By Jennifer Johnson
Christ In Youth (CIY) is well known among the Christian churches—and beyond—for high-quality programs specifically geared to teens and preteens. Many of these events take place during the summer months, but last November CIY launched a new program—and it was all online.
“We’re constantly trying to keep a pulse on the next generation so we can speak to them with the gospel message,” says Chris Roberts, communications director. “They are digital natives. They don’t know a world without social media or mobile phones. So, we began talking about how we can use those tools to point them to the kingdom.”
The result was “Kingdom Worker Week,” which actually lasted 10 days, from Nov. 6 to 16.
“Half the youth ministers we polled wanted a program that ran Sunday to Sunday,” Roberts says. “The other half preferred Wednesday to Wednesday. We created 7 days of activities and content but spanned it across 10 days to accommodate both schedules. We chose November because it’s an opportunity for teens to participate in our programming during the school year, in ways that hopefully allow them to influence and share the experience with their friends.”
The experience included The KW7 Show, a talk show recorded live in front of an audience of teens at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, last October. A variety of devotions, daily challenges, music, lessons, and service project ideas was available online for each day.
Eric Epperson, senior director of Æffect, the online portal offering access to the videos and other resources CIY produces for its annual events, traveled across the country interviewing influential leaders. Epperson broadcast live in front of the White House on Election Day and used Periscope and Facebook Live to share additional interviews from New York, Chicago, and other cities.
“It was all tied together with social media,” says Roberts. “We encouraged students to post with the hashtags #kw7 and #kingdomworker, and so they shared their thoughts, reactions, and experiences throughout the week.”
Kingdom Worker Week ended with a live event at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, which was also broadcast to the youth groups participating around the country.
CIY is planning another Kingdom Worker Week this fall. Visit https://aeffect.ciy.com/ to learn more!
Read the related column, “Social Event,” also by Jennifer Johnson.