Using the New Facebook Groups
The Facebook Groups feature received an overhaul this past year. Even if you've used them before – and haven't been that impressed – it's worth a second look with all of the new features being offered this time around. “Share, chat, and e-mail with a small group of friends” is the tagline on the application's page at Facebook.com/groups. I have personally been using four different Facebook Groups for about three months or so now and have really loved the functionality of the service. Here are some reasons it might be a great fit for a team in your student ministry:
1) You Control Who Sees What – You can make the groups private, meaning the conversations that you are having within the group show up on your Facebook news feed, but not everyone else's. This is a great application for a leadership team, worship team, multimedia team, etc.
2) Get Updates via E-mail – You don't even need to sign in to Facebook to get updates from your group! Any time a new post or “status” is updated on the group page, the default setting is for all members of your team to get an e-mail notification – including the full text – of that update. Sweet! And if you want to reply? All you have to do is respond by using the group's dedicated e-mail address that is created when you first make your account. This is great for networking and discussion!
3) Members can Post Pictures and Share Documents – This fall, I posted several logo-proofs for upcoming events and had team members vote and comment on their favorites until we came to a group consensus. Easy collaboration!
4) Live Chat Feature – If your team members have a conference call coming up – or a set time for a group gathering of any kind – have everyone jump on the Group page and utilize the live chat feature. The conversation is live and immediate. This was very helpful during the last national conference call I was involved in. We were able to share links and ideas on the page as we shared ideas and conversation verbally on the phone.
I think it's perfect in so many different team ministry applications. So, if you haven't tried it out yet, go to Facebook.com/groups, create your Group, and give it a try. If you are an old pro, and have other great ideas or ways to use the service for youth ministry, fill us in!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.