- MOVIES/MEDIA – The Damah Film Festival
- GUYS ONLY – Basketball Tournaments
- GIRLS ONLY – Topic of real beauty
- REACHING FRESHMEN – Ice-cream Social or Surveys
- SENIORS – College prep seminar
- HOLIDAYS – Christmas tea or party or distribute the article “Is There a God?”
- URBAN OUTREACH IDEAS – HipHopalypse and more ideas
- FREE GIVE AWAYS – Give out a free things that students would enjoy
- SERVICE GROUPS – Meaningful service project
- HANDLING TRAGEDY – Sharing the Gospel when difficult things happen
- DIVERSE GROUPS – Host a World’s Religion’s Panel and more ideas
Shawn Basone She has served with Campus Crusade for over 19 years in youth ministry
GYD 2017 PromoAfter seeing all the news reports, testimony videos, and worldwide activity from more than 150 countries on GYD 2016, we know God has been ministering to those in need through our tireless young people committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus—literally. Seeing how His power moved through the streets of our communities last year means we can only imagine what He’ll do this year! Make big plans and share them with the world. Remember to download the app so we can see you on the map. To view the iPhone app, click here. To view the Android app, click here. The activity you share through the app on March 19th will pop up on the Global Youth Day homepage map right here.
Documents – English
|Why Global Youth Day? (GYD Philosophy)||459.47 KB||Download||2838|
|Global Youth Day Slide Presentation||Unknown||Download||3073|
|Getting Ready for Global Youth Day||431.72 KB||Download||2406|
|Tips for Global Youth Day||243.34 KB||Download||7547|
|Suggested Acts of Kindness||173.49 KB||Download||3156|
|How to Host a Blood Drive||71.42 KB||Download||1380|
|Red Cross Recruitment Strategies||42.11 KB||Download||3471|
|Blood Drive Checklist||133.64 KB||Download||3500|
|Help the Homeless||535.09 KB||Download||4631|
|ADRA Activity for GYD||Unknown||Download||2108|
Is this our biggest digital opportunity?
After several years of rapid growth, Facebook passed 800 million users in 2011. This represents 1 in 3 of all web users (if you exclude China where Facebook is banned). If we compare Facebook users with country populations, it is the third largest ‘country’ in the world.USA and UK have long been the #1 and #2 in terms of number of Facebook users. Until recently, highly-wired Turkey was #3, but Indonesia has shot up the rankings and is now third, pushing Turkey to fourth position. The Facebook interface is available in approaching 100 languages with more on the way. Many people spend at least half their online time using Facebook, and this includes people accessing Facebook via mobile phones.
The new ‘web within the Web’Companies are realizing that Facebook is where many web users spend the majority of their time (as this short story illustrates), and are falling over themselves to develop content which will integrate directly into Facebook, which itself is rapidly rolling out new features to enhance this sort of usability. Expect to see further similar developments in the future as Facebook is almost turning into a standalone ‘web inside the Web’. Increasingly, companies are advertising their Facebook Fan Page rather than their own websites, as the landing page they want people to see first. Most other social networking sites (with the exception of some national or regional non-English networks) have receded into smaller specialist niches. Bebo and MySpace are struggling. Just as there is only room for one definitive search engine (Google) or one auction/market site (eBay), people gravitate to the one social networking site where they know they can contact almost anyone. However, these guidelines apply to most other social networking sites too.
Why is it so strategic for evangelism?Because:
- Anyone can set up an account in seconds; no tech knowledge is needed (though there are aspects of Facebook that are rather quirky and hard to use).
- It is based on relationships and dialogue – the key to effective sharing of the good news.
- Your comments and postings are displayed on friends’ pages.
- You can create or join ‘Fan Pages’ and ‘Groups’ built around secular topics, and therefore relate to others within a common interest (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
- It can leverage the power of other online resources such as video clips and outreach websites.
