I hate the phone. Given the opportunity I will make every effort to get around using it. I would much rather live life communicating through email, twitter, text messages, blogs and social networks. If I need to actually speak with someone I would prefer to do so in person. I don't know what it is that causes me to dislike the phone so much, call it irrational or whatever, I just don't like talking on the phone. Because of this, the Web 2.0, social network revolution that we're experiencing right now, has been amazing for me. It has allowed for me to communicate with my friends, peers and co-workers in ways that I couldn't have before, even with the phone. However, with that said, I still struggle with communication in several areas of my life.
One area that has been a constant struggle for me is communicating with the teens in my youth group. I started out trying to communicate with them via phone each week and quickly discovered that it was painful for both me and them. My next attempt at communication was through email. Ideal for me, email communication has been a little more successful, and hopefully less painful for them; but, I'm not sure that the emails I send are actually being read. This frustration has led me to wonder if there's a better way to communicate with my teens. It's something I've been stewing over for quite a while, and then yesterday, out of the blue, something hit me when one of my teens sent a text message about a job interview she was going to have later in the day. Light bulb moment. I need to be texting them!
It makes perfect sense. Almost all of them have phones, and they can hardly put them down while they're in class so why not meet them where they are. Sometimes I think I'm hip (yes, I used the word "hip") and with it, and then other times I think I must be dense or something. I should have thought of this long ago. Now, I realize it may not be a perfect solution, and nothing can take the place of face time, but I think I'll try this for a little while and see how it progresses.
If you're in ministry, what are some ways you communicate with your teens?