Category Archives: Social Media

3 Social Media tips for Young Life ministry.

Here are three recent social media tips I came across, that I would love to share with you to help you communicate Young Life in your area.  They were helpful for me.  Maybe, they will be helpful for you.

1. Use your own image when posting a link to a file on your Young Life Facebook page.  I use Dropbox to share documents online, including our Young Life area Facebook page.  When you share a link for your Dropbox document on your Facebook page, you will get a couple of image options you can use to go along with your link.  Most of the time it is not an image of the file or anything you want to use.  You can replace the image to a JPG of your document you are linking.  Here is how:

Step 1 – Take a screen shot of your document and save it as a JPG file.

Step 2 – Write the text to go along with your Facebook post for your linked document.

facebook 1

Step 3 – Paste in your Dropbox link for the file you want to share.  This will work with Dropbox and other sharing services as well.

facebook 2

Step 4 – Click the Upload Image under the image options, outlined in red and upload the image of the file or your area Young Life logo.

facebook 2 - update image

Step 5 – Verify your image is correct and then you can post.

facebook 3

2. Use the service IFTT to post Instagram pictures and video to your Young Life Facebook page.  Instagram is a great way to capture and share pictures and videos from Club, Campaigners, Camp, Contact Work, etc.  But, Instagram does not allow you to post directly to your Young Life area Facebook page.  It will allow you to post to a personal Facebook account and to Twitter.  By using the service If This Then That, you can link any picture or video posted from your area Instagram account to your area Facebook page.  Your Young Life Facebook page has your biggest audience, you want to share the most relevant pictures and videos there.

3. It is time to update your cover picture on your Young Life Facebook page.  If you still have a picture of summer camp on your area Young Life Facebook page cover photo, it is time to update it.  If you have a good fall camp picture or beginning of the fall picture, use one of these to replace your cover picture on your Young Life area Facebook page.  Nothing says outdated on Facebook like a picture from June at the end of October.  A good rule of thumb is to update your Facebook page cover picture at least 6 times per year.

Do you have more Social Media Tips and Trick you would like to pass along?  Please, leave a comment.

Is your Young Life ministry Social Media ready for this fall?

When it comes to social media around your Young Life ministry, not having a plan for Social Media this year is not good.  Social Media should fall under your overall communication strategy as a Young Life area or as Young Life leaders.  Social Media used to be a techie thing, now it is an everyone thing.  It is a great way to tell the story of Young Life in your Club or area.

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Where should you start with Social Media in Young Life ministry? – If you are beginning Social Media around a high school or college ministry, you should start with Instagram.  What, not Twitter or Facebook?  Instagram is the platform you want to be on to engage the most kids.  The Instagram pictures that you post, showcase your Young Life ministry and tell a story.  Instagram also adopted video along with it’s photos.  You should post at least one picture or video after each Young Life Club or event.  Tag people in your post.

If you are looking beyond Instagram, you should look to Twitter as a second Social Media service.  Twitter is where high school kids are, so you should be there as Young Life leaders.  Use Facebook as a third Social Media choice.

* Note – if you are leading a Wyldlife ministry or Capernaum ministry, you will want to start with Facebook.  Why Facebook?  That is where parents are.  And you want to be where parents are when it comes to Wyldlife ministry and Capernaum ministry.

Use the service IFTT to help connect your Social Media platforms.  One of the difficult things about using Social Media, is how do you link everything together.  The service If This, Then That let’s you connect Social Media together.  One of the difficult things about using Social Media, is how do you link everything together.  So, when a picture is posted to your area Instagram account it then can be also posted on your area Facebook page.  The set ups and connections are almost endless.

Do you or then insights, thoughts or questions around Social Media and your Young Life ministry?  Leave a comment.

4 ways to make your Young Life Instagram videos look great.

When Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012, I had a strong feeling that Facebook would add video to the photo service.  This happened a few weeks ago.  It would change how we see video online.  So, what do you think of video on Instagram?


I have seen some really good videos and some really bad one’s so far.  As Young Life, we can use this service to share our story.  Here are some ways to make your’s great.

  1. Make is short.  If you have used Vine (Twitter’s video client) you know the power of short.  You can use up to 15 seconds for your video.  Because you have 15 seconds, does;t mean that you have to use it all.
  2. Keep it still.  When you see video shaking all over the place, we use the value of our video.  Prop up your smart phone or tablet.  Use something like the Glif for your iPhone.
  3. Make it interesting.  Don’t take a video of a hall way or some random thing that has no explanation.  We have so many interesting things in Young Life to show, so show Young Life’s best.
  4. Brand it.  Use the Young Life logo or Young Life somewhere in your video to help brand it.  Make it Young Life focused.

