(From my friend, Amanda Berger. Read part 1 first. – Stephanie)
Part II – Where to Start: Getting a Girls Group Going
Doing things together helps a group to bond in a very special way. My favorite way to engage young women is through cooking, baking, crafts, and other creative arts, mainly because that is an extension of who I am. The best ministry happens as an overflow of what we are passionate about and I think it is valuable for girls to see women using their gifts. So, as you think about who may lead your girls group, look for unique gifts and people using them to pursue their passion.
Why creative arts?
It is my belief that we bear the imprint of our Creator, and therefore, everyone has the ability to get creative. Creative arts offer girls an opportunity to participate in an activity where there is no right or wrong answer. There’s only trying. Creative arts offer you the chance to engage young women in an activity, to offer affirmation of what they have created, and the chance to see a girl lit from within with possibility. You will see the girls shine accomplishment and be proud to go home with something they made.
At The Soul Sisterhood Retreat (my girls’ camp) we use sewing, scrapbooking, jewelry-making, baking, photography, knitting, writing and cooking as ways for girls to try something new and see if they can find something about which to be passionate. Having a passion outside of school or friends helps girls to get away from the drama and judgment that can get in the way of them trying out new things. Not every project goes right the first time—but the stakes are low and when something doesn’t turn out quite right, it makes for a funny story and we can grow from trying again.
You don’t need to be an expert in arts/crafts to make this work. There are millions of great, easy ideas on the internet, but even better, use this as a chance to engage other adults in your youth ministry. I guarantee that there are people in your congregation who would be willing to lead a beginner’s knitting night, show a group of girls how to create a beautiful scrapbook page, or do a little painting. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the talents and hobbies of your faith community.