I want to first say, we are praying for each one of you and your students in this current reality. The Mississippi Conference student ministry division would like to help give you a few ideas and resources. These will help you to navigate how to create healthy youth ministry in the next couple of weeks.
GROUPME or Text Devotion
Consider using a service like GROUPME (free) to allow students to sign up for a text list where you can send out reassuring thoughts and devotions to students who may be stuck at home for a while. This is a great passage about overcoming fear:
Psalm 27: 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." Click here to read the entire Psalm.
Get Face-to-Face on Zoom or Google Hangout
Even though you don’t have the ability to be in the same room, invite everyone into a video conference call using a service like Zoom or Google Hangout. Zoom is free for 100 participants and 40 minutes which is sure to serve almost every youth group’s needs. Simply sign up for a free account and let everyone connect using their webcam or smartphone and check in face-to-face.
Do not forget to communicate with the parents
This is a great opportunity for us as youth leaders to help support families. With the closing of schools, and parents still working, this can be a very stressful time for them. I want to leave you with a couple of links from our ministry friends that have great resources and blogs.
We don’t have to let in-person cancellation hamper our ministry. Keep ministering. Keep checking on your students and keep hand sanitizer!
Mike Howington, The Youth Guy
Online Background Checks and Ministry Safe
Beginning in March 2020, the primary service provider for background checks for the conference will be MinistrySafe. This change was made so that churches can use a single online platform to manage both background checks and the new no-cost online training to enhance the Safe Sanctuary program components at your church. Your pastor received a detailed email March 10, 2020 explaining how to access this required online training for everyone who works with children, youth and/or vulnerable adults. For more information, click here.