One of the ways to develop a girls understanding of her purpose is to have her serve in a leadership position within the student ministry. For the past 15 years, we have created a girls ministry lead team. The team consisted of girls from high school and adult female leaders.
We will have a vision casting for the girls retreat where I will share the direction of the weekend retreat. Then through various brain storming, prayer times, and team meetings, the girls will be responsible to come up with the entire worship production, the bible studies, the fellowship activities, and 1 prayer experience.
It has been a blessing to watch girls come awake to their giftings and also recognize the giftings of other individuals. Is it easy to release the retreat to teenaged girls? No. There are times when I could get the retreat done so much quicker, but I have seen God do some amazing things through allowing these girls and leaders to work together to put together the retreat. They come up with ideas I wouldn’t have thought of.
Sometimes, I have to release the ideas I would have wanted them to do, because it’s not all about me. There are times I would have been more apt to put a retreat together in my own power, but through sharing the responsibility with these girls and leaders, we are equipping them for the leadership NOW and seeing how God will move when I release the task to Him.
Creating clear boundaries and a compass for them to follow:
Now there are some clear boundaries. The first meeting it is clear what they cannot change and what they can change. It is clear what are preferences that they can tweak and what they cannot tweak. And then when we make the teams, we make sure there are various girls from different personalities and different grades.
We also use the main event compass to help guide their dreams. I always tell the leaders, use this compass to help make or break the dreams. Girls need to begin how to implement what they are dreaming up and then see it come alive at the event. Below is the main event compass that we equip our leaders to use as they facilitate a team of girls on the lead team.
The “WHY” at the center of the compass is a key question. When we are picking worship songs, or sharing testimonies…how does this answer why we are doing this? Making sure that you have scripture as your foundation for your theme, ultimately helps to answer the why.
Here are the 7 proven ways we empowered our girls to lead at this year’s retreat:
So what happened as we empowered girls to lead at our retreat? They planned fellowships that brought girls intentionally together to create memories. They created unique food experiences that enhanced moments girls were getting connected. They selected bible study curriculum that had girls digging into tough questions about friendships and God’s purpose of friendships. These poured over into the worship services that were stitched together to reiterate what they were studying in small groups. Here are 7 specific plans they came up with and implemented:
1. a community graded reflection time after the end of the event. As a result, our leaders grouped up as well and we got a chance to hear what God had done in their small group times and personal lives.
2. A popcorn bar that accompanied a lip dub contest that had every cabin put together a routine during their free time to perform for our late night activity. Every group received a paper plate award so it was super fun.
3. A prayer experience that had girls praying for each other and eventually praying as an entire group. Very special time.
4. An 80’s ZUMBA for our recreation…girls all got a scrunchie. (see this is one I wouldn’t have even thought to do. Who knew scrunchies were back? ) But look how fun this was:
5. We had a nacho bar that was brilliantly executed with a series of crockpots and plastic bags in the crockpots so we didn’t have to clean up nacho cheese! And the girls played a giant game of TWISTER….all this to help support our theme of UNITE.
6. We did an amazing “stand up for a sister” which was a live poll where we got to see anonymous answers as to some specific questions before we started. It was eye opening.
7. We brought in a special speaker in the morning to help girls discover their spiritual gifts and see how God had wired them.
And to see the girls LEAD out on these things is always a gift. So PLEASE in your ministry with girls…give them a SPACE to lead. They have to lead now…and as you walk alongside of them, you may be amazed that God awakens within them a calling to be the next girls minister. Hebrews 13:7 says: Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Don’t forget that younger girls need to see older girls as those leaders. So give them space to be those kind of leaders and you will see them leading in ways that are immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.