(My friend, Amanda Berger, is Founder of The Soul Sisterhood Retreat and also serves on the youth ministry staff of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in MN. She has put together a terrific 3-part series on the “how-to’s” of girls’ ministry. Enjoy! – Stephanie)
Part I - The Why: A Case for Girls Ministry
My challenge to you is that if you aren’t already doing special gender-specific ministry, that you add it. I have seen girls thrive from having a consistent, same-gender group that they can participate in on a regular basis. In fact, research shows that young women who are connected to a faith community are less likely to become depressed. This is reason enough in my mind to focus on building relationships with young women!
Five Things to Consider
- A girls group should be led by a female. So, if you are a male youth worker, I would encourage you to find a volunteer who is willing to make girls’ ministry their ministry. Guys, I hate to break it to you, but you will NEVER EVER get what it is like to be female. It’s better to just recognize this up front and find a good woman to help you out. This is a great way to engage high school women in leadership roles as well!
- Girls use words as ammunition and knowing one another’s secrets can be dangerous. We want to create a small group that allows for accountability and vulnerability, but we want to protect our girls, too. I always caution my girls to be careful with what they share, because I cannot guarantee confidentiality. I think this is especially important if your girls live in a small town or all go to the same school.
- Girls often use perfection as a mask to vulnerability. Just because everything looks good on the outside, she’s getting good grades, and is making good choices doesn’t mean that a girl is doing well on the inside.
- Deep down, every woman and girl wants to know that she is beautiful, that she has value and has something to give back to the world. Celebrate and encourage those things!
- DO something with your young women. Doing things together (rather than just talking and having discussion) helps to bond a group in a special way—they will have shared memories, stories, and the joy of discovering new things together.
A girl needs a place to be encouraged, challenged, told that she is beautiful and important, and reminded that God created her to do great things in this world. Girls need someone to value their gifts and to help them shine.