It’s 2021. Our whole world looks different now, and most likely, your youth ministry looks different too.
Whether you’ve moved your youth ministry to be completely digital, or you meet in-person socially distanced, or you meet in small groups in the community—or maybe even a combination of all of that—we want to give you all the flexibility and resources to help your students develop an authentic faith.
That’s why we’ve created Digital and Socially Distanced Options!
So What’s New?
We’ve added modified teaching scripts, small group leader guides, and teaching videos to help you weave together your teaching time with your small group time. By combining the two, you’ll break your content into digestible chunks that hold your students’ attention and help them apply each concept instead of teaching into a digital void.
We’ve also added modified games for digital and socially distanced settings.
To summarize, in your XP3 curriculum you’ll find:
- Modified Teaching Scripts with moments to pause for small group discussion.
- Modified Small Group Leader Guides with cues for when the teaching will pause and the discussion can start.
- Modified Teaching Videos (for media package subscribers) that pause throughout with cues for small group discussion.
- Plus—modified games for digital and socially distanced settings.
How Do I Use These New Options?
The Digital Options provided as part of the Digital and Socially Distanced Options are just that—options for you to use digitally as you are working to change up your programming to serve students in a new reality.
The biggest hurdles to leading in digital spaces can be in the large group teaching or in the small group discussions.
If your talk is too long, students may check out or magically (eye-roll) have a “connection error.” Instead, if you’re meeting in a digital space, consider having a live communicator who pauses for small groups to discuss throughout their talk (using the Modified Teaching Script). Or, you can use the Modified Teaching Video so that students can pause every few minutes for discussion.
Another hurdle of leading groups in digital spaces is finding ways to keep the energy up and play games that can keep students engaged and involved. So, we’ve also included modified games that can be played in your digital spaces.
While large group gatherings aren’t possible everywhere at this time, some groups may be able to meet in homes, backyards, parks, parking lots, courtyards, and cul-de-sacs. If you’re meeting in a home, it may be helpful to use the Modified Teaching Video to integrate large group teaching with the conversation.
We understand that videos can be difficult while outdoors. If your groups are meeting in outdoor spaces, consider letting small group leaders complete the teaching portion for their groups by giving them the Modified Teaching Script (or an outline) with cues for when to stop the teaching and start the conversation.
Another hurdle of leading groups while being socially distanced is finding ways to keep the energy up and playing games that can keep students engaged and involved while maintaining an appropriate social distance from each other. So, we’ve included modified games that can be played in a socially distanced environment.
Where Can I Find the Adaptations?
You’ll find these adaptations in a folder in each series called “Digital and Socially Distanced Options,” starting with Winter 2020. If you subscribe to the media package, you can also find adapted videos in your media package.
3 Things to Remember
- Don’t be afraid to change it up. Now is a great time to experiment with what format may work best for your students! There is no “right way” to use these Digital and Socially Distanced Options, and you may have to try using them in a couple of different ways to learn what works best for your specific context. It’s okay if what you choose to try at first doesn’t work. Keep experimenting until you find what does!
- Make it personal. We’re all learning new ways of teaching timeless truths as we navigate a global pandemic. Still, nothing helps a student develop an authentic faith quite like a personal relationship. More than ever, now is the time to develop, encourage, and coach your volunteers to BE PRESENT (digitally when necessary and physically when possible) so that students and families know their relationships are still very real, even if their conversations are taking place in a new way.
- You’re the expert. Nobody knows your students or community like you do! Whichever options you use, lean into what serves your students and their families best in this season. You’re doing great and we are cheering you on!
If these digital and socially distanced options are extra helpful (or extra-not), shoot a quick email to your Orange Specialist and let them know. We’d love to hear your feedback!