayer request that might need attention, our pastoral care team will contact that student through Facebook and offer to meet with them and talk.  So if we see someone give advice (even if it’s good) we delete it.  I actually contact the student via Facebook and say “great advice but we want this to be just for prayer and encouragement because if everybody gave advice it could get out of hand”.  Usually it’s a close friend who’s giving the advice so I encourage them to contact them directly with the advice.

We have 150 students added and we have not advertised it at all.  It’s really just been word of mouth, friends adding their friends, etc.  We’ve had prayer requests from students who are struggling in their faith to students who’s parents are divorcing.  It is an awesome sight to see students who aren’t even Facebook friends praying for each other.  They know they don’t have to wait til youth group to get prayer.  They can post at anytime and have people praying for them at anytime.

hope this helps

ac

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