You + all your girls’ for a WHOLE weekend? Let’s. Go.
A unique opportunity to intentionally invest in the girls in your ministry may be planning a Girls Weekend, just for them.
Let’s start with WHY. Why is a Girls Weekend important?
Girls long to feel seen and known and loved. They are hungry for connection and are looking for a place where they feel accepted. You can create an environment at Girls Weekend where girls are taken outside of the norm, away from distractions and boys, where they can deepen their relationship with Jesus and other girls/leaders in the ministry.
A Girls Weekend can also be an attractive “on-ramp” event to not only connect girls into your student ministry, but also an opportunity to reach lost girls with the gospel. Girls may never step foot in a church, but they may come with their friends to a fun weekend like this.
In addition to those reasons, girls are hard-wired different than boys. They have different needs, different struggles, different ways they need to be ministered to. With that being said, a Girls Weekend provides a place to discuss topics we may never talk about with boys in the room.
Now, where do I start?
1) Pray and build a team. Ask some other leaders and moms to be a part of the planning with you. You will not want to do it alone. Empower women on your team to “own” parts of planning, where each person can work in their gifting. Pray together about where God should lead you.
2) Set the date and location. Look at your church/school district calendar, talk to your team, and determine what dates would be best for the girls in your ministry. Do you have space to do this at your church? Is there a camp location in your surrounding area you could look into booking? A recommendation would be to get the girls out of their routine. Something special happens when they are able to breathe fresh air, be in community, and be away from good cell-service and their busy schedules.
3) Create a budget. Maybe you’re not a numbers-girl. Bring people around you to help. You’ll need to know what you can afford before you go too far in the planning process. Things to consider in the planning is travel, food, lodging, and fun activities. Those all will need to be factored into the cost of this event.
4) Pray about the theme and speaker for the weekend. What direction is God leading you in? What do your girls need to hear? You want to make this weekend as focused as you can when it comes to communicating Biblical truth and meeting your girls where they are. Do your girls need to hear from their leader or girls minister? Is there room in the budget to bring in a speaker for this?
5) Create a plan for registration, parent and leader meetings, communication, and promotion. The best way to engage people and secure dates on your girls/parents calendars is to get the date for the event and meeting dates out to them ASAP. Getting a save-the-date graphic three months in advance would be a huge WIN. Our church uses Fellowship One to process registration/payment.
Also, think about different ways you could communicate with your people—maybe through a mailer, post-card, a promo card, or brochure, or as simple as a text invite. Social media will be a BIG tool in helping your girls sign-up and spread the word. Consider potentially even doing some giveaways! There are a lot of fun things you can do on social media to engage girls + even get them involved in promotion.
6) Dream up how you want the weekend to look and feel. What’s the vibe? What time of year is it? Maybe get on Pinterest for some inspiration. Have FUN with this. Maybe creativity is not your thing. Bring people alongside you who can help. Creating an intentional and beautiful space is another way to not only reflect Jesus, but communicate the truths that these girls were prepared for—that they are important.
7) Details Matter. Create a schedule for the weekend. The truth of the matter is that people see you before they ever hear you. In a matter of seconds, girls can make their mind up about your event or how they feel this is going to go. Think through the weekend. What ways can you create a place/experience that will be memorable? Spend time thinking through how to best use the time you have.
This year we planned some amazing activities for the girls! On Friday night we had a 50ft long ice cream sundae, then on Saturday we had a fall festival for our Girl’s Weekend. We had pumpkin painting, a hay ride, an apple cider bar, s’mores, and more! The girls loved it!
8) Recruit Leaders. Pull in your small group leaders and those who faithfully invest in the girls in your ministry. Invite moms and college girls you know to come and lead. Putting girls in cabins or host-homes with a small group is an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth and community. Train your leaders before the event. Let them know the “behind- the-scenes” details of the event and make sure they know what they are signing up for. What happens in these cabin times are sacred. You want to find the right leaders. We also want to make sure our girls are safe, so we recommend having leaders fill out an application and to have a background check completed.
9) Have fun! There are definitely a lot of details to consider in planning any type of retreat like this, but you should enjoy the process. You don’t have to carry the weight alone. The more you can bring people alongside you and give them ownership, the more “buy-in” you will have. This weekend should be one where you get to dive even deeper with your girls and have a blast in the process!
Check out the logo and t-shirt design we used for our recent Girls Weekend:
Below, you will find some example resources for you to look at as you begin planning your event!
Kate Michaelsen serves full-time as the Girls Minister at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. She is a Liberty University grad and currently lives in Gallatin, TN. She is passionate about investing in the lives of middle + high school girls + loves to help them take their next step in their faith. She enjoys music, creativity, writing, photography, coffee, running, traveling and interior design. Connect with Kate: Instagram