A new youth ministry twist on YouTube

My personal videos are gaining more attention on YouTube and are now on a separate site at

Last week I wrote about how teens think of online video differently than adults do, which stirred a lot of great discussion.

Ironically, upon a closer review of my YouTube stats, my personal vlog YouTube channel is quickly approaching stats that are similar to this site, Life In Student Ministry. It confirms for me that the video platform is worth investing into. So I did.

Over the weekend I built a new website and created dedicated social media accounts for what I’m calling “Schmovies.” I’m still not exactly sure what my niche in the online video space will look like, but if you feel like following along in my personal life, my Q&A videos, and other random clips I create, there are a number of ways to do so.

What’s intriguing to me is that the audience that’s developing for my videos on YouTube is completely different than what’s here at Life In Student Ministry (hence the separate website and social media accounts). The demographic is largely 13-17 years olds (followed by 45-54 years olds oddly) and most of them are presumably not believers.

I’m thinking about this a lot: how can I effectively share my faith with these people in an effective and engaging way on YouTube? More than 1,000 of them are regularly giving me their time and attention, and that number is growing every day. How do I best bring honor and glory to God through it in a way that builds respect and trust for Him among the teens who are watching?

I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I think it starts just like any normal youth ministry — build relationships with the people first. That’s where I’m starting with this YouTube audience anyway. Hopefully I’ll figure out the rest as I go.

The Lord is definitely presenting me with a different twist on traditional youth ministry here. Oh the YouTube stories that Dana and I could share about just the past couple weeks… Hmm…

Posted on January 26, 2011

  • I'm interested to know how one would go about getting started with vlogging… I've blogged consistently for more than a year now (, and video stuff is something I'd like to add more of to my blog/youtube channel, but I just don't have any idea where to start or how to develop the youtube equivalent of the "voice" I'm developing on my blog. Thoughts?

    • I'd start by creating a YouTube account and then using it to subscribe to the channels you think are interesting. Kinda like when you first start reading blogs, it'll probably be a small selection at first, but you'll slowly become exposed to other channels you like and before long you'll have too many videos to keep up with.

      Then just start posting videos. A webcam is sufficient for getting started. By repetition and experimentation you'll slowly start to figure out what you enjoy doing most and hopefully there will be an audience that enjoys it, too. :)

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  • I've been quite excited to see your youtube channels taking off and I wonder is this perhaps what God had planned for you when your last job ended.

    You have enthusiasm for what you do and what you share and I guess people enjoy watching that, at least I do! I think if you just keep being yourself, be real, engages with community, be open to questions etc BUT keep praying for your audience asking God to speak in and through your YouTube presence, to open doors and give opportunities to share more.

    • Ya know, I was kinda wondering if this is a part of what God has next for me or not, too. Somedays I'm like, "Oh that would be so fun!" And other days I'm like, "Ummm… maybe not." At least if it sticks with vlogging and some sort of extension from that. Vlogging is a lot more work than it looks if you're doing it throughout the day.

      (BTW, I love reading your comment with your Irish accent in my head. lol Oh, what the world of video does to you.)

  • repaintedcanvas

    Thanks for sharing! Our team has really been wrestling with other ways that we can use technology as more of a two way dialogue rather than a digital flyer. I think there are students(maybe some that you're targeting) who would engage in a conversation online that would never open in up at a "church" function. Would love to hear more of the ways you have found this effective!

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