Opportunities on FacebookThere are two overlapping approaches: incarnational and intentional active outreach. However, what you cannot expect Facebook to be is a linear platform for a message, as this wise explanation from Tom Ehrich shows. If you imagine Facebook to be a ‘pulpit for preaching’, you are wasting your time and likely to upset a lot of people. If you understand it to be a ‘cafe for conversation’, you will be in tune with its heartbeat.
- Live our lives openly and transparently in front of our friends as we do in the physical world, demonstrating unconditional love and the fragrance spoken of in 2 Cor. 2:15.
- You can respond to other people’s postings with appropriate on-topic comments, sometimes including links to appropriate pages or video clips. Keep a portofolio list of pages and video clips ready to use. Consider inner pages from Power to Change – often one of their internal pages will relate to a specific topic you are commenting on: it also includes areas for men, women and students. Always do this in a sensitive and gentle way (1 Peter 3:15).
- If many of your friends live within your local community, it may be appropriate from time to time to mention activities at your church, as this video explains.
- You can upload your own video shorts into the video section of your Facebook profile, or post a link to a YouTube video in the same way as adding a hyperlink to any posting – a clickable thumbnail graphic will be automatically displayed. Short video clips a useful way to start discussions, especially if you link to conversation-starting videos rather than preachy ‘deal-closing’ presentations.
- Another fruitful area for conversations is popular culture – movie releases, music and books. Almost everyone is interested in talking about the latest films or music, and remarkably they frequently contain embedded parallels that point to spiritual truths.
- Create or join Fan Pages or Groups on topics that interest not-yet-believers and you, and participate sensitively. Look especially at Groups, because these are designed for ongoing member interaction, and are superseding the email discussion groups and bulletin boards that used to be so popular. There are vast numbers of Groups, some of them with very high membership. Use Facebook’s search option to find them. Is there, for instance, a Group covering a sport you are interested in, or a life problem or illness that you suffer with? Choose Groups with sufficient members to maintain an interesting ongoing conversation.
- Other intentional pro-active opportunities include making contact with friends of friends, and inviting people to join Fan Pages or Groups you are a member of.
- There are very few add-on ‘Applications’ that enable us to add gently evangelistic areas to a Facebook page – here is an opportunity for developers. Read more about ‘Applications’ and those that could be evangelistic.
- Learning Facebook’s markup language enables additional features to be added to a page.
- Facebook offers particular opportunities for mission agencies and cross-cultural witness: read more.
- Churches should consider the potential for creating a Fan Page: read more. A church Fan Page, like a normal church site, should be outsider-friendly (1 Col. 4:5) and jargon-free. Here are some useful examples.
- Many church youth groups conduct all their discussion and news distribution through a Facebook Group, because it’s so easy where 100% of young people have Facebook accounts.
Things to avoid
- If you are in the sort of ministry where most of your Facebook friends are Christian leaders, it may be wise to consider having a separate Facebook profile, so that postings will not be off-putting or incomprehensible for not-yet-Christians. Read Mikey Lynch’s explanation of this principle. (See ideas for varying profile names. To save constant logging in and out, use a different browser such as Chrome for your second profile, which should be linked with a different email address to your first profile.) Always use this ‘secular’ profile when setting up, or contributing to secular-oriented Fan Pages or Groups.
- Steer away from politics and social issues: any view you express on these is likely to alienate at least half your page visitors. Consider not entering anything (or at least, anything referencing a party or partisan viewpoint) in the ‘political views’ section of your profile either. This brings to mind the note, supposedly written by a family to the milk-man in the days when milk was delivered to the community from a cart with open containers: “Thank you for your excellent service. But please could you deliver the milk and the water in separate jugs in future.”
- Under religious views on their Facebook profile, many people enter something like ‘Jesus follower’ or ‘seeker after truth’ rather than the increasingly pejorative ‘Christian’ or some denominational label.
