All ministry communications will be of a “public” nature. This means:
- Every approved channel of communication is accessible by more than 1 youth ministry staff/volunteer. (Ex. Multiple adults have access to our Facebook profile and can see past posts & direct messages)
- The majority* of Youth Ministry communications are broadcast publicly: group e-mails, texts, & public social media posts
- Communications between adults and minors require that the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) must be openly copied on all digital communication
*In instances where a direct message is sent/received:
- The information sent/received may consist of a direct invite/communication on behalf of the group(Ex. YM, “Hey, Billy, hope you can come to youth group next Wednesday, we are going to the movies at 6PM, see you there!”) In this case, the conversation will not go beyond the scope of the invite/communication.(Ex. Billy, “Sounds good! See you there.” YM, “Great!” ::conversation over::)
- Any communications sent/received by youth ministry staff/volunteers that does not directly apply to a youth ministry event/activity will be avoided and ignored.(Ex. YM, “Hey dude, what’s up?” or Billy, “Hey, YM, what are you doing?”)
- If at any time, a communication is sent/received that indicates a need for an in person conversation, that invitation will be made as quickly as possible.(Ex. Billy, “Hey, YM, I’m really struggling with something right now…” YM, “Ok Billy, let’s talk at our next meeting.” -or- “I hope things are alright, would you like to schedule a time where we can talk?”)
- At all times, Youth Ministry staff/volunteers will conduct their electronic communications with students in a such a manner so as to reflect their leadership position in relationship to students. In other words, we are not their “online buddies”.
By providing the contact information of a minor & consent to contact students on various platforms through our registration packet, the parent or guardian grants permission for electronic communication from the youth ministry staff & volunteers to this young person in regards to all ministry related activities.
How we approach Texting
95% of all texting communications will be via weekly group texts about upcoming events/activities.
Wednesday Night Jr High Parents can sign up for Parent text notifications by CLICKING HERE
Sunday Morning Jr High Parents can sign up for Parent text notifications by CLICKING HERE
Sr High Students can sign up for Student text notifications by CLICKING HERE
For off-campus trips, texting is an important and useful communication tool. Students may use texting to keep leaders updated as to their location and activities. (Ex. Night of Joy/Rock the Universe & Steubenville Conferences)
Part of our approach to youth ministry involves building Christ-centered relationships. One way youth ministry staff/volunteers may cultivate this is through direct invitations & encouragement. As stated above, these conversations should not go beyond the scope of the initial message.
(Ex. YM, “Hey Billy, hope you can come to youth group on Wednesday!” or YM, “Hey Billy, just wanted to let you know we are praying for you during finals week!” or YM, “Thanks for sharing some of your struggles with me at youth group last night, know that I’m praying for you, hope this helps: John 10:10)
Platforms may include:
- Facebook, and or Instagram direct messages to invite/encourage as exemplified above with texting.
How we approach Photos & Social Media
Photos play a large role in our ministry. Photos enable us to capture moments in our ministry, share news and announcements, and give people a chance to see themselves living out the gospel.
All students must fill out a Photo Release form (CLICK HERE) in order for them to be photographed and for their photos to be published anywhere. (Website, Bulletin, and Social Media)
If you would prefer that you or your student is not photographed, simply let us know and we are happy to honor your wishes.
In an effort to protect children’s privacy, children’s full names will never be used. If you have any concerns or requests regarding your child’s photograph please let us know.
Recommended reading for parents: “A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media: Helping your teenager navigate life online” by Adam McLane
Social Media Public posts:
95% of all social media communications will be via public posts. If your student is on social media, we highly recommend that you setup an account on that platform so 1) you can be present to your children and 2) be kept up to date with ministry news.
- Facebook profile timeline or page/group posts
- Instagram posts
In order to draw a student’s attention to a given post, the youth ministry staff/volunteers may “tag” a student.
What is tagging?
When you tag someone, you create a link to their profile. The post you tag the person in may also be added to that person’s Timeline. For example, you can tag a photo to show who’s in the photo or post a status update and say who you’re with. -Facebook definition