With the ever-shifting times, teenagers more than ever need the stability that comes from the unchanging Word of God, the pillar and ground of the truth (the church), a relationship with the God of the universe, and the encouraging fellowship of the believers in the body of Christ. You know that.
The unusualness of 2020 with its particular spiritual dangers does not have immediate dissipation in sight. But teens cannot wait until all is calm and all is bright to be helped, so we must reach them. How can we do just that? What are some ways to keep regular teens in the youth group engaged as well as reach out to a few new people when person-to- person contact is discouraged? Well, here are some ideas that are more for those who are not able to meet in regular capacity yet. Some of these ideas may be old hat for some of you, so feel free to skim through some of what’s here. And yes! I am very much aware that state regulations are different; I preached in fifteen different states this year, and things are different in different places. But our Great Commission is still on! So, what can we do? Here’s some thoughts:
You probably already are aware of some of the great tools that are at our disposal to meet virtually. Zoom, FaceTime, Google Duo, Facebook Live, and Google Meets are just a few of the many free options that will allow you to interact with and preach to your youth. Even though virtual services are not ideal, they are a way that the Word of God can be kept before your youth. If God’s Word is what will change hearts (Psalm 119:9), then we’d better make sure that we have a method where we can share God’s Word with our young people. I was able to participate in a couple of the virtual youth groups that our home church in Alabama had, and one girl in our youth group had made friends with some girl out in Arizona online during the pandemic, and she got this girl to sign in while we did our virtual youth group. Unsaved friends can still be invited to virtual youth group! Don’t waste these precious times to share God’s Word! Address the spiritual dangers that we discussed in the last article(s)! Call the teenagers to holiness! Assure them that God is still on the throne! Preach the Gospel! Do not neglect that virtual pulpit if that’s all there is.
But suppose you’re able to meet…then do it! Find out what your pastor wants for safety precautions and do them. Get creative. Have everyone wear masks in a massive circle in the fellowship hall if it has to be that way. Set up chairs outside during each week that you have good weather. Preach to them there! Go to youthpastor.com/games to access game ideas for a “socially distant world.” Make sure you and your teenagers do not criticize those whose parents want them wearing a mask to youth group even if you don’t feel it to be necessary. Secure a few adult volunteers who can sanitize before and after.