Books and Websites and E-Readers--Oh My!

When you were in school, by which form of medium did you read?  Unless you’re fairly young, there’s a good chance that you read only by book.  If you are younger, perhaps you read a mix of books and information on computers.  Like it or not though, technology is becoming an integral part of everyday life – especially for our young people.

A recent study (2014) conducted by the Institute for Church Ministry asked young people by which form of medium they usually read.  While 42% indicated that they prefer a mix of mediums, 33% indicated that they like paper books and 20% reported they read most from social media, online websites, or e-books.

This finding shows the significance of updating the methods used to communicate with and share information with our youth.  Gone are the days where simply passing out a pamphlet or carrying around a book was “good enough.”  We must adapt our methods of sharing information so as to better reach the younger generations. 

Not sure as to where to begin with all of the available options?  Below you will find some creative ways to reach your young people by employing a mix of reading mediums:

  • Create a Facebook page or Twitter account for your youth group.  Use it to share thoughts amongst the group during the week and notify youth of upcoming events. The same information an also be shared on a paper passed out at youth group each week.
  • Create a website for your youth group or a “youth page” on the church’s website.  Share important upcoming dates, pictures, and personal testimonies on this page. 
  • Setup a prayer chain for your young people.  Invite them to communicate together through e-mail, text, or phone calls.  (Be careful not to limit them to just one method!)
  • Offer your Sabbath School lesson to young people in a variety of mediums; while some may prefer a booklet, others may prefer to go through the content on their e-reader or computer.
  • If technology isn’t your “thing” and feels overwhelming, enlist the help of your young people.  By involving them, you not only can give them a larger sense of purpose within the church but also can help better meet their needs.

Approaching new technology can feel unnerving.  However, if the church is to become more relevant to their lives, it is something we must embrace.