The Best Girls Ministry Retreat Budget Template Ever!

I truly detest creating budgets! That was until I created this awesome template.  This little template has made budgeting super easy on all the events I lead.  I can quickly determine how our current registration impacts things we want to do.  I can determine if a speaker charges the max amount, how that impacts the rest of my budget.  I can quickly determine incidentals like unforeseen plane tickets charges or extra meals charges and see how that impacts the budget.  I LOVE this template and so I am sharing it with you today.  I hope it is helpful.  You will need a google account to utilize this. See below the screenshot for instructions.

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Set up is easy, following the instructions below should take just a few minutes.

Log into your Google Account
Head to the tool here, and then to ‘File’ > ‘Make a Copy’

Then you should be able to use and input your own information.


You’re welcome!


Get your Families Livin’ on a Prayer with this Freebie

Here’s a free prayer experience I wrote to be used with a family series or parenting conference. The link to download the pdf is after the images. Feel free to use, but remember to just give credit if you do.
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Click to download standing stones prayer experience

Facebook Tutorial for parents in your ministry

This week I was helping some friends out with their facebook profiles and teaching them some basics via a screencast. As I was walking through the process, I realized that this video might be helpful to student ministers who have parents unfamiliar with facebook or maybe it will save you a confusing conversation with your mom or dad. You can literally shoot them this link and be the hero for providing this facebook tutorial tech moment. It’s not very flashy, but maybe it will help someone. Hopefully someone will “like it”. 😉 That’s a facebook joke, but if you don’t know facebook you won’t laugh until after the video. It’s okay. You’ll understand soon.

So you have a parent who comes to you wanting you to help them understand this facebook thing. Voila! You now have a online tutorial to walk parents in your ministry through a facebook profiel. *Sigh of relief* …that’s right, now you can use this video in your next technology meeting with parents or share the video on your facebook page with your parents. If you need a more specific tutorial, just let me know. I’d love to help you out.

Prayer Experience In a Bag

Every year for the past 8 years, our girls ministry takes a weekend retreat.  We always have a leadership team that is comprised of high school girls and adult leaders.  I work with the adult leaders to develop a theme and direction for the weekend and then I bring our girls and leaders together for a vision casting and brainstorming planning time.  In the planning meeting we come up with as many fellowship ideas, worship planning ideas, and prayer experiences that go along with our scripture focus and theme.

From there, the girls are assigned a leader to help develop and make these ideas come to reality.  It’s always exciting to see what our teams come up with and I love working together with them to bring their ideas to life.  I am knee deep in planning for our retreat this year and as I was putting together materials and ideas to help guide and direct our brainstorming time, I remembered that I had never shared one of our prayer experiences that was created by our Snowball lead team last year.

One of the ideas that came to life at our girls retreat was a prayer experience in a baggie that helped reinforce our theme that we are “complete in Christ”.  We were studying about relationships in our small groups utilizing Hayley Dimarco’s PB&J dating book, but during our worship times we focused on how the only relationship that completes us is our relationship with Christ.

The prayer experience in a baggie contained 5 cards that guided each girl individually through an interactive and meditative scripture study to prepare her heart for worship that evening.

Each baggie also contained a pen, a stick of gum, a blank nametag, and an additional card that contained words that God could write about us on our nametag.

We had music softly playing from our worship leader, and as the prayer experience drew to a close, we moved into our time of worship without a break or a word.  It was a powerful time for us sisters in Christ to read His word and then respond to Him in worship.  If this prayer experience can be utilized by your girls ministry, then we are thankful for the opportunity to share.  Please take the opportunity to paste the bottom creative commons use sentence onto the prayer experience so credit can be retained as this freebie is distributed. Thanks!

Special thanks to the girls who helped write it from Brentwood Baptist Church and to Liz Gregory who designed the template and compiled the written prayers. Thanks to Jean Crosby, JoEllen Taylor, Amber Echols, Kathy Alwahab, and Chris Veca for serving on the leadership team that helped make Snowball a special weekend once again.

Easter Prayer Experience Freebie


Two years ago I had the opportunity to create an Easter Prayer Experience for our student ministry to use in a family friendly worship service on Easter. We utilized this again last year and wanted to pass it along to you if you are looking for a prayer experience…even for perhaps tonight *GASP*. I know sometimes there are weeks that necessitate some last minute planning. No worries—you’re forgiven 🙂 Enjoy. easter prayer experience

Mentoring In a Flash Card #2: Mirror Conversations

coffeetalk2 has created a new resource called Mentoring in a flash(card) to help moms have some special moments in the margins of life with their daughter. Several of you have said you would be interested in receiving some additional “Mentoring-in-a-flash-cards” to distribute to moms, or to use for yourself. Click on the picture to below to download the pdf. All we ask is that you make sure and credit where you found it if you reprint or repost. If you missed the first one, click here.


