I was a little intimidated at first but realized since we have the Live Streaming already for our church it is the easiest option for our youth group. We have younger students (11-14), so I had to have integrity and say the video was for kids. I knew there would be no comments and interacting with the students and there was a possibility no one would even watch the video. But I didn’t want to lose the momentum we’ve been building in our group, so I got creative.
I used Ty Hogue’s amazing Quarantine Challenge Bingo and adapted it for our youth group. I sent it snail mail a couple days before Online Youth Group with a memory verse card (John 16:33) and a blank heart for them to use to write a note of encouragement for someone in their house (both challenges are on my Quarantine Challenge sheet).
A student who knows Instagram offered to make a story for me and posted some awesome pictures about our upcoming Online Youth Group a few days in advance (#pathmakersstudents). Then I texted all my students with the link to our YouTube channel and told them we’d be streaming at our usual time the day before and, also, the day of the streaming.
My husband created an awesome graphic to post on our church’s YouTube channel the day before and made sure I knew what I was doing for the actual live streaming. I asked my daughter to lead a song at the beginning of the video (like she does each week at youth group) and my son to lead a game after my quick lesson. I love having my kids in youth group!
I mentioned for them to look for their snail mail (in case it hadn’t come, yet) and taught on the memory verse I sent out (John 16:33) partnered with Matthew 28:20 and some encouragement to pray when anxiety and stress show up.
Then we played “Text Me Trivia” and my son led the game. I had him ask 10 trivia questions (and a bonus question) having to do with kids’ shows. They had 30 seconds after he asked the question to text me the correct answer. They got points for every right answer in 30 seconds (plenty of time by the way) and 60 seconds for the bonus question. It was super fun. Next time I’ll play music with a 30 second count down in the background instead of just hearing me laugh at the funny text answers, but it was a success. I’ll be sending the winner a prize in the mail this week.
Then I closed off the time with the Quarantine Challenge, memorization and encouragement note challenges, and asking them to send me prayer requests since I’m already praying for them (like usual).
I got great feedback from the students who were able to tune in and some parents who are looking forward to next week. I’ll keep checking the DYM updates for games that might work better for our group, but we may have found the winner already in Text Me Trivia. It was a little rough but it was real and it worked. Here’s the link to the video in case you’re a visual person. It’s only 22 minutes long.
I am praying for all of you as you wade through the waters of this unusual time in youth ministry. It’s a great time to be innovative and remember if one student reaches out or is reached, it’s enough!