- Don’t treat people as ‘gospel fodder’. Build unconditional relationships with respect and tolerance. Use integrity. It’s dialogue, not preaching. “The focus should be on building authentic relationships. Without it, not only do you run the risk of not being effective, but also in ruining any chance that other Christians might have,” says Dan King of Bibledude.com. “That’s why the most important thing that you can understand about social media is that it’s social in nature.”
- People will quickly see through insincerity and mixed motives. Cat owners know well the conditional affection shown by their pets when they want feeding: cupboard love. Facebook users will be less tolerant. They will quickly discern that you view them as ‘a project’ rather than a person.
- Some stategists have named inappropriate, strident, argumentative, manipulative or impersonal attempts to convince people of the truth with the chilling term un-evangelism.
- Avoid Chistrianese jargon. Express truths in alternate neutral language.
- Dont’t spend too much time on Facebook, or not use that time effectively. Read Top 9 Facebook Time Wasters to Avoid.
Learn the system
- Facebook is not always very intuitive to use or edit. It takes time to understand even the privacy settings and their implications. Realise that what you see on your Facebook page is not what visitors see: try viewing your page using a Facebook friend’s profile, and through the profile of someone who is not your friend, to see the differences.
- Various Facebook ‘applications’ can be used to extend what is displayed on your page. Some applications can be quirky to install, and there is only room for a few extra links on the horizontal top menu. (Adding applications to Fan Pages or Groups can be very complicated, counter-intuitive, and in some cases impossible. Yet other applications, such as Static FBML, only work on Fan Pages!) Read more.
- You can syndicate blog postings so they automatically appear on your page, by registering your blog with NetworkedBlogs.com. (It is quirky but possible to get NetworkedBlogs to display on a Fan Page, and there are some applications which do not currently work within Fan Pages.) Only do this if the blog postings are seeker-friendly though.
- You can also learn how to use the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to integrate other features into your Facebook Fan Page.
- There are daily limits on the number of people you can invite to be friends, and a very low limit on the number of messages you can send to non-friends. Such ‘cold-calling’ should be done with particular sensitivity.
- Use Google to find advice on all these areas – Facebook’s own documentation is often patchy. Some things you may find out by trial and error, for instance: you can only invite limited numbers of friends to a Fan Page at a time or the procedure fails, and that if their picture ceases to be ‘grayed out’ after you have done this, it means they have rejected (rather than ignored) the request, so do not send it again as it looks like you are spamming them.
Posting video clipsOne-click sharing of conversation-starting video clips has huge potential. YesHEIs.com offers a growing range of clips in various languages, precisely for this purpose. Global Short Film Network also produces vide shorts that can be used in Facebook, downloaded to mobile phones, or shared in other ways.
What is social media?Social media “provides a way for people to share ideas, content, thoughts, and relationships online. Social media differs from the ‘mainstream media’ in that anyone can create, comment on, and add to social media content. It can take the form of text, audio, video, images, and communities.”2 It is “participatory online media where news, photos, videos, and podcasts are made public; typically accompanied with a voting process to signal items considered popular.”3 Here are some social media statistics:
- Three out of four people use social networks regularly.
- Social media has overtaken email as the number one activity on the Web.
- There are over 200 million blogs.
- Every day sees some 900,000 blog posts.
- Ninety-three percent of social media users believe companies should have a presence in social media.
