Life is different right now. Our daily routines have changed, our mindsets and expectations are not the same, and the world seems to have paused. This is new for me. I’ve never seen or have been a part of anything like this, and it has been a weird last few days as I try and process my thoughts, emotions, and feelings about this pandemic. Thankfully, I don’t have to just sit and think about everything happening or wonder when I’m going to connect with someone again. I am married to a student pastor, and he and his team have been working day and night to implement a plan on how we can stay connected and consistent with our students during this time of social distancing and separation. I want to share some quick ideas about how you, as a leader, can stay in communication and continue being consistent with your girls!
Connect, Connect, Connect
Check up on your girls! We obviously will not be seeing one another anytime soon, so use the social utilities that God has given us like iMessage, texting, video chats, and social media platforms to stay connected with your girls right now. And do it sooner than later!
We all have a little more time on our hands, so give one of your girls a call and ask them how they are doing and feeling. Make sure they have their needs covered—that they have food to eat, water to drink, or soap to wash with (the struggle is real at Walmart)! Many students may be struggling with this new reality for the next few weeks or months, so check up on their hearts and find ways to encourage them. Ask them if they need anything. Bake a treat and leave it on their front porch. Send them a quick letter of encouragement. This is the time that we as leaders need to step up and make sure our girls are doing well and bring community to them in creative ways.
As we reach out and continue doing life with our girls as best we can remotely, I encourage you to ask your girls to model the same things to their peers and friends. Have them check in on other girls in your group and stay connected with them.
I also want to add that not only should we be connecting with our girls, but as leaders, we need to check up on each other! Let’s make sure our ministry families are being covered in prayer and that we are making sure they have the essentials that they need, (because toilet paper is rare to find these days, haha). Ask about groceries, prescriptions, even laundry! Let’s make sure we are taking care of the body of Christ as we also connect with the generation that we are raising up.
Remote Bible Studies or Catch-Ups
We are surrounded by an incredible number of online resources for student ministry. From YouTube to LifeWay.com, there are so many options and avenues online to dig into Scripture at the press of a button. Study a chapter of the Bible together, share what you all are learning during this quarantine, and pray for one another. Plan a virtual catch-up with your girls on a specific day or night, and have fun with it!
Our student ministry usually meets on Wednesday nights, and it is one of my favorite nights of the week. Since we are unable to meet together in person, my husband will be sharing a quick devotional/lesson and have a time of prayer via Instagram Live. We are encouraging our students to join in on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm to be a part of our “virtual service.” We believe keeping some form of consistency will be beneficial for our students and leaders. Your girls need consistency. Being quarantined can be hard and lonely for many, so make an effort to keep up with your girls on a daily basis and implement some kind of a routine with them.
Accountability can be one of the most important elements in any group of students. They desire to be asked about how they’re doing and want to share it. It may take time for some girls to open up, but stay consistent and intentional and try to find ways you can enable them to be accountable with you and with each other!
We always want to give our girls ways to learn and grow, especially in times like this. You could assign accountability partners for your girls each week, and make sure they are checking up on each other and praying over one another. Encourage them to dive into a study together or memorize Scripture. Take it a step further and encourage them to think about their neighbors or elderly they may know, and ask them what are some ways they could be a blessing and a help to the people around them. Let’s practice what we preach, leaders! And let’s disciple our girls and teach them to disciple others!
As I mentioned before, this is just an odd season of life that we all have entered. But this is a time that people are searching for hope. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus, not only to each other as believers, but to our community and the mission field right outside our doorsteps.
Romans 12:13 says:
“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
We may be quarantined to our homes right now for a while, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to help others around us. Let’s be safe and mindful, and let’s live out the heart of Jesus to a world that’s watching.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Monica Helm is a wife to Spencer and new mama to their beautiful daughter, Charli Mae (7 months). Spencer is a high school student pastor and they love being in full-time ministry. Monica loves getting together with high school girls over coffee and encouraging each other in their walks with the Lord. Monica love hiking, photography, Saturday morning farmer’s markets, and trying new food places with her family. Connect with Monica: Instagram