Cathy's (mis)adventures with Technology:
One of the hardest things about ministry is getting the word out. Even if you had the most exciting, refreshingly creative and engaging events, without proper promotion all your hard work could go to waste. My time so far with StPYG has had it's ups and downs as far as event attendance goes. Don't get me wrong, we've never had tumbleweed rolling through our events to the soft sound of crickets chirping, but not every event has been as well-attended as I dream they will be.
And what's the first and last (and seemingly only) word in promotion these days? Social media. In today's society, even a twenty-two-year-old like myself can feel out of touch when it comes to technology. When I was in high school, texting was just becoming "a thing". I still knew a lot of people who didn't have texting as a part of their cell phone plans, and we got all excited about the latest and greatest flip phones coming out. The world of tech has come a long way since then, and being a high schooler seems totally different as a result! Teens are retweeting, liking photos, and beating their high score on fruit ninja all from their desks in class! There is a SEA of information out there and instead of listening to their teachers talk about Hamlet or food chains or the proper way to structure a scientific question, teens are swimming in it! Unreal. And while I don't condone surfing the internet at school, teens are diving right back in after school... so it was time StPYG caught the wave.
I set off at the beginning of the year on a mission to make our youth group a little more "user friendly". Other than a facebook group we had no real online presence. So I made a list of goals. A more up to date facebook page, a twitter account, youtube, a google drive for online leadership collaboration, and of course, a little update to our regular old website [although it seemed none of the teens would probably ever find their way there]. Then I got more ambitious... I started using constant contact to make our emails look snazzier, created a promotional video for our retreat, I began tweeting more often.... side note: Twitter was the hardest. I still don't get why you guys like it so much. Quite frankly, I don't care what each of you is thinking every minute. I don't need to waste my time on vague, off-handed comments that you know your closest friends will decipher and favorite. I still don't get the social nuances that govern when I am supposed to comment verses when I should favorite verses when I should retweet something. I've decided I don't want to know. As far as social media goes, a site that shows me that so-and-so posted "Oh really? Okay, if that's how it is." and 3 other vague comments 5 seconds apart from each other has really no appeal to me. Besides, sometimes what I need to say just cannot be said in 150 characters or less. Speaking of how long-winded I am, let's continue.
So 6 months into my job as a youth minister, I am finally addressing one of my personal main concerns, our website. I got back from retreat two days ago and the last thing I wanted to think about was youth ministry. I wanted sleep, a massage, and hours upon end of no one requiring anything from me what-so-ever. After I got 2 of those 3 things (the spa was closed :/ ) I started to get antsy again. I wanted to see how productive I could be now that my mind was cleared of retreat. So today, in addition to tending to my kindergarteners all day, I uploaded photos from retreat and the rest of the year to Facebook. I finalized the design of a 3x6 StPYG banner and ordered it. I built nearly this entire website (there's still somethings to add/fix)....oh, and I wrote this blog. It's amazing what a little rest and a clear mind allow us to be capable of! The Lord refreshed my soul this weekend on retreat, and then blessed me with the time to refresh my body and my energy as well. And I really am blessed, not only do I get to love what I do, but what I do is spreading the Lord's truth in this world, and whether it's through a weekend retreat or a few clicks on social media, I am unbelievably happy to be doing His work.
I hope you like the website so far. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
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