BenefitsLet me share some of the benefits of social networking: 1. Tolerance. Networks are good for handling diversity. Behind our screen we can be any color, any nationality, without the fear of not being accepted. 2. Friendship. Networks are about connections of nodes. I have a friend who knows a friend who could recommend you for his company. Usually it goes that way, for we get connected to each other very easily and there are no limitations or lack of trust. 3. Change. Networks are so versatile that everything can still operate effectively whether on a large scale or for smaller, close-knit groups. 4. Communal. Groups are created so that people join and feel welcome in a community. 5. Equal, small versus big. For example Amazon.com vs. Waterstones. The latter is probably the biggest and most well-known bookstore in the United Kingdom and Europe at large. At one stage, nobody thought anything could surpass its size and reputation; especially not Amazon.com, which started offline on a much smaller scale. Now Amazon has become a multinational sensation. With social networking, both types of businesses can be put on the same footing. 6. Fair. In previous years, the television producers and radio executives decided what featured in the media. However, there has now been a redistribution of power; not only does the average person sitting at home get to have a say in what they experience in the media, but they also have the chance to actually participate. 7. Open. Those who are ready for experimentation are able to do so freely. They can reach other users open to new things around the globe. This is how simple “home videos” end up having a few million viewers on sites such as YouTube. 8. Authentic. Everyone has his or her own identity; no two “profiles” or blogs are ever exactly the same. People can express their individuality through personal touches, without the restrictions of conformity. 9. Global. There are no borders or obstacles in connecting. 10. Participator. Using their own online ID, everyone can participate in any discussion. 11. Seekers. The new rule of the information age: if you don’t, someone else will.
ChallengesSocial networking is not all positive. There are challenges of which to be aware: 1. Internet addictions. The most common and dangerous addiction is pornography. Other dangers include Facebook, games, gambling, and many more addictions. 2. Less contact with family members. People on social networks feel that they socialize enough on the Internet and seem to reduce the time they spend socializing offline, particularly with family members. As a result, they become less interested in family life and tend to lose contact. 3. Feelings of loneliness and depression. Research shows that people who are spending more time on the Internet are more depressed and lonely. They lose sight of living in the real world. 4. Less active in social life. People who spend more time on the Internet lose the will to get out and actively socialize. 5. Exposure to sexually explicit material. Sexually explicit material can be found everywhere on the Internet. Even accessing a simple Web site for information, whether it be for work or general research, exposes you to endless sex advertising pop-ups. 6. Online victimization. Piracy is one example of online victimization. Hackers can also do a lot of harm to Internet users. 7. Fluidity of the virtual identity. People can present themselves in an entirely different way from what they are really like by using a false identity.
Steps to social media successHere are four simple steps to social media success: 1. Find interested people. Peer recommendation is the strongest type of marketing today. So, if you find people who are interested, that means they will bring even more. 2. Deliver quality content. Content is king. Good quality content on sites and social media is essential. Content has to be fresh and delivered regularly. 3. Capture information. Paying attention to every single detail will help capture the information. 4. Stay in touch. Last but not least, stay in touch with the people who came or were brought to you. A community is created when a group of people gathers; staying in touch will help you find new challenges, ideas, and relationships with the world at large.
Social media and evangelismSocial media evangelism is the new frontline of evangelism, based on Christ’s method to mingle with people where they are, sympathize with them, meet their needs, and invite them to follow Jesus.5 Jesus’ method of spreading the gospel was through discipleship. We want to embody this method at all times in our Internet ministry. Digital missionaries should see the contacts they make as potential discipleship opportunities and the country Web pastor should certainly treat every visitor as a disciple in the making. Discipleship on the Web looks just like discipleship on the ground. If we follow Christ’s method of reaching people, we can see that He spent time with people and wanted the best for them. He sympathized with what they were dealing with, and wherever possible, He met their needs. All of these factors gained the confidence of the people He was interacting with, and only after this happened would He then invite them to follow Him.6 Based on this method, here is a social media discipleship pathway: • CONNECT (network) online: social networks, blogs, chat rooms, special interest sites. • SHARE (post) relevant material that meets the needs of people and invite them to visit and explore wholistic life together through videos and articles. • TALK (chat) with your online friends in order to understand their needs, and respond with the relevant messages of hope found in the Bible, and perhaps by sharing your personal story. • MEET (offline) face-to-face to develop trust and confidence in Jesus. • INVITE (follow) Jesus on the journey of spiritual development. Your intention, every step of the way, should be to treat each visitor and contact as a potential disciple. You should take a personal interest in their lives. You cannot expect to disciple 500 to 1,000 people individually, but you can certainly take time to disciple a small group of people and build personal relationships. These personal relationships will form the bonds necessary to create the community that brings people back time and time again to your social media evangelism network. This network goes beyond mere digital relationships. Ultimately every disciple you create will become a real member, in a real church, somewhere in his or her local community. This is the goal of social media evangelism: digital connections with real disciples, leading to new membership in real churches.
