When it comes to campus ministry, one of the best ways to effectively reach an entire campus is by partnering and collaborating with other campus ministries. Guest blogger Brian Barela gives his perspective on this topic, and how the latest media technology can help us in our efforts to partner with one another.
Connections and Collaboration
My biggest challenge as a campus minister is carving out time in between formal meetings to grow these relationships to the point where there is enough trust to partner.
A private Facebook group is an effective tool for increasing the connections with one another in between events.
Why does it need to be private?
To build trust and facilitate authentic relationships, the comments and updates shared in the group cannot be shared with the general community on Facebook.
Certainly you can create a public group but the kind of content that will be shared will be just like everything else on Facebook–mildly authentic and mostly superficial. By keeping it private, this allows more freedom to be authentic and go deeper in discussions and conversations.
Why does it need to be on Facebook?
If you are in college ministry, more than likely you are using Facebook as a primary communication tool.
For those campus ministers that are not used to using Facebook this can be a motivating reason to become more active on the service as well, which most always makes them more effective and relevant to those whom they are leading.
Using Facebook to increase Collaborative Connections
Ask each person to share a picture once a week from their life. This could be family, ministry, a place they like to eat or have coffee, etc. Pictures are THE currency in Facebook. They are the most uploaded kind of media and the most interacted with in terms of likes and comments.
Share a blog post or online article related to some realities or challenges that everyone faces. This can lead to some great discussion that may spill over to people meeting in person to talk more. It may also surface areas of similarity that would remain undiscovered at a formal meeting.
Read a book together and process the information in the group. Similar to the last, but physical books can be more motivating for people to commit to as they provide a greater sense of accountability (since they have to buy the book) and accomplishment (since everyone feels good when they finish a book).
How about you? What other kinds of things could you share to increase connections? Here’s a short video explaining facebook groups:
Brian Barela serves as the Director of New Media for Campus Crusade for Christ. Before that he spent seven years on campus, and was the first ministry in CCC to livestream their weekly meetings, and helped develop the paradigm for an integrated web presence that includes Facebook, SEO, Websites, and live-streaming. He blogs regularly here, tweets here, and can be added as a friend on Facebook here.