It’s not always the case that we can know with certainty that we are living through a historic time. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that the only certain thing we can know at this point.
With the news reports changing everyday, the number of cases fluctuating world-wide, and state governments issuing “stay at home” orders left and right, it can feel as though all the tools in your ministry belt are now useless.
Fear not! Your teens need you now more than ever. As they are now forced to stay home, the enemy wants to make us feel isolated, ineffective, and irrelevant. However, the Gospel of Jesus is never irrelevant and His message of hope is one that is especially needed right now. We just need to get a little creative in how we do this.
One of the beautiful qualities of youth ministers is that we are used to adapting. Technology problems? No problem, we’ll stall or act the video out ourselves. Speaker cancel last minute? We have a prayer activity to do instead. No schedule or itinerary for an event you are signed up to attend? It’s okay, we’ll come armed with icebreakers and a deck of Uno cards in our back pocket until we figure it out.
Now, it’s time to use those skills to creatively think of ways to reach out to our teens. Here are a few ways to spread Christ’s message of hope in these difficult times:
Write your teens letters
The art of letter writing has almost been lost. Resurrect that for your teens and give them something that will put a smile on their face long after they’re done reading the letter. Even if it’s a quick note, a funny joke, or a picture of your youth group, this is a small way for your teens to feel seen and known.
Use technology to your advantage
Meet your teens where they are at: online. Post on Instagram and Facebook different bible verses and encouragement. Livestream yourself praying the rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Host “virtual” bible studies through Zoom or Google Hangouts (just make sure you have parental permission first).
If you can, bake or home make something (who doesn’t love a good cookie) and drop them off at your teens doorstep. This is just a small way that you can show you care about them.
I know this is an obvious one. But when you think about it, when was the last time we had time to pray for our teens? Like really pray. Pray over their needs, pray over their dreams, pray over their families. Name them each by name. Give them over to Jesus and our Mother Mary, who can minister to them in a way we will never be able to. I have found a lot of freedom entrusting my teens to Jesus and Our Blessed Mother because I know they are in good hands.
We were not given a spirit of fear and timidity but of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). This is a great time to walk in that truth and continue to minister to the youth the Lord has entrusted to us.