Digital missionariesWho can be a digital missionary (DM)? Anyone. The main requirement for any DM is their excitement about using the Internet as a way to reach out to unchurched people in their language, in local communities, and around the world. DMs are perhaps the most important players in this effort—without them, this project would be unable to move forward. The DM’s task will branch out in several different directions. The role of DMs includes communicating with the Web pastor (WP) to help them in delivering good content and promoting the site. They will be active on the site, post materials, post comments, invite people, and interact with them. Facebook will be the predominant marketing tool. Through different groups and pages, they will talk with and invite people to visit and join their network.
Web pastorsEvery WP will need to translate the site if there is no other particular language. His or her first task after transition will be to find good content, filling all subcategories. The next step is recruiting and training digital missionaries, finding people who are willing to help in delivering good quality content, and promoting the site. Then it comes to networking, which is inviting people to visit the site, welcoming them, and then interacting and talking with them. With the use of Facebook (FB), the WP will be able to promote the site and open a fan page where the WP will interact with their fans on a daily basis. The WP will need to follow strategies and provide a monthly report using Google Analytics for measurable results and also collect interesting stories and testimonies. The WP will look after the DMs in their area, empowering them in the task they have before them. The WP will guide, advise, counsel, and encourage their DMs with weekly communication and interaction. The WP needs to serve as a resource for the DM in answering difficult questions and approaching difficult situations they may face along the way. Perhaps even more importantly, they will serve as a discipleship guide to disciple the DM’s contacts along the way. The WP should be active on their DMs’ blogs and spaces to help establish relationships with the contacts the DMs are making in their area. Now that you have heard about social media evangelism, the benefits it holds, and the challenges that may arise, I challenge you to develop an online community with the aim of creating a place where people can explore life together, share ideas and stories, discuss favorite topics, and be inspired for wholistic growth in their relationship with God.
Books:Meerman Scott, David. 2011. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Meyerson, Mitch. 2010. Success Secret of the Social Media Marketing Superstars. Entrepreneur Media Inc. White, Ellen G. 1905. Ministry of Healing. Pacific Press Pub. Assn.
Electronic Sources:Evans, Dave. “What is Social Media.” Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day, 2012. http://www.readthis.com/index.php/smmhad/part_i_chapter_03 (accessed November 8, 2012). faithHighway e-book. Social Media and the Church, 11. http://www.faithhighway.com/faithHighway-eBooks-for-your-church.php (accessed November 8, 2012). Fitzgerlad, Britney. “Sarah Leary, Nextdoor Social Network Co-Founder, Talks Bill Gates, Startup Advice”, August 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/sarah-leary-nextdoor_n_1699094. h t m l ? u t m _ h p _ r e f = s o c i a l-networking (accessed November 8, 2012). Social Networking Statistics, Statistic Brain. http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics (accessed November 12, 2012).
- SOW — In this stage (which might also be referred to as pre-evangelism), people aren’t actively seeking Jesus. But digital and social media can play a role in influencing the perception of Christianity and creating an environment that fosters openness and curiosity to engage.
- REAP — For our purposes, the REAP stage extends from when someone reaches a place where they’re beginning to seek answers, through to a decision to follow Christ. Digital and social media provide a unique and safe environment for people to struggle and question, often in more vulnerable ways because of the perceived anonymity and safety of technology.
- DISCIPLE — After someone becomes a believer, the lifelong journey truly begins. Digital and social media can help people connect with a local church, provide resources and connections to deepen in the faith, and provide encouragement and tools to share Christ with others. That completes the circle, looping back to SOW.