DEW wins contest

Youth group earns Winterfest tickets

As Winterfest 2013 was in progress, so was a video contest to produce an Instagram video compilation of the greatest moments from the largest Christian New Year’s kick-off in the region.

The leaders and youth of Dew Student Ministries of Round Hill Baptist Church in Round Hill, Va. captured the first place Instagram video, winning two VIP tickets per person to the 2014 upcoming Winterfest event.

Already familiar with Instagram and the rest of the social media scene, volunteer youth leader Doug Johnson said he jumped at the opportunity to participate in the contest.
“We were (already) connected with the Winterfest promo,” Johnson said. “We were considering VIP tickets for 2013.”

According to Johnson, the students were especially excited to enter their video into the contest. The challenge was figuring out a way to create a winning piece only 15 seconds in length.

Johnson said he and his students were to “basically create a compilation of experiences at Winterfest.”

Dew Student Ministry’s video highlighted the students’ most cherished moments in both Lynchburg and Liberty University, featuring clips taken of the students experiencing everything from the local cuisine to rocking out in the Vines Center to music from some of the most well-known Christian artists in the country.

“I didn’t think much of it,” Johnson said, regarding the odds of winning the contest. “It depended on the number of submissions (from other youth groups).”

However, Johnson realized that the odds had been in their favor a few weeks later when he received a Twitter notification on his phone congratulating Dew Student Ministries on their win.

Since he was away from Round Hill at the time, Johnson said he started receiving excited text messages from his students almost instantaneously.

Although winning the contest was certainly a thrill, Johnson said the best part of the whole experience was having the opportunity to “show the kids around Lynchburg,” where he and his wife, a Liberty University alumna, spent a significant amount of time in the recent past.

According to Johnson, he believes that social media networks such as Instagram will continue to have a big impact on this and future generations of young Christians through sharing experiences such as Winterfest trips and for general ministry.

“Any kind of media can be used for good or bad,” Johnson said. “The biggest danger is that kids constantly compare themselves to others.”

However, the potential to use social media for good, according to Johnson, is not something to be dismissed.

“With everyone always connected, it makes sense to connect hundreds,” Johnson said. “(Young Christians) can leverage social media with their peers . . . I think it’s absolutely necessary to use.”

Dew Student Ministry’s winning video can be seen at

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