Social Networks

Aim: A session to encourage young people to think about social networking and how we can continue to represent Jesus online.

Equipment: Laptop, Projector, Speakers, YouTube Video – Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting Online,  Social Network Quiz – Click to download, pens, bibles, twitter prayer sheets (Click to Download)

Game: Begin your session with a game, there isn’t one that’s related to this session but you could pick one from our games section.

Introduction: Tonight we’re going to be thinking about social networking and how we should act on it.

Quiz: Social Network Logos – Hand out the social network logos and ask the young people to name the social network that matches the logo.
(Answers: Column 1: Last.fm, Linkedin, Instagram, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr. Column 2: Foursquare, Bebo, Myspace, Blogger, Snapchat, Deviant Art, Column 3: Picasa, Flickr, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)

Discuss: Get the young people to go into 2/3’s and discuss: Which of those social networks are you on? Are there others? What do you like about them? What don’t you like?

Group: Bring the small groups back together and briefly feedback…if you wanted to you could use flip chat to write down the things they like and dislike about social networks.

Video – BlimeyCow – Ten things to think about before you post online

Discuss: What did you think of the video? Did anything stand out? Did you relate to any of it? Has anyone hurt you by something they’ve put online?

Explain: Social networks are great for keeping in contact with people, sharing our lives and even (if done safely) making new friends but they can also be really easy places to react to things, post things without thinking and potentially hurt people. It’s important that we think about what we post…and even how private your online life is…universities, colleges and potential employers search for people online!

Bible Bit!
If you have a larger group you could do this in smaller groups of 5/6.

Ask: What do you think God thinks of social networks?
Do you think Jesus would have a Facebook account?
What sort of status’ would Jesus post?

Read 1 Peter 2: 9-17
Ask: How do you think this fits into social networks?
What does Peter mean when he says ‘we are a chosen people’?

The passage says ‘I beg you to avoid the evil things your bodies want to do that fight against your soul
What things do social networks tempt us into doing that perhaps we shouldn’t? (Perhaps gossiping, being self absorbed, not thinking before we act)

Explain: Peter also writes ‘Live such good lives that they [non-believers] will see the good things you do and will give glory to God’.
Ask: How does this fit into the way we act online?

Read Galations 5: 16-18 and Galations 5:22-26

Discuss: How can we take those ‘fruits of the Spirit’ and apply them to the way we act online?

Discuss: How do you think you can help others through the way you act online? (i.e. if someone posts that they’re feeling down you could give them a call or drop them a message, if someone is being approached by someone they don’t know and feels vulnerable who could you go to for help?)

Twitter Prayer
Close the session by praying as a bigger group. Hand each young person a twitter prayer sheet (downloadable at the top of this session) and invite them to write down a prayer in less than 140 characters…you could even include a hashtag i.e. #groupnameprayer

Once the young people have written their prayers line them all up as a column and encourage them to read each others prayer.

Extra! Why not encourage young people to actually tweet their prayers and use a youth group hashtag to pray for each other throughout the week!