A Note from Mary Margaret West: We’ve all experienced girls who are totally uninterested in what’s going on in your church or small group. Taylor gives some great insight and ideas today as to how to love her well.
As a girls ministry leader, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a girl who just isn’t interested. Maybe her parents force her to come on Wednesdays or Sundays or maybe she comes with friends week after week only to act like she’d rather be anywhere but here. Either way, she’s in your ministry and the Lord has entrusted you to love and lead her. So, how do you do it? How do you minister to the girl who just isn’t interested?
- Don’t be afraid to keep trying to connect with her. If we’re being honest, rejection is hard, even when it comes from a student. It’s not fun to feel like a student doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to be a part of your ministry; but don’t let the fear that she’ll reject your attempts to connect with her keep you from continuing to reach out. Ask her questions about her life and her interests. Each time you see her, bring up things that she likes to talk about, even if she acts like she doesn’t want to talk about them with you. Opening yourself up for rejection again and again may be hard, but it’s not for nothing. Even if she acts annoyed with your attempts to befriend her, it’s not going unnoticed by her. I can’t tell you how many times a girl who was never interested in talking finally reached out when she was walking through a difficult season simply because she knew that I cared even when she didn’t.
- Acknowledge her disinterest. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but addressing her disinterest can be a great way to connect with her and encourage her to open up. It can be as simple as saying, “Hey, I’ve noticed you don’t seem to enjoy it here. Is there a reason why?” Then be prepared for whatever she may have to say. Chances are likely that her disinterest has very little to do with you, your ministry, or the church and a lot to do with other things that are going on in her life. Ultimately, acknowledging her disinterest automatically introduces a new level of authenticity into your conversation that she’ll likely appreciate.
- Give extra grace. So often, God is quick to give us extra grace when we are disinterested in Him, so we should be quick to give extra grace to the girls who are disinterested as well. It takes a humble leader who remembers her own need for God’s grace in order to give extra grace to the ones she’s been called to lead. So when you have girls who are disinterested, stay humble. Remind yourself of God’s patience and faithfulness toward you and treat your girls the same way. Give them extra grace. Take your frustration to the Lord and ask for His wisdom. In the end, He is the one who loves her the most. Pray for her and trust her to the Lord’s hands. He’s pursuing her and her presence in your ministry (whether she likes it or not) is evidence of His pursuit!
In the end, instead of being frustrated or discouraged by a girl’s disinterest, choose to celebrate her presence! No matter how disinterested she seems or how unengaged she may act, she’s being exposed to the powerful Word of God which never returns void. You can be sure that regardless of her attitude toward the things of God, His work will be evident to her the longer she hangs around your ministry. Ultimately, she’s being impacted despite her disinterest and that should be encouraging to you!
Taylor Cage is a newlywed living in Tulsa, Oklahoma serving students alongside her husband, Baron. After college, she spent three years as a Girls Minister and she’s passionate about building gospel centered community among women of all ages. She’s an avid reader, writer, and caffeine consumer. You can catch her telling cheesy jokes and taking long walks down the aisles at Target.
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