This Year: Lessons I Learned (Part 3) PLUS… Contest Week 3!

For the month of May I’m picking up a tradition I had for quite a while on YLHelp: A list of things I learned this year related to YL. My post from last week is HERE and the week before is HERE. If you would like to see my previous posts CLICK HERE.

Social Media & YL: People Over Announcements

My friend and YL guru Alex Lewis made a social media training video for the YL leaders in my area (check out his YL Social Media webinars if you haven’t yet). Below are my notes from this video, with a few of my own words inserted too.

We have a formal responsibility in our use of social media for YL

  • We need to honor God in all of our posts (avoid innuendo, negativity, immorality, promiscuity).
  • We represent YL as an organization (be mindful that what we post, people will assume is from the entire organization of YL).

Key principles for social media in YL

  • Social is often the first place kids and parents look to learn about YL.
    • We want them to be able to get basic info. The best place for this information is in the bio or in the picture caption. You can include a link to the YL website/msite.
    • We want them to see that we are about relationships more so than events.
  • For every flier about an event, post one or more pictures related to students and leaders (what happens at and also in between events, not just pictures from club). In other words, two things:
    • First, minimize graphics with YL/club information.
    • Second, balance pics of club with pics from ongoing friendships with people.
  • Social media is not contact work, it helps set up and deepen contact work.
  • Highlight people, make people the “star” (consider leader/jr leader/key kid fun bios each semester).

Design principles for social media in YL

  • As few words/text as possible on graphics (longer text can go in the caption).
  • Use pictures of actual leaders and club kids more than generic graphics from the internet. Scheduling Team Feedback, Input, and More

In my community, almost every high school and junior high teacher uses to communicate with students and parents. is, essentially, a way to text message and/or message through an app. I know a lot of people use GroupMe effectively. For some reason I have not used GroupMe much. My first interaction with GroupMe felt like a massive group-text that made me want to leave it immediately – I hate large group texts. Though I know some people/groups use GroupMe responsibly and effectively.
All that to say, there are three things I like about

1. Insulation provides an independent forum where I am insulated from direct contact with junior leaders of the opposite gender on my team. It allows me to message the female junior leaders in a group that is public. The junior leader girls don’t have my cell phone and I don’t have theirs.

2. Scheduling Messages allows me to schedule messages. My favorite scheduled message is scheduled for every Monday night at 10PM. It says: “What was one thing that was great about tonight and one thing that could have been better?” This message goes out to our entire club team and I get all their responses. Their feedback each week is really helpful to me as a team leader. I schedule a once-a-month check-in about contact work for all the leaders in my area. I also schedule a message that goes out every 2-3 weeks to our team leaders that asks them for their club and campaigner numbers as well as asking how I can pray for them and help them. I also talk to all these people in-person, but the scheduled messages (that I set up at the beginning of the semester) help a lot.

3. Simple Design has an app and a website that are very clean, simple, and functional. It does what it does and doesn’t try to do much more. I like that.

WEEK 3: Camp Follow-Up Contest with Extra Bonus for Newsletter/Email Subscribers (THAT IS YOU!)

Congrats to the winner last week: Abby MacFarlane (@abbymacfarlanee) see the pics below. We are back at it this week!
Camp is right around the corner. It takes so much prayer, hard work, and more just to get to camp! But, we must also be proactive in our plan for camp follow-up. So, each Monday in May I’ll be running a contest on my YLHelp Instagram to give away some of the resources I’ve written.
BONUS: Since you have taken the time to subscribe to my email updates (if you haven’t for some reason, you can do that HERE), I’ll run a contest within the contest where subscribers can win two copies of my friend Gayla Irwins’s excellent book/interactive journal Creative Moments of Grace. Just add a note in your Instagram comment that says #subscriber! Who knows, maybe you will hit the jackpot and win both the booklets I’m giving away and Gayla’s books too!