I’m not a shy person, someone who’s a youth pastor with their own YouTube channel can’t afford to be. I, maybe like you, was concerned about disappearing videos and teenagers when Snap Chat first came out. There are still concerns but Snapchat has evolved since it’s early days with fun filters and has become a business juggernaut.
About six months ago I quit hiding from the Social Media Boogie Man and took to Snapchat for my youth ministry. It’s my account not a ministry account. If you follow me, you’ll know that I am about Jesus and ministry, music and food, and lots of other stuff about life.
I’m not going to say that everything I view, of those I follow, is fun or even interesting but it’s a level playing field. Snap Chat, like all social media, is what I make it. So, I am making Snapchat fun, inspiring, connective, and informative for my youth ministry.
Oh, did I mention I’m 48 and don’t understand everything about how to use Snapchat? I think that’s what my students like about my presence on Snapchat. I’m a Pastor but I’m also a regular guy. If you are on the older end of the spectrum fear not, the kids will be happy to teach you, just like mine taught me.
Here’s five fun ways I’m using Snapchat with my students and you could too.
I find short proverbs and read them or snap scriptures out my Bible.
Snap A Friend
We are in Blitz mode at our church and I recently sent out a challenge to snap someone you are inviting to church this week and have them say, “I’m coming to TRIBES“. If they show up, they will get 5,000 extra points for their tribe. So far I got one snap back but I think I’ll get more.
Sometimes I just see something beautiful in nature or I’m having a God-moment and I snap it to let kids know God is moving in my daily life. I also add a scripture using the text feature.
I use lots of the filters, not all of them because some creep me out. I do this just to be human, to let them know I have a sense of humor and do not take myself too seriously.
I make an announcements or show cryptic pictures of what we may be doing that night at youth. It builds anticipation that something good is going to happen at church.
I know my limits but the kids accept me and all my social media awkwardness because they know I love them. Your kids will do the same if you’re authentic.
Like I said, I don’t have this all figured out. I’m learning as I go.
Here are some other youth ministry ideas for using Snapchat.
I’d love to hear your ideas so leave me a comment below and you are welcome to follow me on Snapchat (jediforhire) to see what I am up to. Just open Snapchat, take a picture of the graphic above, and walla! you are following me