We recently conducted a survey and asked various children’s ministry questions. About 67 people responded to our survey. I’m sure we’ll talk more about what we discovered in further detail, but one of the questions and its answers was telling. It didn’t surprise me at all, but it was interesting.
What are you most likely to do when looking for ideas for your Children’s Ministry Program?
The options were:
- click on a link in an email
- search the web for ideas
- click on a link on Facebook
- attend children’s conferences
- phone a friend
- contact the Spiritual Formation Department
The overwhelming response was… can you guess?
Search the web for ideas!
Again, this wasn’t surprising to me, but it was interesting. Maybe because when you think something for so long and then you see it in print and proved true, you feel vindicated… sort of.
On my personal blog jeremymavis.com, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past year and a half of blogging. I wanted a place to curate all the links and videos and curriculum and ideas I came across on the web, and a blog is an easy place to search for stuff, so that medium has been really helpful for me.
On the side of my blog there are the links of other blogs that I scan and read every week. I’ve got a category for kidmin (kid ministry), stumin (student ministry), family ministry, parenting, and other miscellaneous sites I read. These web resources represent what I’ve found to be the best of the best at the moment, and in the world of the Internet, that could change by tomorrow!
One resource that I really wanted to highlight is Twitter and the hashtag #kidmin. Most people are familiar with a blog and Facebook, and maybe some other social media sites, but Twitter is one of those services that is difficult to figure out. I call it “sentence blogging” because you are limited to 140 characters in a tweet. A tweet is an online text message sent out to whoever wants to follow you.
You may or may not be interested in using Twitter as a social media service, but you SHOULD be interested in using Twitter to search the web for ideas. One way to use Twitter is to read people’s tweets that are tagged with what is called a “hashtag.” A hashtag is a user-defined category. For instance, I could create a hashtag called #ilikeketchup by sending out a tweet like this:
“I think ketchup is the best thing since… mustard! #ilikeketchup”
When a user places “#ilikeketchup” in the tweet anyone can go to twitter.com and search for that hashtag.
This is one way to search the web for ideas for your children’s ministry programs. You go to Twitter and search for tweets and links with the following hashtags:
#kidmin (typically children’s ministry-related tweets and links)
#fammin (typically family ministry-related tweets and links)
#stumin (typically student ministry-related tweets and links)
This is a great way to find new people, blogs and resources that Google cannot find. So, don’t be afraid of the Twitter. I know it’s a funny word, but it’s a great way to get connected to great conversations. And don’t worry, I won’t tell your kids that you are searching for tweets on Twitter. They might laugh at you!!
Follow us on twitter: @wesleyankids