I have to admit it, I remember thinking that having a Girls Minister generates more issues and dynamics within our Student Ministry with girls than I had ever seen since I began full time ministry. No way had I been missing these distinctive matters for almost 16 years of being a Student Minister. Then I began to understand that having someone dedicated to Girls Ministry was merely revealing all that lay just under the surface that I had not fully grasped. I had only been seeing “veneer thick” the unique challenges and opportunities that were there the whole time. It reminds me of the first time I went snorkeling in the ocean, I put my mask on and looked under the water through the lens of the mask – and was overwhelmed by the activity that was under the surface. A specific girl’s ministry advocate allows the ministry to have a lens to assist the ministry in being aware of specifics related to girls.
I have observed the need from three unique vantage points: the lead Student Minister, a father of three girls, and a husband for 25 years. Here are three reasons I have learned why Girls Ministry in the local church is vital:
- Elevates the understanding within the church body of the unique challenges/issues that girls, and their families, encounter that are inherently different than boys.
- The impact of healthy or unhealthy relationships in mother/daughter and father/daughter relationships.
- The “mean girl” group syndrome and its power to influence
- The hurtful path taken by so many girls in seeking relationships, identity and significance
- Informs strategy and planning for goals, budget, and calendaring. It gives an advocate a seat at the table of tactical thinking, best practices, and keeps the championing of girls at the forefront.
- The Girls Minister (or primary advocate) can be a valuable resource for moms, female leaders, and girls themselves.
And…3 things to keep in mind:
- Girls Ministry must be an integral part of the Student Ministry – not a satellite ministry off by itself, but threaded into the very fabric of the Student Ministry. It can’t be relegated to the “kids table” at Thanksgiving.
- It is not Women’s Ministry Light – nor viewed as an add-on.
- Girls Ministry must be based on the heart needs of girls, not the fleeting wants that are at the surface.
The following post was written by Linc Taylor. Linc graduated from Carson-Newman College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership in the area of Family Ministry. As Associate Discipleship minister at Brentwood Baptist Church in TN, Linc oversees the Next Generation and Family Ministries, supervising the vision of Preschool, Children, and Students.