As many of you would know, in light of the COVID-19 restrictions, Youth Group has needed to adapt dramatically. As of March 20th we made the switch to youth online. This meant the youth team began uploading our weekly content to YouTube, meeting for small group over WhatsApp and kept the community spirit alive on online chat rooms.
The team responded very quickly to the new platforms, to minister in new and supplementary ways. The Youth leaders really upped their output in order to make online ministry happen. We had to learn to use cameras, lighting and editing software. It takes a lot more time and effort to record, edit and upload what was once merely spoken aloud in the church building.
There have been many positives to going online. Parents have had a greater connection to what Youth is doing; something we want more of in the future. Previously, small groups went for about 25mins, but online we have been able to converse for over an hour. It has been beautiful to see the youth’s willingness to still connect and seek God through these new means.
Despite some positives, Youth online has been but a shadow of what we once had and seek to return to. A screen can never adequacy recreate in person community. Online ministry has helped some open up, but others are struggling to connect.
With the lessening restrictions, come May 29th gatherings of 10 will resume for small group in the church building. On June 12th Youth Group nights will return with a modified attendance of 20 youth. The team cannot express how grateful we are to meet again. I believe we will return with a renewed sense of gratitude and a hope youth group will never be taken from us again.
With the peace of God,
Simon (Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash)