Facebook is definitely not the total solution but it can be very helpful when you think of it as a tool for Student Care/relational ministry. Think about how it makes you feel when a student posts on your wall “thanks for being there for me” or something like that. You feel like God is using you. You feel like, “Wow! I am really making a difference”. Well, times that by twenty and you get how a student feels when we leave something encouraging on their wall. Here are four quick ways I use Facebook to interact with students:
- Encourage – Leaving a quick post of encouragement for a student or a volunteer on their Facebook wall can go a long way. I went to a volleyball game this week and didn’t get to stay til the end and therefore I didn’t get to talk with the players that I knew. So when I got home I jumped on Facebook and posted on their wall some words of encouragement.
- Affirm – There was a student I knew and she had brought her sister to one of our services. She introduced me to her after service. An emergency came up and I had to make our greeting really quick. So, later on that evening when I got home I friended her on Facebook. I posted on her wall who I was and that I hated to have to be so quick with her and that it was great meeting her. Well, later her sister told me that what I posted was such a big deal to her sister. Her sister couldn’t believe that I would take the time out of my day to find her on Facebook and apologize. I had basically affirmed that she was worth someone’s time. It was super easy and the benefit of her feeling affirmed out weighed the time I spent typing the post.
- Disciple – I get messaged all the time questions about faith, relationships and life in general. Most of the time the questions come from students who would never have the courage to approach me face to face. Also, I get the “hey my friend said you were someone I could talk to” message. Facebook creates a veil for students to hide behind physically, but it also gives them the freedom to ask questions and have conversations that they normally wouldn’t have face to face. Also, I get to ask them “how’s their walk with Christ?” and their honesty always amazes me. I definitely wasn’t that honest in high school but I also didn’t have Facebook either.
- Build Relationships – Facebook allows me to communicate with students outside of youth night. I have had great conversations with students about everyday stuff that’s going on in their life and also stuff going on in their spiritual life. I’ve been able to meet a student at youth group for the first time, become Facebook friends and by the time I see them again we’ve already had great conversations about life and God.
How have you used Facebook in ministry?
hope it helps