How I did Zoom Youth Group!

I saw quite a few of my millennial friends in ministry talking on the internet this last week about how indispensable my generation — who are often thought of as lazy, entitled, and obsessed with the internet — are finally proving their worth to the church! If there is one “good thing” that can come out of COVID-19, it’s that all of our millennials in ministry finally get to step up and shine with their e-gifts.

But if I was to be honest, I feel totally out of my league when it comes to moving the church online. And I had a “moment of crisis” last week when I realized that I was creating a lot of things, but what was I doing to foster authentic community?

Today we launched our first Zoom Youth Group, and it went FANTASTICLY. there were definitely some points of troubleshooting, but I’d love to share with you all we did!

Here is an overview of our “order of worship,” and then I’ll talk specifically about some of our steps.

  1. Intro
  2. Game
  3. Announcements
  4. Prayer
  5. Teaching
  6. Small Groups

Intro

  • First, let’s talk about Zoom! We used a PAID FEATURE, because it allows you to screen share and put students into breakout groups.
  • Click here for a brief on Zoom by my friend Josh at Stuff You Can Use
  • A half hour beforehand, I texted out the link to all of our parents utilizing our Church Database software.
    • I reminded parents to help their students get set up, since I have 5th-8th graders.
    • WHAT I LEARNED: Tell students to specifically put first and last name and grade. This makes it easier for breakout groups!
  • Until students came on, I played this countdown video. I downloaded it, and clicked “screen share.”WHAT I LEARNED: any noise I make is conveyed, even if I’m screen-sharing. You can’t mute your mic and have your video play. At least, I think.
  • I played a playlist as the video played of some of our favorite songs!
  • I left a few minutes to allow everyone to get on!
  • I made sure to hit “mute all” and clicked “don’t allow participants to unmute themselves.” A friend of mine had a student meow during prayer!
  • I also made sure that they could not screen share so there were not Zoom Bombers.
  • I also sent a MS Email to our families earlier this week with all this info — so that if they couldn’t tune in, they at least could at home. It also included some links to resources!

Game

We played a “Scavenger Hunt” with our Middle Schoolers, and this free DYM game with High School.

We had our middle schoolers find the following items:

  1. Fridge Magnet
  2. Roll of Toilet Paper
  3. Banana
  4. Hand Sanitizer
  5. A Pet
  6. Your parent
  7. Rubber band
  8. A pair of mis-matched socks
  9. A school picture
  10. A Bible!

When they found their item, they “raised their hand” using the feature. I wrote their names down, and will send them a gift. It was a little messy but it worked! I also unmuted students for this part so the screaming was great!

We made sure Bible was last because (1) We want them to remember to bring their Bibles and (2) our one announcement involved a Bible Challenge!

Announcements

I had one announcement for our students: our 40-day Bible Challenge!

Prayer

  • We wanted to utilize our Prayer time to teach students that while washing your hands, the Lord’s Prayer is the perfect amount of time!
  • Link to our video. Again, I used my iPhone to film, iMovie on my mac to edit and Canva to add the images.

Teaching

In Middle School, we used this FREE SERIES by Grow!

In High School, we did the Easter Series by Orange.

Small Groups

  • While the teaching video was playing, we sorted people into Breakout Groups!
    • With 100 students, this was TOUGH. So next week I’m going to have people put their grade in their name to help me sort better. I try to think I’m a hero, but it’s hard remembering 100 people’s last names and grades, and some students had “iPhone” or “cat luvr” as their name!
  • I gave the Leaders the Small Group Guide in advance, but I also dropped it into the Chat. Some of the students thought it was hilarious and downloaded it, too.
  • I unmuted everyone and turned their muting/unmuting permissions back on.
  • I told leaders that whenever their small group was done, that their group could leave. Some groups stayed longer than others!

I would LOVE TO HEAR what worked for you. I’m no expert. but today went well!

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