Of all the social media options our students use, I like Instagram the best! Photos and comments are great, and so is the mass number of students who use it in my area (more than Twitter), but it’s public nature makes it my number one choice.
Your student ministry can use Instagram to announce events, play games, or engage in a teaching. Here are my top 4 Instagram activities:
Instagram is great as a powerful follow-up tool to a Bible Study or teaching. Teach about how God is a God who shows us His Glory! Scriptural options include John 11:40, Psalm 29:3, Deuteronomy 5:24, Hebrews 1:1-3 or any of the many scriptures where God reveals himself. Clearly share that we can have eyes to see and ears to hear the glory of God working and active in our lives and world. Invite students to look for and capture these Glory Sightings on Instagram, using #Glory and your ministries hashtag. You just created a living chronicle of how God is revealing himself to your students.
Make a Face.
This is for your game or activity time. Announce that we are looking for the best “make a face” for each category OR a best selfie contest. Get everyone to pull out their phone and open Instagram. (At this moment you might will lose them, so be ready.) For the “make a face” game options can include Hulk , Mad Kitty, Sour Lemon, or LOL. For each category have them include the hashtag of your ministry and the category they are competing to win. For best selfie, simply ask them to make a new selfie right now and include the student ministry hashtag. You, or the leader of the game, is watching Instagram blow up with all your students. Announce that everyone needs to follow the the winner of each category or the winner of the best selfie. (Please do not determine best selfie by number of likes, which is just a popularity contest.) Now, you have promoted your ministry hashtag, connected to students on Instagram, and have a great collection of photos to use.
This game gets crazier the larger the group. Using chairs, the stage, the rafters, sitting on shoulders, or any means necessary, get everyone in one selfie. Squeeze in and make sure you are in it, too. Then, after your pile of people has collapsed, have the students tag themselves. Now, all your students from that night are connected in a wild heap!
Meet You At….
You already use Instagram (and every other means possible) to announce your events. This is a twist by announcing only on social media. For 2-3 weeks let your students and parents know they you will be posting random hangouts, great for after a football game, late start day at the high school, or after church. Let them know each Meet Me At… is open to everyone and will be posted 24 hours in advance.