6 (or more) uses for Instagram video  in Young Life:

  1. Show a Club game.
  2. Tell a Young Life story.
  3. Show a Young Life Camp.
  4. Share a kid or leader testimony.
  5. Show Young Life Campaigners.
  6. Show what Young Life Contact Work is really like.

Do you have some other ideas on how to make your Instagram videos great?  Leave a comment.

How to take better pictures at Young Life Camp & Club.

We have the best story to tell in Young Life, how kids are introduced to the person of Jesus Christ and establish a life long faith in Him.  We all see kid’s lives transformed by a week of Camp or the ministry of an intentional leader in their lives.  Let’s learn to tell better stories through pictures in our Young Life ministry.


In this interview with Ben Dodds (@bendodds or we discuss how to take better pictures.  Ben is a highly skilled photographer.  His passion for great photos and Young Life ministry makes him a leader in the area or Young Life pictures.  Take some time and to learn something new.

Here are some tools we talked about in our conversation or other tools to help you become a better photographer:

Leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas around pictures in Young Life ministry.

5 uses for Social Media and Technology for your next Young Life leader weekend.

Our region and another region did a leader weekend together, recently. I was part of the planning team for our leader weekend between the two regions. One of our goals for the weekend create to space for leaders to connecting with their teams and learn how to minister to kids more effectively.

Leader Weekend Logo

As a side note, we wanted to have a strong Social Media presence during our leader weekend. So, this is what we did at our leader weekend. These a real world tested ideas.

1. Communicate better before the weekend begins. I sent out an Emma email to all the people signed up for our leader weekend one week before our weekend started. I also sent a text message with a link to the Emma email sent out. We need to communicate with leaders better in all parts of the Young Life ministry. This was one of the first steps in that direction.

2. Create a #Hashtag for your leader weekend. We made a hashtag for our leader weekend (#MCC2013). Do some research and make sure your hashtag idea is not already being used. We used the hashtag in both Twitter and Instagram. It was a great way for our other leaders to see what was being said and shared throughout the weekend.

3. Promote the #Hashtag during the weekend. We did a pre roll for Club each time that had the best Tweets, Instagram pictures from the leader weekend and text to join info. It helped promote what we were trying to do with Social Media during the weekend.

4. Use text messages alerts during the leader weekend. We used a service, which I also use in my Young Life area, called EZ Texting to schedule texts out for the weekend. The text messages were timed before Club starts or any other major things during the leader weekend. We also did a keyword text join throughout the weekend to get the text updates during the weekend.

5. Ask for final thoughts about the weekend with your leader weekend #Hashtag. We asked leaders to send a final Tweet with their reflections on the weekend. It was amazing to see those final Tweets from the weekend and how God challenged our leaders to be better leaders.

6. Create a Google form for a final evaluation. We created a Google form and texted out link as leaders were on their way home. We also sent the link to the evaluation the next day, which was the majority of the evaluations completed. But, we got about 20% of the total evaluations compiled by text message.

Do you have another ideas around Social Media and Technology when it comes to Young Life leader weekends? If so, leave a comment.

Video Interview with Todd Pinkston from Campaigners Training

If you are looking for great materials for Campaigners or great Campaigners Training you need to check out  It is a wealth of knowledge, training and materials to have amazing Campaigner discussions with your kids.

Make sure to follow Todd Pinkston on Twitter to get most up to date information about the Campaigners Training website.

Video Interview with Jon Houghton

In this Video Interview with Jon Houghton we talk about Twitter, Campaigners, Social Media and what it all means in Young Life ministry.  Jon is a Assistant Regional Director in Indiana and a person of great influence in the mission of Young Life.  Jon’s blog is –  You can also follow Jon on Twitter.

Our Young Life area’s Communication Strategy Guide

Communicating in Young Life can sometimes seem like a puzzle that you are missing piece of.  Information that is important doesn’t always get communicated to the people that need it most.  We want to be an organization in which we communicate with excellence.

In one of our Young Life area spring meetings, one of our committee members didn’t know about our big campership fundraiser.  At first I thought, how could this be?  But, after looking at the circumstances; I had not communicated the way I should have.  So, I spent sometime creating this Young Life communication strategy guide for our area.  You can take and use it and make it your own.  Have fun with it!!!

