Calling All Students-How Are You Using Social Media in Ministry?

Too smart, too old. I talked to a few of my Chico State students who knew about the blogference and asked them for feedback. They all expressed positive comments about it, but all expressed reservations about commenting. By the way “too smart, too old” are their words, not mine.  I wanted to create space for students to share how they are actually using social media on their campus for ministry. I would ask that if you are not a student to only REPLY to comments, not add your own.

here are some general questions if you are wondering where to start or what to say:

how often do you check facebook?

what kind of cell phone do you have? do you check facebook on it?

do you or any other students you know actively use your campus website? why or why not?

do you share your faith online? why? how?

what are some specific examples of creepy Christian behavior online?

how much time do you spend on YouTube during a given week?

do you use YouTube to search for information?

I hope you know that as staff we value your experience using social media for ministry. Our strategies and ideas are nothing unless they connect with how you actually engage social media!

  • Kyle Walker

    I check my facebook, on average, about every 5 hours.
    My cell phone is capable of viewing facebook, however I don’t use it.
    I actively use our campus website to check homework and look for school updates.

  • Peter Sharp

    Hey Brian,
    Let me first say that I have found this blog very useful in seeing how others use online media to impact others. It’s shown me as a someone interested in development of software and websites how my work might be used for evangelism.
    I know first hand how powerful of a tool Facebook can be for sharing. In fact it was someone in our (Chico) movement who originally sparked my interest in faith by challenging me to read Romans. They were in another country half way around the world doing ministry and I was at home yet we were both on facebook. I often struggle with personal connection especially before I stared my walk with Christ. I honestly say this connection with a few friends, many of who I would talk to often about Christ via Facebook played a huge roll in what eventually brought me to Christ.

    I check facebook 3-4 times a day, I have a bad habit of leaving it running while I’m in class though.
    I have a junky non PDA which cannot access the internet or facebook.
    I would say gets a decent amount of traffic.
    Not often, no.
    I’m not totally sure what this means but there are plenty of crazy Christian videos on Youtube
    I spend maybe an hour of personal time on youtube.
    I undoubtably use youtube to do research my field of study is very visual, it’s often easier to find a youtube tutorial than a written one.

    • Peter Sharp

      2 am… Link fail! No edit button! Oh well!

    • Carly Higgins

      You have such an incredible story! It has been so exciting to see the ways that the Lord has been working in your life!

  • Samantha Delello

    Hi! This is some exciting stuff! To give you a little bit of a range of people on here and our comments…I’ll share with you my personal answers. Lets just say that I am not tech savvy.

    Anyway, I check facebook 3-5 times a day. I have a cell phone that looks like a tiny laptop but I do not have interent access…pretty much just use it for calling and texting. Well, I probably have interent access but I do not know how to use it. I and a lot of other students use the CSU Chico website mainly to access our Portal, which is where we get most information about classes. I don’t know if you would call this evangelizing on the interent, but I do try to leave my status on facebook as encouraging as it can be! I don’t spend a huge amount of time on Youtube…except for those rare nights when I get sucked in watching funny video after another. I do use youtube to look things up. Usually when I hear a song and I like it, I’ll google some lyrics, find the song title, and then search for it on Youtube so I can hear the song!

    So, Brian I think this is so great and I cannot wait to see how God uses this and you to further His glory!

  • Chelsea Morrell

    Mostly the intentional ministry I do on fb is through the group page for the bible study I lead. Messages or events through that to communicate when bible study is or about an upcoming event. Other than that I’m just checking in with friends and maintaining those relationships.

    I don’t have a smart phone, but I do have an iPod that can go on facebook that’s registered on campus so I can get online whenever I’m in range of that wifi.

    Mostly I use the crusade website to double check where retreats are and what stuff I need to bring.

  • Angela Cascone

    I check Facebook about 3-5 times a day as well. This is usually from my laptop; however I occasionally use my itouch to check it while I’m on campus. I do have a smart phone but do not use it to go on social media. This is probably because I already have 2 portable devices that can already do that. Our movement uses a website, Facebook fan page and various Facebook groups to do ministry. This has proven to be very successful due to how much time students are on the Web. The Website provides a schedule for our various activities (bible studies, weekly meetings, etc.), a live video feed of a weekly meeting, and an assortment of media to view. The Facebook fan page is, in my opinion, the most crucial social media medium that our movement uses. It offers reminders about events, discussion boards, a place for students to easily access information, and also a place where students can interact on the Wall.
    Facebook offers an easy way for students to communicate with each other. After meeting an individual on campus (who may or may not be a believer) I am sure to get their full name to find them on facebook. This provides an easy and un-threatening way to invite others to events that are taking place, bible studies, or even an intentional one on one meeting with that person. It is rare to find a student who does not participate in the social media world. It has become ingrained into our culture and is part of our every day life.

