New Guy #6 : Responding To Social Media

 

I have a question for any of our Youth Ministry readers…pick one of the following situations (all of which are hypothetical but fairly common in our time of ministry), and let me know how you would approach the situation, if at all!  As a young student pastor, it’s an issue I’m constantly faced with, but not sure what to do!  For all of these scenarios, assume the student is regularly involved in your ministry unless otherwise noted. 

  1. A student posts a picture on Facebook with a “less than appropriate” pose with someone of the opposite sex.
  2. A student tweets an update with profanity or sexual innuendos.
  3. A student posts a picture on Instagram with the student and someone of the opposite sex lounging on a couch with beer bottles in the background.
  4. A student spends what can amount to no less than 9 hours a day retweeting “quotes about boys”, etc., etc. 
  5. A student posts a picture/update aggressively and harmfully directed to a student not in your ministry.

I am sure I’m not alone in saying a lot of these are not uncommon.  A few of these have given me a hard time.  I’ve only been there a year, and we’ve got some students who LOVE wearing the “Jesus Jacket” for lack of a better term.  I don’t think they understand the disconnect between what they’re claiming and what they’re doing.  So what about you, would you approach this student?  How?  Would their gender play a role in if/how you approach them?

 

12 Comments

  1. This is a big problem in our Ministry, a lot of students wearing the "Jesus Jacket" as you describe it, which I love. We've taken the approach of knowing who's confronting. We all have different ideas of what crosses the line, one volunteer may think it needs to be dealt with if a student posts a picture of them at a party, but another might wait until the picture includes the student chugging a beer. Our policy is kind of "If the student can't say it to you, you can't say it to them" which sounds bad at first, but essentially the idea behind it is that if you don't have a close relationship with the student, its not your job. Either let someone who does have the close relationship approach the student, or if thats not possible, be the person to develop that close relationship, and develop it first.
  2. This is a big problem in our Ministry, a lot of students wearing the "Jesus Jacket" as you describe it, which I love. We've taken the approach of knowing who's confronting. We all have different ideas of what crosses the line, one volunteer may think it needs to be dealt with if a student posts a picture of them at a party, but another might wait until the picture includes the student chugging a beer. Our policy is kind of "If the student can't say it to you, you can't say it to them" which sounds bad at first, but essentially the idea behind it is that if you don't have a close relationship with the student, its not your job. Either let someone who does have the close relationship approach the student, or if thats not possible, be the person to develop that close relationship, and develop it first.
  3. Well said Ben. I think the role if you are a leader in student ministry is to build a close relationship with the students you're ministering to. If you see a kid who is hurting, build a relationship, out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart right? so... if you're hanging out with a kid and are genuinely interested in their well-being out of the overflow of your heart, they will feel it and will desire to be filled with the life and joy you're walking in.
  4. Well said Ben. I think the role if you are a leader in student ministry is to build a close relationship with the students you're ministering to. If you see a kid who is hurting, build a relationship, out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart right? so... if you're hanging out with a kid and are genuinely interested in their well-being out of the overflow of your heart, they will feel it and will desire to be filled with the life and joy you're walking in.
  5. Totally agree with Ben. In order to gain trust and credibility with the student you have to build a relationship. If you do not have that your words may fall on deaf ears.  Basically if the student doesn't trust you, why are they going to listen to you? Sounds harsh like Ben said, but in reality its just like anyone else. 
  6. Totally agree with Ben. In order to gain trust and credibility with the student you have to build a relationship. If you do not have that your words may fall on deaf ears.  Basically if the student doesn't trust you, why are they going to listen to you? Sounds harsh like Ben said, but in reality its just like anyone else. 
  7. Great input! with a student i'm decently close with, a similar situation came up.  Even last night, the student was saying how hard it is to say no to some things.  Definite case of the "jesus jacket" syndrome.  That doesn't make it much easier though.
  8. Great input! with a student i'm decently close with, a similar situation came up.  Even last night, the student was saying how hard it is to say no to some things.  Definite case of the "jesus jacket" syndrome.  That doesn't make it much easier though.
  9. Love this post! Up until just recently it hasn't been an issue (or at least not with 98% of our group).  But as we continue to grow, the "Jesus jacket" crowd also continues to grow.  Love to see the feedback to this.
  10. Love this post! Up until just recently it hasn't been an issue (or at least not with 98% of our group).  But as we continue to grow, the "Jesus jacket" crowd also continues to grow.  Love to see the feedback to this.
  11. I like that phrase, "Jesus Jacket". We've been dealing with that the last few weeks. I actually talked one of my students into suspending his Facebook account because everything he posted was laced with profanity, or sexual innuendo. It's an increasing issue because the kids have phones, and iPod Touch's, that they they use all the time to post on Social Media. My group's not small, and it's not huge, and I feel that if a kid adds me to one of their networks, I've got a responsibility to call them out
  12. I like that phrase, "Jesus Jacket". We've been dealing with that the last few weeks. I actually talked one of my students into suspending his Facebook account because everything he posted was laced with profanity, or sexual innuendo. It's an increasing issue because the kids have phones, and iPod Touch's, that they they use all the time to post on Social Media. My group's not small, and it's not huge, and I feel that if a kid adds me to one of their networks, I've got a responsibility to call them out

Leave a Reply to Austin Walker Cancel reply

Shop By Category