This is an observation from a youth pastor AND dad of a Middle Schooler who is doing at-home learning due to COVID restrictions.
My girl is getting decent teacher-to-student interaction at this time, but there is little to no student-to-student interaction. This is a MAJOR LOSS for students (especially Middle School students who often have fewer digital connections with peers).
The point:
We have an opportunity to offer something uniquely different in this season.
More than ever, we should be thinking of ways to create meaningful, intentional, and redemptive peer-to-peer interactions for our students in whatever programming we have (intentional and CDC approved interactive moments in the big program, coach leaders to talk less than ever and tee up student interaction, etc.).
For us, we have the unique opportunity to do in-person programming even though schools are meeting virtually. So, “come hang with your friends” takes on a huge promotional point.
  • In what way can you offer peer to peer interaction in your context?
  • How has the lack of peer to peer interaction affected your students?
  • Do you think this might change how you “advertise” your ministry in this season?

I’ve been fortunate to serve the first 20+ years in youth ministry! I’m in My Third Decade (check out my podcast on the DYM Podcast Network!) where I currently serve as the Student Ministry Leader at a church in Louisville, KY. Over that time I have been able to craft a plethora of experiences and resources that help students and parents in their spiritual journey, and I love that DYM has provided me the opportunity to share them with you. My wife Janelle and I have four amazing children ages 10 and under. I love the Cubs, the Colts, comic books, podcasts, and going to Disney World.
See Derry’s DYM resources here!