In a season where the world shut down and went indoors, churches were forced to go online.
For many, this was a challenge; but for someone who grew up playing video games, being online came naturally.
In July 2019, I realized that my students were connected and engaged with each other in person, but throughout the week they were struggling to stay connected to positive influences. Personally, I was already a part of an online community for a few years and used it as a way to do Bible studies and connect with people around the world. I then decided to have a similar community for my students to be able to connect whenever they want, wherever they were.
Enter “Discord”: a free application providing private online communities, fully customizable to the owner.
While at first, it did not pick up very much traction, when COVID arrived, the necessity of having an online community was clear. We could do a texting service or a video-based service like Zoom – but I wanted something that was more consistent and available to them outside of just our service times.
Imagine being a student and having the option to hang out in the church youth group and see your friends whenever you wanted to. You could voice chat, video chat, share memes and jokes, celebrate birthdays, or even ask for prayer. If you had questions, you could message your pastor or leaders whenever you wanted.
Imagine as a leader, not having to take attendance because it’s automated, not having to set up or tear down from an event, not having to tell students not to say “those words” because they get censored automatically. You wouldn’t have to memorize Zoom passwords or send out links constantly. On top of that, you could have security set up to where no one can interfere with your ministry.
I think we can all agree, this would be an ideal way to do youth ministry online. And you CAN, using Discord. If you want to know how to set it up and how to keep it safe then read through the blog posted here: https://stephenmlaw.com/f/discord-ministry-community
Stephen grew up a “pastor’s kid” that challenged the status quo. He started serving in ministry 20+ years ago.
With a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministry, his past ten years have been focused on middle school ministry at Harborside Christian Church, where he can “help students, when it matters most, become world changers.”