Last year, we had an amazing grad class. These were the best students you could imagine—student leaders who went on all the mission trips. One of them even preached the best youth message that year.
When we went to their graduation and took photos with them, their friends had no idea these great young people had gone to a youth group on Tuesday nights for four years. That means our students never invited their friends.
How are teens going to find out about your ministry? Are your students automatically going to invite their friends? I hope so, but one way to nudge them to show others what they actually do on a youth night is through Instagram Stories. This feature is really the new front door of your ministry. Students are going to check that out before they ever show up.
Here are some tips we’ve learned about using Instagram Stories successfully.
* Get the right size. When you’re making custom images, 720 by 1280 is the size you need them to be. Getting the right size shows that you know what you are doing—it’s a big deal. You can also use a program like Word Swag to create this size. With the custom image, you can promote events and share funny moments. When I make an image for a series, I will create an image for Instagram Stories.
Tip: You can swipe up to access photos while in Instagram Stories. The photos or images need to have been created or taken within the last 24 hours.
* Make it fun. Make sure that you are capturing the best moments of your youth-group meeting. Take pictures, video and especially have fun with the Boomerang feature, which can make funny shots out of nothing. Remember, this might be the first introduction students have to your youth ministry. Make sure that it looks like a blast.
* Be real. Use live video to show what is really going on. It doesn’t matter what the quality looks like as long as the video shows what is actually happening. Students want to see the real ministry. In certain contexts, they most likely haven’t been to a church or youth ministry, and this will provide a snapshot into the life of your group.
* Check out other Instagram Stories. Jimmy Fallon, Catalyst Leader and Mosaic Church have great stories with new and fresh stuff everyday.