A few months ago a youth minister asked me, “How would you use digital tools to engage the middle-school boys in our youth group?” It’s a tough question, and we ended up talking about it for a good while. Tween boys may be the toughest group of kids to connect with in youth ministry.
One of the ideas we came up with? Memes.
If you’re trying to hold the attention of the guys in your youth group, or if you’d just like some ideas for sprinkling more humor into your youth ministry, this is for you! I’ll give you some ideas on how (and when) to use memes in your large groups and during the week, as well as a quick tutorial on how to make memes yourself. You’ll get a few fun ideas to add to any Sunday school lesson (no matter which curriculum you use.)
But just so we’re all on the same page: let’s start by defining a meme.
What is a meme?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” However, when someone says “meme,” they’re likely referring to the “image macros”: basic images with funny text on top of them.
You’ve seen them. They look like this:
They’re everywhere, they’re easy to make, and they can be a great way to engage your youth group.
So we know what memes are—but what are they for?
Memes make stuff memorable by making it funny first
The memes that catch on are the funny ones. That means you’ll want to use these in your large groups when you come to certain parts of the message that have a lot of humorous potential.
Some good times to throw a meme into your presentation: