Freebie Friday #116: Empowering students and families with technology

Free youth ministry resources every FridayToday’s Freebie Friday is contributed by Ryan Epps. He put together a list of online resources for you and your ministries. Some are free, some are totally worth your money. The following is his guest post for you. Enjoy!

In a culture that is saturated by the latest buzz of technology, we can see the fruits of its influence on teenagers and their families. While technology has created negative issues such as lack of verbal communication, inability to focus, straining time spent as family, and an increase of so many other issues, I have decided to see the problem with a brighter perspective. Instead of complaining about the problem, be a part of the solution! We can all agree that the use of the latest technology will only increase (unless there is a nuclear melt down or Jesus returns). Why not utilize what is making such a huge influence on young people and positively incorporate it into your ministry to them. So, I have developed a list of links to raise your awareness to what is available to you to greater impact the technologically crazed culture we live in:

Communication / Relational Building – While this may be a given for those of us that utilize it, there are still many youth workers I speak with that have decided not to take part in this social online giant. The ways to connect with young people is astounding. Messages, writing on their wall, chatting with them through facebook chat, creating groups, creating events, and the list could go on. – Use text messaging to communicate with your teenagers the way they communicate with each other. – “I prefer Skype as my choice for instant communication because it’s so versatile: text chat, voice chat, video conferencing, SMS, even telephone calls, and it does it all better than any other communication client out there.” Tim Schmoyer – Very similar to simply youth ministries version of getting mass messages to different texting groups (students, parents, youth leaders, etc.)

Personal and Ministry Networking – Connect with hundreds of other youth workers and discuss ideas and issues in life and ministry. – A site developed to encourage, inspire, and resource ministry workers through answers, questions, mentoring, and advice. This site provides a honkin database of ideas. – “Twitter has many uses for both personal and business use. It’s a great way to keep in touch with your friends and quickly broadcast information about where you are and what you’re up to.”

Video Production / Teaching – Time to upgrade from your typical slideshows! Animoto was created by TV and Movie producers and in minutes can add some BAM to your photos. – Videos to help you teach! – Want to show videos from YouTube but don’t have internet access in your youth room? This site will convert files for you without the need to download software. (Use of the site is predicated on the fact that you will use the converted files in a way consistent with copyright rules.) – A more conservative approach than animoto would be. Use your photos and videos to share life’s moments in minutes. – “Over 12,726 ways to spice up your sermon.” Sermon Spice – A hilarious, but extremely relevant resource to help you clearly communicate the message you are delivering to your students. – Very explosive and cutting edge graphics, backgrounds, and videos for ministry.

Resources for Youth Workers

This list is so vast, I am only going to list the site and not give an explanation.

Resources for Teens / Resources for you to help teens – Hundreds of Q&A articles and advice on most of today’s tough and hot issues. – Getting help to those addicted to pornography. – Biblical advice for teens! – This site provides a safe place where teens can interact, find scriptural answers and direction, and at times of decision in their lives seek healthy counsel. – Another site that provides biblical answers for questions teens have.

Resources for Parents – I have utilized this site to put hundreds of resources in parent’s hands. Homewards mission is to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches to build God-honoring families from generation to generation. – This is a phenomenal newsletter that is full with tremendous amounts of information for your parents. With just a few clicks of a mouse button, the newsletter is attached to your website. – Filled with tons of articles and resources to provide for your parents.

Curriculum – Over 300 lesson outlines with class handouts and small group discussion guides (and more added each week!). Plus over 870 articles waiting to help you maximize your youth ministry. – Do you have a student leadership team? The materials in this site will help you to teach, train, and equip them for ministry.

Blogging – Create a free blog in minutes!

Website Creation – A very simple and inexpensive approach to building your ministries website! – This is the company we use as a church and it is also inexpensive and extremely easy to use.

If you have an internet resource that has encouraged you and helped equip you in ministry, be sure to comment and let us know about it! God bless you as you apply the passion you have for teens to utilizing technology to establish more ways to reach them.


Ryan Epps
Pastor to Students
Boone Trail Baptist Church

Join us at 2:00 PM EST this afternoon in our LIVE YM Talk as we talk with Greg Stier about answering teens’ tough questions about God. See the LIVE YM Talk page for details.

Posted on March 13, 2009

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