Habits are hard to break and preferences are hard to stay away from. I think this is especially true when it comes to the way we execute girls ministry. Some of us love all things glitter and pink while others of us would prefer burlap and tree branches. Hey, to each her own! But, it can be easy to fall into a rut when we allow our preferences to be what determines all aspects of how we live out ministry.
We all have preferences on teaching style, curriculum types, and event planning. And, some of those preferences are what make our ministries different and effective. However, when we don’t keep our preferences in check, they can begin to alienate girls.
There are girls in our ministries from all kinds of backgrounds with preferences of their own. Unfortunately, it is impossible to reach every girl with every Bible study or retreat. There will always be someone who doesn’t want to do the craft, thinks running around outside is the worst, or who believes the lesson “just doesn’t relate” to her. However, this can’t be an excuse for only doing or teaching things we think are cool or important. We have the privilege of laying down our desires in order to minister most effectively.
If you love to teach topically, that’s great! But, be sure that you don’t only teach topically. The same goes for Bible study curriculum. If you love for your girls to walk through books of the Bible verse-by-verse, don’t be against a few topical studies here and there. If you tend to plan events that look super “girly” consider taking the girls kayaking or to play paintball instead. And vice-versa, if you are far from “girly,” don’t be afraid to have a spa or craft night every once in awhile.
Here are a few tips to keep you out of a rut:
- Keep track of the topics you have taught on. Be cautious not to get stuck in the rut of teaching repetitively on dating, identity, or other topics. Keep it fresh so you don’t wear your girls out.
- Keep track of the Scripture passages you have taught on or discussed in small groups. Avoid talking on only a few passages over and over. Branch out and help your girls discover the entirety of Scripture.
- Write out all the events you have planned for your girls this year. Do they all fit into one stereotype or category? If so, mix it up!
- Think of the girls you spend the most time with. Are they just like you? Identify a few girls who you don’t have as much in common with and intentionally seek out ways to build relationships with them.
- Be continuously prayerful as you plan and minister seeking to do, plan, and teach what the Lord leads not just what you think is best.
How do you keep yourself from falling into a rut in your ministry?