What Is Discord?
In short, Discord is an online program that allows users to chat through text and voice. It functions through the use of private servers, which means that users can only connect with those that belong to the same server (for example, the Capital West Student Ministry server). Each server has the ability to customize the settings, security, and layout of their server to a great extent. Discord used to be known for gaming, but has now become more of a community app.
Discord gives the opportunity for voice chat, video chat, text chat, and much more. You can do small groups, large groups, live streaming, and screen sharing. Best of all, it’s free!
Discord is designed for ages 13 and up, but I’ve had no issues with students under 13 logging in with their parent’s permission and birthdate. This is, of course, ultimately up to each parent or guardian to decide.
A lot of students who play games already know about Discord, as it was originally designed to be a gaming community. The truth is, our students need community. School is different and doesn’t always provide the environment they need; a lot of churches are still unavailable or getting back in shape; and students (and their parents!) are tired of being online. However, this can be an online platform that they need to stay connected with your ministry.
Since it is free for the students and has a lot of functionality, I find it to be a great opportunity to provide a safe way to connect during this unique season of life.
I want to walk you through what it looks like to set up your student to connect with our online community through Discord!
Follow along with the steps and pictures below.
Click on the Join Discord button below to be taken to the discordapp.com webpage for our students.
Sign in or Create a free account, using the student’s First and Last Name OR First Name and First Initial of their last name (to ensure the safety of our students).
JOINING OUR SERVER
Once you accept the invitation, you will receive a Direct Message from “Carl-Bot” (an automated server moderator) with instructions on how to use the server.
Click on cwStudents on the left side of the screen (If you don’t see it, click the 3 horizontal lines in the top left) to see the #welcome channel. Scroll up and please read through all the rules and confirm that you’ve read them by clicking the green checkmark beneath them. Then, while we verify your account and add you to the server, choose your grade below the rules by clicking the appropriate grade number.
On the left side of the app, you will find all of the TEXT and VOICE channels. Just select the one you want to join.
#Channel: Servers use hashtags to signify text channels. You can send messages, embed links, and post pictures and files in these channels (with permission).
🔈Channel: Servers with the speaker icon, signify a voice channel. People can join these channels to talk through voice chat, video chat, and do screen sharing.
In order for a student to join a voice chat (indicated by the Speaker icon) they must select on the desired channel (I.e. Voice Chat Lobby) and select “Join Voice.” Click the microphone icon in the bottom left to mute your voice, the headphones icon to mute everyone’s voices, the speaker icon to adjust volume, and the red phone/x icon to disconnect from the voice chat.
You can find details about each of the text channels when you click on them. Students are welcome to come in and chat at ANY time!
We strive to help our students stay connected with friends, leaders and God in this time and we will do this in a safe and secure way. We have taken many steps to ensure that the students are safe to use this community. Please let Aaron know if you have any questions or need any guidance with the application!