What the Church Can Learn from a Barbie Commercial

This is one of my favorite commercials right now.  I never would have thought this was a commercial for Barbie, but they masterfully have sold how playing with their product will help girls dream of being anything they want to be.  Now, we know it’s a Barbie doll.  Girls are most likely not pretending to be vets or professors. That Ken doll most likely shows up in their dramatic play and they start planning balls and weddings pretty quickly. But I digress.

My question is, what can we as the church learn from this commercial?  How are we as the church equipping girls in particular to dream in such a way that they hear the Holy Spirit calling them to use their lives in impossible ways for His Kingdom?  Barbie says that it’s through playing with their dolls that girls begin to see the possibilities.  How are girls getting to see the possibilities of God sized work in the church today?  Are we giving them chances to see and imagine and surrender their everyday lives to His everyday purposes?

Titus 2 tells us to encourage the younger women…and then it goes on to list some very specific things we are to train or encourage them to do.  One of the questions I am getting asked most frequently by millennial young adult women is about how they are to serve in the church.  We have had some very difficult conversations. What I don’t want to do is to get into a debate about what girls can and can’t do in the church.  So I focus not on the “You can’ts” but the “You are’s”. What I have come to understand is that it’s one thing to talk to girls about how God works but it’s an entirely different thing to call out within a specific girl that God is at work and how.

One of the most pivotal times for me as a girl was when I was in 6th grade. Looking back, I mark that year as the year God called me into ministry. My family was involved in starting a church plant on the west side of our town and there were a handful of families that were meeting in a home to pray for the subdivisions and families we would begin to be neighbors to.

The head of our deacons was a man named Rick, and he was father to some of my friends at the time.  All of us were sitting in an older couples living room discussing the church plant and getting into the nuts and bolts of church governance.  I remember Rick looked right at me and said, “Amy-Jo, what do you think about the direction of our church governance?”  I was a shy 6th grader.

I had said nothing. I don’t even remember what I said at that moment, but years later I remember that Rick and the whole church listened.  They gave me a voice.  They took time to listen to children, students, girls, boys…all of us.  At that moment, I knew the church was a family.

I am a charter member of that church and I am thankful that I was taught the importance of coming together as a family to listen to one another, to pray with one another and to call out within one another how God is at work. And to celebrate the unique gifting of each other.  That is one of the reasons I am called to the church today. So as you pour into the lives of girls in the church…how can you help them see how God is at work…and the possibilities that God could and is working in and through their unique giftings?


Who is a girl that you can think of right now that you could encourage in her specific giftings? Pray for her and pray for opportunities to “call out” how you see Christ at work in and through her.

How is your church encouraging girls to build the kingdom? There are lost people that need to come into contact with girls who know that not only Christ is alive…but Christ has redeemed them and they are called to spread the gospel.

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