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Using Today's Technology to Further Relationships in Youth Ministry

Someone who applies even a little bit of creativity could come up with plenty of ways to wow people with some of today's technology, but I'm not looking for the razzle-dazzle. I'm just hoping to offer a few ideas for how to leverage technology and social media as a tool to enhance relationships for the sake of youth ministry. I don't intend it to be comprehensive, rather just a few quick tips and suggestions for getting more mileage out of some tools you may already be using.

This series of posts has been inspired by an upcoming workshop I'll be leading for the United Methodist's South Georgia Annual Conference Pathways to a Healthy Church event in August. The official title and description for the workshop goes something like this:

Using Today's Technology to Further Relationships in Youth Ministry
Discover ways that technology and social networking can be used as a tool to enhance youth ministry.
Before we dive into ideas and how-to's, let's restate that all of this use of technology is simply a tool to facilitate relationships in ministry to teenagers.

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." (1Thess2:8)

As we seek to invite people into faith in Jesus, that happens as we share our lives with one another. The core and backbone of effective youth ministry is relationships. To truly share the gospel of God, we must share our lives. We must grow along side one another. And with the hyper-connectivity today's technology provides, with all it's positives and negatives, we should make wise use the tools available to us for the sake a building potentially life-changing relationships.

Certainly there are warnings and cautions to how a person uses this stuff. All of this should be done within the context of friendships and relationships, not invading "their" space or imposing on teenagers. Also, it's important that parents be aware that you are interacting with their teens in these ways just to be certain there are no questions about integrity. Basic word of advice: Don't be the creepy old guy that stalks kids online.

Here is the starting line-up for the series:If you have suggestions for other posts in this series or questions about some of this stuff, that's what the comments and email are for.

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