Alexis Waid
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Doing virtual youth ministry is certainly one of the unique situations many of us find ourselves facing at this time. At the time of this writing, most churches around the world are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of challenging ministry, we wanted to reach out to share with you some amazing ways to connect and carry forth in your youth ministry, despite not being able to physically meet. 

Ministering to youth virtually has never been easier, but coming up with new ideas can be tough. Of course, there are no-brainer ideas, like video chats and connecting through social media. But we wanted to really give you some unique ways to connect your youth beyond obvious ideas because you probably have already tried those or are currently doing them. 

Oh, and one other thing! We have totally awesome and free resource that we created for you to help synthesize and condense your youth group prep. It’s an invaluable tool for every youth leader. Sign up below!

15 Ways To Do Youth Ministry Virtually

Write prayers for your church and community and post them on your social media and church website

With just a little bit of organization, you could easily inspire the entire church with uplifting messages from your youth! Simply assign the youth to write an open letter of encouragement to the church community and plan to post them on social media over the course of a number of days. Advertise on social media that this even is going to be happening and gather a following to like and comment.

Create A Worship Playlist For Youth

This one is super simple and you can do it yourself. Simply assemble some of the favorite youth’s favorite worship songs into a YouTube or Spotify playlist and share it with them.

Make A Video Youth Sunday

This might take some organization, but the results can be an awesome spiritual experience for the teens. Arrange for the teens to create a worship service to be posted to the church Facebook or Youtube. They can video the segments separately and share them to a single youth (or yourself) to edit and assemble. Sermon, testimonies, worship music, prayer, and every other feasible element could be included in the video.

Bible Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of Bible questions that require teens to dig into Scripture and email in their results. Advertise the game ahead of time and get as many teens as possible to participate at the same time. Have them email the answers. Great prizes will motivate the competition.

Care Packages

Care packages are an awesome surprise and a great way to brighten your youth’s day. Care packages can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like to make them. Additionally, you can create care packages all on your own, or enlist the help of other leaders or church members to help.

If you know what your teen’s favorite snacks and items are, be sure to include those. Spend some time thinking about what will really make them excited and happy about their package.

Thinks to consider putting in care package: hand written encouraging Scripture on index cards, bags of candy or snacks, soda or other beverage they like, pictures of them and their friends, personalized, silly or novelty toys or gifts, an uplifting note sharing how you see them and what you like about them (youth love learning how they are seen).

The more personal you’re able to make a care package, the more impactful it will be, so be sure to give guidance to anyone helping you about what the youth will like.

“Bombing” Your Youth’s Mailbox Or Car

A “bombing” is a way to drop a lot of love and attention onto youth out of nowhere by posting notes all over their property at once. The youth’s mailbox or car is one possible place for bombing, but it could take place anywhere that will be readily discovered by them.

A “bombing” might look like preparing Post-It notes with encouraging affirmations, such as “I Miss You,” “You’re So Funny,” “You Rock On Guitar,” as well as including Scripture, memories, or any other details that will be uplifting for the youth. Prepare notes ahead of time, drop by the location and place all the Post-It notes together. If necessary, send a message to the youth to check their car or mailbox, or simply let them discover it on their own.

Setting Up A Virtual Scavenger Hunt

A virtual scavenger hunt combines the fun of the hunt that a real-life scavenger hunt has with a digital platform. There are two ways to do a digital scavenger hunt. In a fully digital scavenger hunt, you’d simply amass a set of clues into a single document and give to all youth to complete and send the answers back to you. Clues might include items that could be found on safe social media or websites.

Questions might be something like, “Look at the pastor’s Facebook pictures and write down where they went on vacation in 2011.” or any other similar sort of easily defined question.

A digital scavenger hunt could also combine real-life interactions, such as “Submit a selfie of you in front of a stop sign.”

There are many creative ways you could do a digital scavenger hunt, just be clear on the rules, deadlines for submission, and avoid questions that could be ambiguously answered.

Email Chain Game

Email forwards are back! In this game, you’ll begin by emailing the entire youth email list and letting them know that you’ll be starting an email that they need to pass on to others. This email will contain encouragement, Scripture, and other positive messages. The game begins by the youth leader sending an email to a youth that says something like, “Hey – I think you’re an awesome person and you have the best laugh – I’ve missed hearing it!” and include instructions to forward that email to another teen while adding another personal message on top.

The idea is to keep the game going as long as possible and see how many messages you can stack up.

“Get To Know You” Surveys

Surveys are super simple to create online. You can use social media, email, or even website systems for creating fun surveys for youth to fill out. Try to include as many good questions as you can think of to really give the teens something to work through. Survey questions can include everything from favorite foods, school subjects, youth trips, Bible characters and more. Be creative and find ways to create questions that will result in a wide array of responses.

Once the survey is done, set aside some time to process the result with the kids.

Organize Contest/Giveaway

Create a fun competition for the teens, such as “Take the funniest picture,” “Create the best dance video,” or “Make the funniest meme. Have the teens make submissions in a way everyone can see, such as posting to a FB group, and pick 3 judges to decide on a winner. A real prize will make the competition more exciting and produce better results from the teens.

Anytime Secret Santa 

Surprise gifts from your friends? What could be better? This activity may require help from parents, but the idea is simple. Randomly assign each teen in your group another’s name and have them order gifts for one another. Set a cost limit, such as $5 dollars per gift, and arrange for everyone to open the gifts together in a video meet up.

This idea will probably take a month or more of planning, so get started early with it!

Make A Picture Message

Organize the youth to make an encouraging collage of messages to be posted to social media. For example, each student could be asked to create a sign with a word to hold up, such as individual words from a verse of Scripture or an encouraging statement. Have the students photographed holding their sign and submit to an editor to assemble into a single picture that reads a single message. It could go viral online!

Write Worship Song Together

Organize the youth into collaborative groups and give them an assignment of corresponding with one another to write a worship song. If you can include a student with musical ability into each group, they could record demos of the song and share with one another. Be sure to give them some guidance about theological ideas or topics they might want to look at in their songs.

Write letters (or emails) to seniors citizen in your church

Few things would lift the spirit of seniors in your church more than a positive message from the teens. Organize your youth to write letters to individual seniors in the church. Give them guidance on what to write and help them with the process of sending the messages. Give them advice on including details such as a fond memory about the senior, something they like about them, or any other personalized information. Sure to be a great way to build intergenerational bonds in your church!

Make A Potentially Viral Video

This idea has infinite possibilities! Enlist the youth to create their own idea for a viral video and work together to produce it using shared content. Assign youth to edit the video from submissions. Post to social media with appropriate hashtags and make it shareable and ask the youth and church members to promote it to see how many views and likes you can get!

Oh, and one other thing! We have totally awesome and free resource that we created for you to help synthesize and condense your youth group prep. It’s an invaluable tool for every youth leader. Sign up below!

15 Unique Ways To Do Youth Ministry Virtually | Youth Group | Teen Ministry | Student Ministry