Last night was a first for me. I decided to try to use the Hangout feature on Google+ to get together to talk youth ministry with some youth leaders from around Latin America. I called it a “Virtual Youth Ministry Course.”
A few weeks ago I promoted the get together on www.ministeriojuvenil.com, our Spanish youth ministry blog (which had its biggest traffic day ever yesterday) and on various outposts like Facebook and Twitter. The response was overwhelming. I received too many requests to participate, so I had to choose. Since I dubbed this an “experiment”, I intentionally picked who would participate.
I wanted a diversity of people to participate in the course, so I picked people from Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Ecuador. I also wanted to see if the connection speed would be good enough in all those different countries.
Overall, I was pleased with the results. For some reason, only 3 students showed up to hangout, but it was a good experience overall. I’m pretty sure it was the first time in history that a group of Spanish speaking youth workers were in a Google+ Hangout talking about how to better reach out to young people, some of whom don’t know their parents and have been taken in by the local church so they won’t have to live on the streets.
The experiment continues next Tuesday, so I’ll keep you posted on how Google+ Hangouts can be used in youth ministry training, at least in an informal training setting.
If you’re on Google+, be sure to add me to your Circles over there.