Quarantine Youth Ministry

As inconvenient as it may have been for the entire world to shut down for a few months--and yes, there were many stresses and worries and lots of counting pennies--it was also pretty great. 

How many people can say they spent hours upon hours, weeks on weeks, with just their spouse during their first year of marriage? In so many ways, it was a gift to us long-distance-daters-turned-newlyweds.

Josh sporting true Quarantine Chic for his first all-staff Zoom meeting. (Our fashion and interest in changing out of pajamas quickly faded... as I'm sure it did in your home.)

Furthermore, how many people (aside from TV Hosts, celebrities, or actual YouTube Stars) can say their living room doubled as a YouTube Studio during shelter-in-place? I'm willing to bet more than a few Youth Pastors feel me on this.

Unsure of how long the shelter-in-place order would last, we started with "(Lift Our) Spirit(s) Week":

Crazy Hair Day

Decades Day

Meme Day (I'm this little girl) 

Pajama Day (conveniently aligned with Josh's day off)

It was a weekly game of Tetris meets Beat the Clock as we shuffled furniture and scrounged around in the back of the pantry for supplies we welcomed students and leaders into our home (virtually, of course) precisely at 6.

And, man, did we have our work cut out for us as we cleared out expired foods from our pantry and the Student Building... working hard to keep spending--and trips out into the world--to a minimum as we made up games and piled up semi-cool prizes.

One of my favorite segments was Cheeseball Beard. Josh covered his face in shaving cream and I had one minute to get as many cheeseballs as I could to stick in place. (It's Chubby Bunny level of Youth Ministry Classic.) 

We shot this bit at least four times before we got a useable take (to be fair, we had a great second take, but forgot to hit record. Rookies!) By the time we'd finished, there were cheeseballs everywhere! And Josh smelled like Barbasol shaving cream for a week--an unusual smell around here. (A few weeks later, Josh ate a "Sandwich of Doom", built by students who correctly answered trivia questions via chat and smelled like an odd assortment of condiments for about 72 hours. We never learn.)

We made some Dalgona coffee. (Of course.)

Each week we'd give away prizes during the show as an excuse to drive around and deliver them throughout the week (via ding-dong ditch). This also doubled as a break when we got a little cranky, or stir crazy... 

Some of us needed the fresh air more than others.

Sometimes we filmed a few announcement videos during the deliveries.

During the last week of school, before our college leaders headed home (or signed off) for summer, we held a mini-graduation. We played a round of Egg Roulette which ended in an absolute mess since we got our wires crossed about who would hardboil half the dozen.

When Texas started to open up again, we had our final episode of the season and our first guests: Cooper, our Summer intern, and Troy, our Senior Pastor. They were both great sports and jumped right into the food game rhythm, with hilarious rounds of Ce-real or Fake and Burrito of Doom (a sequel to Sandwich of Doom), respectively. 

In addition, we held weekly Sunday Night Family Dinners and invited our students to make some Top Ramen or Mac and Cheese and join us around the virtual dining room table to talk about our week and laugh together. 

These Sunday Night hours will always hold a special place in my heart. They were the times when we heard hurts, celebrated 16th Birthdays, watched introverted students find comfort amongst their peers, and reignited my heart for our students. 

A few weeks later, we went on to host our own in-house camp. We called it Summer Camp of Your Dreams and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

We're currently planning to Season Two of FSM Live to be released during Winter Break. If you have any clever, inexpensive two-person game ideas, we're all ears!

1 comment

  1. One of the added benefits is that parents were able to be part of this--via You Tube--as well as students! And, of course, I was able to be part of your ministry too!