Ministry uses social media to attract, motivate youths

Published 7:38 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018



First Baptist Church of Washington’s Student Ministry is using social media in an effort reach and educate young people, their parents and others about the ministry and its missions.

That ministry uses the same motto the church uses: Know Christ. Grow for Christ and Go for Christ. The ministry’s website is

The Rev. Greg Hombirg is the church’s youth and education minister. He is assisted by his wife, Leigh. He has a teaching background with degrees from Kentucky State University, Georgetown College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She works as a speech language pathologist with degrees from the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University. She also serves the church’s Acteens program and children’s ministry.

Anita Purser works with middle-school students. Chase Stallings works with high-school and college students.

Social media is an effective way to reach young people, Hombirg said, especially young people who may not be church members but seeking a spiritual presence in their lives.

“Most of the kids are out on Facebook now. They’re doing Instagram and Snapchat,” Hombirg said about young people overall.

As for youthful church members involved with the ministry, “There are a few kids, but I would say 80 percent of them are not on Facebook,” Hombirg said. The ministry’s website provides another way to reach them, he noted.

“A lot of the kids would rather text you than call you on the phone. … You definitely text more than you make phone calls these days,” Hombirg said.

The website is also for parents and people not connected with the church seeking information about the student ministry.

The website provides information about its purpose.

“In an effort for students to know and grow with Christ and have a genuine encounter with Him, we emphasize being here when we gather for Sunday morning Bible study, for corporate worship in our sanctuary, and again for our youth Bible study downstairs on most Sunday nights. On Wednesday nights, we have groups for students of all ages. The girls participate in the Acteens program and the boys to Bible study, hands-on projects, and more,” reads ministry’s webpage.

“While we believe that knowing and growing in Christ are directly related to scripture and prayer, we also offer opportunities for students to know and grow outside of the buildings four walls. Some of our experiences include working at local nonprofits, attending camps in the summer, fall retreats, concerts, conferences, and more,” it continues.

The ministry cites the following scripture as a command to all Christians to live life on a mission for God: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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