Did you stumble over this blog and ask yourself, "What is Teen Girl Youth Ministry? Why do we need it if churches already have youth groups?" In this introduction, we're going to define what this term means so you can decide where you fit into this crucial work.
When I first got into volunteering in youth ministry, I had no idea what I was in for, or how quickly working with the girls of the youth group would become my passion. So I became interested in doing more events for the girls of my youth group and started to do some research. That's when it quickly became apparent that there are not a ton of resources available on the subject. They are usually listed under the concept of "girls' ministry" which, in my opinion, is a vague title and is better used to refer to a ministry that works with elementary age girls rather than teen girls. Aside from an abundance of teen girl Bible study curricula and a handful of creative ideas on Pinterest, there is so little material addressed specially to ministering to teen girls. There are only a couple of books and a few mostly defunct blogs and/or YouTube channels.
Since there is so little material about this concept, I want to take some time to answer the questions, "What is Teen Girl Youth Ministry? And what is this ministry supposed to accomplish?" To help answer this question, I am going to refer to one of the few books that is available on the subject: Girls Ministry Handbook: Starting a Growing a Girls Ministry in Your Church by Jimmie L. Davis.
According to Jimmie, "Girls ministry is an intentional and organized plan to meet the unique needs of teenage girls. The ultimate purpose is to spiritually transform the lives of teen girls." (pg. 31) A few things to note before we continue;
1) Girls ministry should be intentional and organized
2) Girls ministry should be well planned
3) Girls ministry is meant to meet the unique needs of teen girls
4) The purpose is to for the girls' spiritual growth and transformation.
Whether you are doing teen girl ministry in the content of a church or out of your home, your plans need to be intentional about meeting the needs of the girls in your group so that they will be make the choice to allow Christ to transform them and to continue their walk with Christ into their adulthood, future marriage, future as a mother, or whatever else life throws their way.
Within the content of a church ministry, Davis continues to explain that girls ministry will not be a standalone ministry, but with either fit under the umbrella of either the church's youth ministry or the women's ministry. On this blog, we will mostly be discussing what it will look like in the content of youth ministry, although there may be opportunity to discuss its application to women's ministry down the road. I am of a similar mindset to this author in the sense that this can be a piece of the puzzle to make youth ministry more balanced. Davis says "Girls ministry is not the entire solution to the needs of teen girls. Rather it is a significant piece of the puzzle that has been missing. Girls ministry will assist in accomplishing a more balanced student ministry and help build the kingdom of God." (pg. 31)
It's interesting to me that most of the youth ministries I've volunteered for are either pretty evenly split boys and girls or have more girls than boys. Yet it often feels like most of the games, especially the active or "sporty" games, are meant to appeal to guys more than the girls. Sometimes even the snacks and the lesson materials seem to appeal more to guys than girls. Why do you think that is? I think it's because the majority of the time, youth group is being planned by a male youth pastor or male youth leader who has a very hard time getting himself into the mindset of teen girls. So he will rely on his instincts of what he liked as a teen or what he would like if he was still a teen boy.
While there is nothing wrong with these men appealing to boys, I think it gives the female youth sponsors or church members an opportunity to fill in the gap with teaching and programming that does appeal to girls. It's an opportunity that a lot of females in the church as well as male youth pastors miss because they are looking at youth ministry the way that it has always been done. I think that the women listening to this podcast, whether you are currently involved with youth ministry or not, should take that the opportunity to fill in the gap to work with these teen girls that are looking to support and encouragement as they try to navigate Christian life in a secular world.
Before we conclude this discussion, I want to clarify that I don't think that teen girl ministry should be limited to just the church. I hope that many of the principles we discuss in the future can apply to any situation in which you have influence or potential influence over a group of teen girls. The ideas that we will discuss can be used by coaches, teachers, and even moms that want to start a small group for daughters and their friends.
If you are reading this post, I am assuming that you already have a heart for teen girls. Whether you are female youth ministry volunteer, a paid youth minister, or a parent of a teenage daughter, my prayer is that you will find some value in this post and future posts on this blog, so that we can together discover how to help the young women of the next generation become the women that God intends them to be.
Question of the Day: Did you know what "teen girl youth ministry" was before this article? Why do you think there is a lack of resources available on the topic?
Make sure to leave your answer in the comments.
Don't forget to follow Teen Girl Youth Ministry on Social Media (@teengirlyouthministry or @TeenGirlYM on Twitter):
Teen Girl Youth Ministry shares and creates resources that allow youth leaders like me minister to the teen girls in their circle of influence. Whether you're a small group leader, a paid youth pastor, or a parent of a teenage daughter, you will hopefully find resources for how to connect and make an impact with any young women that God brings into your life.
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
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