  • Carly Higgins

    I check facebook all the time throughout the day. I usually just check my own notifications, messages, and the news feed on the homepage. This is where I interact with other students the most. I like to see what other people are interested in. When more than 5 people comment on something I want to know what it is.
    The most effective tools, I have seen used in social media, are pictures and videos. I love watching videos of what other students are doing. They are great for promoting events and getting students involved. Pictures update others on what students are doing in Cru.
    I learned how to use the Campus website this year. I think that it is pretty straightforward and easy to understand, even for a non-tech person like me.

  • Betsy Prosise

    I check facebook only a couple times a day–however, I have most notifications sent to my email and some to my phone so I know when I need to get online to check things. Also, by being able to follow statuses, I know when to check on people. I had a friend recently who severely broke his leg and during the time he was at home off and on for a month, I had his facebook notifications sent to my phone so I knew what was going on. When he came back to school–I stopped following him in order to not be too creepy.

    I only get notifications to my phone from facebook, I don’t actually access it from my phone. I started this as I traveled on an Outreach team for my college all summer and was only able to get online during the weekends and now I still find it helpful. Also through facebook, I keep in touch with my small group girls by coordinating times and occasionally if we are too busy to meet during a week, we will do small group via facebook messages. I also do daily devotions with my boyfriend through facebook messages because it allows our schedule to be more flexible.

    Many of the students I go to school with do not share their faith online a lot and I know I rarely do–a lot of this come from the fact that I am a Bible college student and try to only have people I know as facebook friends. I do have friends from high school who are not Christian who I witness to. Otherwise, I have other venues of sharing my faith including our mandatory 15 hours of community service a semester and different outreach through the school as well and relationships I have build with people at other campuses in my city. Most of them are in person rather than online.

  • Adam Graves

    Hey Brian,
    I think what you are doing is incredible. our generation is not only hungry for the truth but are also looking for new ways to connect with people online, whether it be on facebook, skype, youtube, or chat groups.
    I check facebook probably at least 3-5 times a day to respond to emails, or read what other people are doing and often find bible scripture posted as there status which is then able to be seen by all there friends not just fellow believers. i have a blackberry but i never use it to check my emails only because it is a piece of junk and im waiting to get a new phone that will allow me to use the internet in the future. i would say that i am constantly using my portal to look up homework assignments, check my grades, shedule new classes, or even to find out where to go in order to have specific questions answered. one way that i share my faith online is by posting scripture that i read as my status on facebook. i also share my faith with none believers in chats on facebook when they might have questions or to invite them to a campus crusade event or church. i might spend about a half hour to an hour on youtube a week so not very much usually only when i have my friends over and we cant think of anything to do so we look up funny videos on youtube. i dont really use youtube to learn new skills.

  • Brian Barela

    chico cru students you guys are amazing! thanks so much for sharing here!

  • Cory Goga

    I check my facebook probably 4-5 times a day, but not from my phone because I don’t really have web access from it. I have never really shared my faith online, I kinda feel like that needs to be an in person kind of thing. I spend about an hour or so on Youtube a week, just for entertainment.

  • Tyler Moser

    I think i’m logged into facebook at all time, but i don’t actually check it unless i have some down time in my room, so probably an average of 5-7 times a day.

    I have a pretty basic cell phone; i think it has internet access but i don’t use it, it’s too slow.

    I only use our campus website to check where my classes are, sign up for classes, and check how much i owe the school, i don’t know anyone that uses it for reasons other than school related.

    I have had some really good spiritual conversations online, ones that either came about by something that i posted or something that someone else posted. It is interesting to see my friends’ point of view on things, and i love talking to them about it.

    I think the creepiest behavior i have seen is the people who troll discussion boards trying to prove to people that God is real and that He died for them etc. That is true, but berating someone with facts and stats is not going to convince anyone! Other things i have seen are youtube videos of pastors ranting about the most irrelevant things…

    i don’t spend much time on youtube and i don’t use it for school research either, i just use it to watch hilarious videos of pastors ranting about the most irrelevant things 😛

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