Over at Tim Schmoyer’s Life in Student Ministry blog, you can find a list of 100 topics he would like people to write about. Clearly, this is not a project for a one-time deal so I’ll start categorizing these posts as Tim’s Topics. Let it also be said that I have no intention of doing all 100. I’ll just pick and choose at random, depending on the mood of the day.
For starters, we’ll go with one that can be dashed off quickly over lunch.
First, I’m not sure what Tim intended under this topic, but let’s define technology as the gizmos not the software. If I were to get into all the software that goes into youth ministry, it could take hours. Having said that, here’s the list:
Cell phone. This is perhaps the most useful technology. Sure, it’s good for calling students and parents, but it is also essential for texting. Lately, it seems the students don’t check their e-mail with the same frequency that you might have seen a few years ago. I have found that I can write a longer e-mail with all the details, send out a short text message that says “check your e-mail” and get responses. No, it isn’t everyone, but it is more than I usually get. Final thing about the cell phone – it’s video and photo functions continually get better in quality, making it an excellent emergency camera if you don’t have item #2 on my list handy.
Digital camera. Back in the day, everyone would go to a youth event, take their own pictures and then get duplicates made for people who wanted them. Now, more common events can be photographed and the pictures shared digitally. For bigger events, like mission trips, I usually just burn off all my photos to a CD and let participants decide if they want to print them or not.
Computer. The most indispensible tool. I use it for Bible study, making all sorts of promotional material, organizing presentations and providing background music to Sunday school. I know some people would have issues with music playing during Sunday school, but I have found that students are more responsive when the music plays. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because their worlds are so full of background noise that they really get weirded out when there isn’t any.
Just a final, brief word about Internet technology and youth ministry … I have to say I haven’t really gotten into using MySpace, Facebook and the like. Partly it is because I haven’t figured out how to use them, partly because I know some of my students don’t use them and partly because of concerns about security and privacy issues.
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