How do you deal with phones during a youth night? That is a great question that has been generating some discussion in my circles. Some youth pastors I know, recommend taking all the phones and putting them in a basket until the end of the night. Other youth workers have tried only to never see that student return.
If I am honest, I am always on my phone. It is an extension of myself. We have to learn how to engage students with their mobile phones, and make it a part of the journey. This could be as easy as recommending that your students read the Bible on an app instead of bringing a paper Bible. It could mean using a text message system. We have to do a better job of reaching students on their mobile phones.
Here is an infographic called: Those phone crazy teens. Here are a few things that stand out to me.
1. 75% of 12-17 year olds have a phone. This begs the question for me…do you have a text message system you use? We use a program called tantango.com, but there are tons of programs out there. If I could mass communicate with 75% of my students, and I would be able to know that 100% of those messages go through, I would get that service today.
2. Teens read a ton of texts. I am tired of hearing that this generation never reads. I you really think about it, almost all of your students read a lot. They actually read the equivalent of 1400 pages a month. That is great. It might not be War & Peace, but at least teenagers today are reading!
3. 70% of students have received a text from someone they didn’t know. This is the stat that freaks me out. I don’t know if teenagers know how to deal with people who randomly text them. I have had to deal with teenagers in the past who have received a random text only to be manipulated into something. We need to help teenagers be bold with their phones, and if they don’t know someone, they need to tell them to beat it.
Those are a few things that stand out to me. What else stands out?