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Connecting with student ministry graduates? How about Facebook?

Yes, I know what people are gonna say…

“Facebook’s too quick and easy.”
“There’s no real depth in online conversation.”
“Facebook is so yesteryear. The kids are already over it.”

Oh, really? I don’t know…

For starters, although everyone’s Mom and Grandpa are getting on Facebook (which can be a deterrent), many students who moved away from home are looking for ways to connect with those they left behind. Maybe with Mom and Dad and maybe even with their ol’ youth pastor.

Facebook is a great tool for that… and Facebook, which was originally designed to network college students, is where a LOT of students are STILL at — I know 95% of mine are.

I realize that not everyone’s a “Facebook master”, but it is pretty simple to set up friend lists to organize your students into “student ministry grads”, “current students”, etc.

You want to see what’s happening with your former students? Just click over to your list and…

  • Start up a conversation. You might be surprised how talkative a student can be through a wall-to-wall conversation.
  • Browse their profiles and congratulate them on their achievements and successes.
  • Provide encouragement, comfort, or scripture when they are going through tough times or struggling.
  • Remind them of God’s overwhelming love and great plan for their lives — sometimes all they need is a reminder.
  • Tell them that you believe in them and who God is shaping them to be.

Students who are away from home are usually pretty eager for connecting with someone “back home”. You can be one of their connection points.

And when they’re back home for the summer?

It’s a quick and easy way to ask them to connect in the real world.

Social networking sites were made for networking and bringing people together. It’s where our kids are at. Why not utilize them to our benefit?


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District

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