Communication Strategy Guide

  • In Microsoft Word (go and adapt it and make it your own)
  • As a PDF (you can’t edit this one, sorry)

* Note – This was created for our Young Life area.  This is not a Young Life national document.

Here are a few examples of some our twice a month all area email.

Our most recent one –

Summer camp sell –

Semester beginning –

How to build the ultimate Facebook page for your youth ministry.

Facebook pages are one of the early things that gave Facebook it’s notoriety and speed of adoption into the mainstream culture.  Although Facebook has adapted and changed Facebook pages over the years, the heart of the Facebook page has gone unchanged.

In my opinion you need to have a great Facebook page for your youth ministry.  It will showcase your ministry to the masses.  Here is how to build the ultimate Facebook page for your youth ministry.  You will want to map out what you want your Facebook page to feel like and look like.

Here are 6 tips for you to make a great Facebook page for your youth ministry:

  1. Do your research.  Like other ministry Facebook pages and keep a list of what you like and what you don’t like.  You can even take screen shots if you are more of a visual person.
  2. Use multiple images in your cover picture on your Facebook page.  You can put multiple pictures together (in a separate application) to show case what your youth ministry program is all about.  These should be your best of pictures from your program.  Your cover photo should be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.  If you are not a Photoshop person, you can either learn or find someone who is.  Build a great cover photo together.
  3. Use your youth ministry logo, size optimized for profile picture on your Facebook page.  You want people to easily identify with your “brand”.  Don’t make people guess if it is your youth ministry program or not.  Make sure your youth ministry logo is optimized to be 160×160 pixels.  That way it will not be shrunk in your timeline view.  Nothing looks more hap hazard than a bad logo on a Facebook page.  Get it right the first time.  It will save you in the end.
  4. Highlight things that are important to your ministry.  One of the benefits of the timeline style for pages that Facebook updated all pages too, is the highlight feature.  If you click the star next to a post on your Facebook page you will make it go full width.  It will catch the eyes of those viewing you page.
  5. If you have a significant number of likes, make sure it is visible at the top of the page.  This will hopefully attack people from liking your page.
  6. Make sure your Facebook page ministry info updated.  If you have had your Facebook page for awhile, go and make sure it has the most updated information.  Nothing looks like not updating, like out of date information.

How do you use Facebook pages in your youth ministry?  Leave a comment!

Are Facebook Events Dead?

Facebook users have used Facebook Events for years. They have invited others to graduations, birthdays, celebrations, fund raising events, etc. Is the relevancy of using Facebook events come and gone? Are we invited to so many Facebook Events that we are numb to them?

I have seen and noticed that more and more people on Facebook are not connecting with Facebook Events when they are invited. Especially, when it comes to kids in your ministry. They get so many invitations that Facebook Events “aren’t special” any longer. The only Facebook events that I have seen kids responding to, lately, are very specialized and important Facebook Events.

5 ways that Facebook Events maybe overused

1. Recurring Events. When your ministry does weekly or twice a month events, we over use the invitation to these events when we create a Facebook Event for each week. If we post details of our weekly event on our Facebook personal profiles or our ministry Facebook Pages, we will have more eyes seeing this information than when we create an event for each week. Create Facebook Events for special or important events, not weekly events.

2. We don’t use multimedia to communicate what the Facebook Event is about. You have the ability to share photos and video about your Facebook Event. An engaging video posted to your Facebook Event inviting people into the event will help them commit to the event.

3. People are invited to many events on Facebook. Just like Facebook timeline, people are inundated with Facebook Event requests. If you are a frequent Facebook user, you will notice many notifications inviting you to different Facebook Events. If you are going to use Facebook Events, you need to try to figure out how to break through the Facebook Event clutter.

4. You don’t encourage your Facebook Event participants to invite others. Often we are asking the people we invite in our Facebook Events to commit to our event; if it is a Yes, No or Maybe. Once people give a Yes that they are coming, ask them to invite others to the event. If they are passionate about the Facebook Event, they will.

5. We don’t use the exclusivity feel to Facebook Events. People want to feel that they are invited to an exclusive event. When many of us create Facebook events we create open Facebook Events. We should do the opposite. If other people (those not invited to the Facebook Event) see the event, they will want to be included and ask to be included.

What do you think? Are Facebook Events over used? What other ways can you use them?