Reaching the Girls in Your Youth Group
Moments I will always remember from youth group:
* All-girl slumber parties.
* Conversations with the cool college girls that were youth interns during the summer.
* My first all-girl conference with a speaker that talked about real issues and some singer I had never heard of, named Natalie Grant.
* Ski trips, mission’s trips, camp trips … any TRIP where we all loaded up in the church van, talked for hours, and sang at the top of our lungs.
* Observing the older girls in the youth group, thinking they were so “cool.”
* Playing the keyboard and leading worship in the youth band.
* “Tee-peeing” my youth minister’s house.
Okay, so besides the last bullet point, what sort of common themes can you pull from some of my most memorable youth group moments? As a youth minister’s wife, and a girl who grew up in church, I’ve observed that most of the same faith-deepening, heart-maturing, and confidence-boosting moments that changed my life in high school continue to change the lives of high school girls today.
With girls, more than likely over half of the population in your youth group, it’s crucial to understand how to reach them in a unique way that speaks “girl” language. (I’m sorry, but kickball and Capture the Flag can only go so far with us.) As girls, we don’t bond and feel loved the same way boys do. So here are some tips on how to pour into the hearts of girls in your youth group.
1. Girls need some girls ONLY time. When boys are out of the room, the distractions are cut in half. They can open up, be themselves, and connect on an emotional level. There are hundreds of ways this can happen—girl nights up at church with movies and chocolate, girl break-out sessions during youth group meeting time, slumber parties…the ideas are endless. Make sure girls are getting a chance to just be girls on a frequent basis (I would even suggest a weekly basis).
2. Girls need to see their older peers in leadership positions. We women have a problem comparing ourselves to other women. But turn this problem into a positive! Give girls the chance to see their peers set a healthy example by singing on the worship team, sharing their testimonies, reading scripture on Sunday mornings, or even leading a small group. Girls not only love to watch other girls in leadership positions, but they also need encouragement to step up as leaders, themselves. You can be one of her BIGGEST encouragers—nudging her to step out of her comfort zone and lead within her area of strengths.
3. Have women as youth leaders/volunteers. Girls need to have older women to confide in, go out to coffee with, and just cry to sometimes.
4. Get girls out of their usual, comfortable environments and push them to go on a mission’s trip, to camp, on a weekend retreat—anywhere to get her in a place to reflect on her own heart, her dreams, and her faith.
The Revolve Tour specializes in girls. That’s what we study, what we pray about, what we dream about! After working for Revolve, I’ve noticed that our event encompasses all my “tips” I listed above to touch a girl’s heart. At this event, they will hear relevant messages about their value, see drama sketches that tackle topics they may be struggling with (relating to parents, cutting, friendships, boys, and so on). The Revolve Tour fills arenas across the country where girls can just have fun—screaming, dancing, singing, crying, laughing, and sharing.
Since 2005, more than 35,000 girls who heard that message indicated they made a first-time decision for Christ at a Revolve Tour event. Many of them, like Elissa from Baltimore, leave with “a new outlook on life, myself, friends and family, and most importantly the love of God.” So why not pair up with Revolve to uniquely target the hearts of those girls in your youth group? We are here for you. And we are here for your girls.
—Jenna Lucado Bishop
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Reaching the Girls in Your Youth Group” by Jen Bishop was excerpted from: www.youthministry.com web site. January 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.