From the Mailbag: Freebie Girls Night Idea

mailbagJennifer Grether, Girls Ministry director from FBC Orlando, contacted me last week to share what they did with the L.Y.L.A.S Girl night idea that we posted here: L.Y.L.A.S Girl night idea

I asked if I could pass it along to the rest of our  community and she was glad to share. Thanks Jennifer for letting us know what you did with the L.Y.L.A.S night and it looks like it turned out beautiful! Your pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing Jennifer!  And if you have ideas or you have used something that has worked out well…PLEASE let us know. We’d love to share with the community.  Also there are about 45 girls ministers, moms, and leaders starting to connect at “The social network for”.  So feel free to join and start some conversations there.  We have some great blogs that are featured on there as well.  Pam Gibbs from is on there as well as some girls ministers from Texas—come see what you are missing out on!


Thanks to your idea (at, we just hosted a LYLAS girls night about two weeks ago and it was great! We had about 100 girls and over 20 volunteers show up! We changed some of the stations around, so I wanted to share those with you.   Jennifer Grethan FBC Girls Ministry Director


1. L – “Love” – Love one another – At this station, we will focus on selflessness and humility as the key to love. Jesus showed his disciples selfless love by washing their feet, so at this station we will wash each other’s feet and paint toenails.
2. Y – “You” – You are unique – At this station, we will highlight the truth that God has given us individual gifts and has made us uniquely wonderful through a teambuilding exercise (human knot).
3. L – “Life” – Do life together – At this station, we will teach girls to make a simple and easy snack, enjoy some refreshments and ask some getting to know you questions.
4. A – “Ask” — Bring each other’s burdens to the Lord – At this station, girls will break down into groups of two or three, share prayer requests, and pray with each other.

L.Y.L.A.S event at FBC Orlando Girls Ministry
Getting her tribal paint

Getting her tribal paint

L.Y.L.A.S event at FBC Orlando Girls Ministry
human knot fbc orlando

human knot fbc orlando

human knot2 FBC orlando

human knot2 FBC orlando

LOVE station

LOVE station

hanging out in between stations

hanging out in between stations

sportin her L.Y.L.A.S tribal mark

sportin her L.Y.L.A.S tribal mark

Mentoring In a Flash(Card) Freebie For Moms



Today we are releasing free some mentoring helps for moms. has created a new resource called Mentoring in a flash(card) to help moms have some special moments in the margins of life with their daughter. Let us know if you like them and we’ll keep them coming. Click on the picture to the left to download the pdf. All we ask is that you make sure and credit where you found it if you reprint or repost.picture-4

FREEBIE Biblestudy: We Love Jesus…Yes We Do…


I just got back from a brief vacation after serving 2 weeks at summercamp. Imagine my surprise to find out that we had booked our relaxing vacation at the same hotel that a large teen dance competition was occurring. The bedazzled outfits, the up-do’s, the screeches and screams were 24-7. It reminded me of the wonderful teen tradition that took place back in my large state Christian youth event days. It never failed to happen that while we waited for the programming to start, either the wave or another tradition would begin—The “WE LOVE JESUS CHEER COMPETITION”.  Those students would now be in their 30’s and as the thousands that screamed out that they loved Jesus more—you would think that much would be happening as a result of  their self-proclaimed love of Christ.  However, sometimes we become Cheer-leaders and forget to be God-life livers.  Below is a freebie biblestudy to use with your teen girls to begin talking to them about not just been a cheerleader for Jesus but truly living it out.–Amy-Jo


Have students dream up a new kind of olympic sport, then have them come up with a cheer for that new sport.

DISCUSSION: If you put a group of teenagers together who are attending a Christian event with other teenagers, it usually doesn’t take long before you run into a bunch of people who will try to start the wave or begin chanting across the crowd to say this cheer: We love Jesus Yes we do, we love Jesus How bout you?

Whoever they point at has to quickly take up the challenge by repeating the cheer even more obnoxiously and louder to prove their love in the Christ they follow.

It makes me smile smugly to think about how easy it is to stand in a Christian concert or event and yell to a group of people that believe the same way as you that “You love Jesus” so boldly. Then the cheer ends with a group that will yell “WE LOVE HIM MORE. WE LOVE HIM MORE.”


Let’s transition into the day of Jeremiah the prophet. A time when no such rallies or concerts would have been welcome, because the people of God had turned away from worshipping Him and were fixing their attention on other things. So God called Jeremiah to tell His people they had stopped loving Him. He called Jeremiah to tell them the consequences of their actions. He called Jeremiah to tell them what He wanted to do in their lives if they would return to Him. He called Jeremiah to a difficult 49 years of constantly communicating the messages of God that would have sounded like bad news at times. I think Jeremiah would have rolled over laughing if he saw the way we boldly claim our love for God in youth group meetings, Christian concerts, and rallies but I think he would ask us if we would still proclaim those messages if no one else around us wanted to hear it. How long would you still stand and say what God had done in your lives if everyone was anti-God?

How do verses 4-10 help shape Jeremiah’s calling and identity?

What are Jeremiah’s fears and how does God respond to the excuses Jeremiah offers for not being able to answer God’s call?

If you were Jeremiah and you knew the hardships associated with being God’s megaphone, how would God’s promise in verse 19 be helpful?

Read aloud Jeremiah 1:4-5, and replace YOU with your own name. God has appointed His children to be a Holy Priesthood in some pretty dark places—what is your response to God’s call to declare a God-life in the places you are living? How does Jeremiah’s experience challenge you and/or your excuses?