the Monday Morning Debrief: Keeping students engaged

If you haven’t ever met me before in person, it wouldn’t take you long to figure out, once we do meet, that I am a big fan of all things Apple, Inc.  I have a MacBook, iPhone, Apple TV, iPad and my girls have their own Apple products as well.

One reason why I keep buying Apple products is that they have great products.  But, another reason is probably more important.  See, with those great products, they have established an eco-system that is hard to move away from.  By that I mean that when you buy an iPhone, you buy your Apps, movies and songs all through the iTunes store.  Once you buy it on one device you can use what you bought on every other Apple device.  That means you don’t have to keep buying the same game, song, movie or app over and over again to play it on your various devices.  AllThingsD explains this further in a great article about the Stickiness of the Apple iOS.

So what’s the stickiness of Apple have to do with ministry?

Once you are sold on Apple’s platform and products, it is hard to stray to devices Android and Windows make, but you have tremendous by in already.  It doesn’t make sense economically to buy an iPad and then a Galaxy III because you will have to buy the same Angry Birds app twice whereas if you just had an iPhone, you could easy download it without having to pay for it all over again.

So the question is, have we engaged our students enough…do they have enough “buy in” our programs and offerings that they aren’t going to be wandering off to other programs, ministries or other worldly desires.  Now, I’m all about Kingdom work and I don’t care who gets the credit when it comes to the salvation of students.  However, I believe that if we do ministry well, students aren’t going to be looking at other places to find exactly what they are looking for.

So, are your students engaged?  Do they like what you are doing?  Do they have ownership of the program?  Are the contributors or spectators?  Are they trying to help but you aren’t listening?  Do you have a strategy for taking them from new believer to fully devoted follower of Christ?  What is our eco-system that students can latch onto?

These are all questions we should be asking ourselves as we try to keep students engaged…not just for the sake of engagement, but to keep them learning and growing in Christ in hopes that the Kingdom of Heaven can continue to grow, one engaged life at a time.

Thoughts? Experiences? Post a comment so that we can all learn from each other and benefit.


Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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