Running Virtual Youth Groups in a COVID-19 Age
Life has certainly changed quickly – but opportunities for Youth Ministry abound.
You might think that, since church buildings are closed, youth groups are basically on hiatus until everything gets back to normal. You couldn’t be more wrong!.
We already know that our youth are super-connected in this digital age, but many youth leaders are less so. COVID-19 has just kicked us in the butt to get a move on to digital ministry!
So, where do we start? What are some of the do’s and don’ts?
Ministry to Youth has put together a list of do’s and don’t to get you started, including a basic introduction to Zoom and a list of alternatives.
The Canadian Youth Network has run a webinar on virtual youth groups. Here are my notes from that seminar: Ideas for Youth Leaders. Check their COVID-19 Resource Hub for upcoming (online) forums, activities, and more.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada offers a number of resources on its COVID-19 Resources page.
SPUR Ottawa has an idea-filled article on Getting Creative about Church.. The article includes how church ministry is changing as a result of COVID-19, and offers tips and who in the region to contact for technical support.
Stuff You Can Use offers a number of resources/videos to support youth leaders – for example, Adapting Lessons for Online was offered March 31st, and is available on their FB page.
Ministry to Youth has put together a 6-pack of lessons on Uncertainty. While you need to pay for the 6-pack, you can contact them directly to get a sample copy.
Revelation Media is offering the award-winning movie The Pilgrim’s Progress free to families during this time of social distancing brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch online and share with your family, church, school, neighbors and friends. This a free, limited-time offer, so do not wait!
SPUR Ottawa has an idea-filled article on Getting Creative about Church.. The article offers a number of ideas for activities that could be done even while “physically distancing” one’s self. Check it out!
Stuff You Can Use has made a number of bonus teaching videos and infosheets available online.
UNICEF also has a COVID-19 Resource Hub and states that soon “we’ll be posting resources just for kids, including quizzes and fun educational materials. We hope you will visit the page regularly to get the latest updates on COVID-19, and share the link with your family and friends.”
Youth Leader Support
Physical distancing brings its own challenges. Part of the Canadian Youth Network‘s mandate is to support youth leaders. They remind you that “We’re here for you!” – “if you need a sounding board,c ounsel, help, or prayer, our team at CYN is here to connect with you.” – Email them at email@example.com.
Stuff You Can Use has also posted a video, Strategies for Self-Care that looks at how youth leaders can take care of themselves while also “staying focused during these changing timesin ministry”.
Fun Time! Join Stuff You Can Use “every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET for a trivia battle on Facebook Live on our Facebook page here; the winner will walk away with $100 in prizes. Invite your church leader friends, and text “SYCUTRIVIA” to 555-888 to get an alert each week when we’re about to begin. While you’re at it, click here to check out our tutorial on how to host one of these trivia livestreams yourself!”