Things move that quickly in the young adult world.
The latest edits concern social networking — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and such — that seem to go in and out of favor and back in again. The recession seems to have created a surge of interest lately, as young professionals whose jobs are in jeopardy (last hired, first fired) or already lost, get more aggressive about networking.
This could be an excellent time for a pastor or young adult leader to create a jobs-related Facebook group or LinkedIn group among your young adult constituents, to which they could invite friends. Share leads, share tips on looking in a lean economy. Invite young leaders to get the group launched. Ask questions of the group, to help them talk.
Don’t worry about feeling like a novice — or a “dinosaur,” as one 50-something described herself — in social networking. The tools are reasonably intuitive and easy to use. You can always ask a young person for help. People who use tools like Twitter are eager to evangelize others. (Hmmm. A lesson for Christian evangelism, perhaps!)
As in anything on the Internet, you have to be savvy and wary. Groups can be closed to people whom the group leader approves. If you monitor the conversation and see abuse, you can remove someone from the group.
Truly deep dialog — frustrations, bad experiences, fears, feelings of inadequacy — should be reserved for face-to-face conversations.
If you would like guidance on how to use these tools, contact me at email@example.com.
Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant, and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is publisher of On a Journey, and founder of the Church Wellness Project.