Youth Down South TV Premieres on YouTube
By: Laura Poff
Rob Bridges, territorial youth communications specialist, launched a new program called Youth Down South TV on the Territorial Youth Department’s YouTube channel Oct. 4. The show aims to inform, entertain and encourage youth and youth leaders across the territory with news briefs, interviews and competitions in 10-minute videos released twice monthly.
“Youth Down South TV is about celebrating the young people in the Southern Territory but also taking our interaction with them on social media to the next level,” Bridges said. “We want to do that in a fun way and we want to get content from them to let everyone in the territory know about the awesome things that are happening at the divisional level as well as the local corps level.”
Bridges will co-host the show alongside fellow Youth Department team member Jovanie Smith. He said he asked her to join the team because “she is so dynamic and we play off of each other so well.”
He hopes the program will be a way to break down barriers to connection between corps, divisional and territorial leaders. As a former Blood and Fire Initiative youth worker, Bridges felt it was important to be vulnerable, to be silly and to encourage the same vulnerability across all levels of leadership.
“I want people to see us all as just people, to see our personalities,” he said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of the kids when their leaders allow themselves to be vulnerable.”
For the next few episodes, he has lined up special guest interviewees including Kentucky-Tennessee’s Divisional Youth Secretaries Captains Matthew and Danielle Cunningham, Kentucky-Tennessee divisional youth leaders, Heather Myers of the Territorial Youth Department and members of the band transMission. He hopes that silly games, questions and competitions will increase accessibility and bring the Salvation Army community together.
“Social media has done a lot to disconnect our community but it can be used to connect them as well,” he said. “We want to unify the territory and to be a central connecting point between people.”
The light-heartedness revealed in the hosts’ banter, questions and content is intentional and in the same style as videos shown at major youth events and conferences.
“There is joy in knowing the Lord, and we just want to put it out there,” he said. “I want people to know we exist and are thinking about the field all of the time. We work really hard, but the idea that hard work is supposed to be stressful or not fun is false. This is a fun place to be.”
To be featured on the show, tweet your news, suggestions, questions and ideas to @youthdownsouth and to watch the show, subscribe to YouthDownSouth TV on YouTube.