Today we have a guest contribution from the guy’s perspective. You might say we found a guy student minister to give us a piece of his mind:) Okay, but I am excited about today’s article. I love getting to meet and share new blog friends. And Josh is someone I’ve been meaning to introduce to the girlsminister.com community for awhile. Josh Cosineau is The Youth Pastor of East Auburn Baptist Church in Auburn, Maine. He also is a Youth speaker & teacher. He has a beautiful wife named Anna and they have two sons. I asked Josh to share some insight from a guy’s perspective to help guys who work with girls and for us to hear some encouragement from a male student minister. He did an amazing job so I hope this will be one you read and pass on. Thanks Josh for taking the time to share with us today and on behalf of girl leaders everywhere—thanks for helping us to gain a little bit of a guy’s perspective and truly partnering with us as sisters in Christ. We are so thankful! Don’t forget to check out the questions that Josh gave us at the end of us article. Hopefully it will be something you can use to begin or continue some much needed dialogue between your other gendered co-laborers.
Support & Encourage Girls Ministry – A Guys View
As a male youth pastor I am constantly faced with the challenge of attempting to minister to teens of the opposite sex. I am very blessed to have great female leaders on my team and most likely do not thank them enough for the work they put into the ministry. One key component to any youth ministry is addressing the different issues that guys and girls will face. If your ministry is a ‘one-size fits all’, you may need to rethink your approach. If you don’t see or understand the difference between guys and girls, then you’re definitely not married, and most likely need to evaluate your methods of ministry. It is in these differences that we see the wonders of God’s creation. They also make clear our dire need for a great leadership team that is comprised of not only godly men, but also women who love Jesus and want to serve Him. Our reaction to the female leaders, how we see their authority and leadership, will have great impact upon the girls and guys within our ministry.
Below I attempt to answer two questions that will help us think through these two drastically different areas of our ministry. These lists are far from exhaustive, but my hope is that they will help you think through the role of girl’s ministry in your youth group.
- How to support and encourage girl’s ministries.
- Have female leaders – I know it may sound simple but to really minister to the girls in your youth group you must have great girl leaders. It is more natural for us as men to draw men and work with men than to draw and work with woman. Nonetheless, bringing women leaders on-board is vital to the health and growth of your ministry and the girls within our ministry.
- Treat them like your sister – If our view of the women leaders and the girls in our ministry is anything less than that of a sister, it is un-biblical (1 Tim. 5.2). Don’t fool yourself; men constantly fail because of the lust of our flesh. We have an improper view of the girls in our ministries, both leaders and students. The Bible calls us to view them as sisters. If you struggle in this area GET HELP!!! A great place to start is a little booklet called Sexual Detox. If you can’t afford it message me I will get it for you.
- Treat them as Jesus did – All throughout the Bible Jesus not only had women serve Him, but He also served them. He did not use them nor abuse them. On the contrary, He loved them, cared for them and saw their worth and value in His ministry. How much more of an example do we need than to treat them as Jesus did? Here are a couple passages that point out the great care and love Jesus had for women and His earthly ministry.
1. Matt. 26.6-12
2. Mark. 15.40-41
3. Luke. 10.37-42
4. John. 4.1-45
5. John. 7.53-8.11
6. John. 19.25-27
7. John. 20.14-18
- Point them towards Jesus – Our goal is not to impress them, to show them we know how to do it, or to be the end all. No, we are to point them to Jesus. Our love, care, support and encouragement as we treat them like a sister will help lead them towards Jesus. Pray for them, speak the gospel to them, and above all point them towards the only man in life that really matters, Jesus.
- Their worth is in Jesus – We need all our students, parents and leaders to understand their standing with Jesus as opposed to their standing with us. This is even more true with the females on our team. They are loved by Jesus, accepted by Jesus and adopted by Jesus. We are merely to point them towards this understanding of Jesus.
- Stay away – When all is said and done we need to just stay away. This does not mean that we are to never talk to girls, but trust me guys, girls want their space. Get great female leaders, treat them as Jesus did, love them and point them to Jesus. Then trust the Spirit and stay away!
The second part of this is; (2) How can women help us?
The truth is that most of us guys just don’t get women. Regardless of age, we have a hard time understanding them. That is why it is vital to the ministry of the gospel within youth ministries to have female leaders who love Jesus above all and want to serve the girls in your ministry. Here are a couple things you as a female leader can do to help us men.
- Make it clear – We may need a flannel-graph to better understand it, but please help us understand what you need, how we can support you, and how to pray for you. Even if you say it, we may not get it (yeah, we are that numb).
- Pray for us – Please pray that God will work in our lives to help us support you. Deep down we are all a little scared. Picture the junior-high dance where the boys are on one side and girls on the other, yeah that is still us. We are timid and need the Spirit to help us.
- Tell us the truth – We need to know not only what you’re saying, but how we are doing. Women have a great way of seeing the real us. Please let us know when we are too blunt, too weak, or whatever else it may be. We need to know what it is that girls struggle with, and how we can help you through struggles, and help you support the girls in the ministry.
My hope for this list is not that it will address everything that comes into play within a youth ministry with regards to guys/girls ministry, but that it will start a conversation. Here are a couple questions that may help spark dialog.
Guy Leaders to Girl Leaders – [ask these questions in a group setting]
* How can I help point you to Jesus?
* Do I treat you and the girls in the ministry like sisters?
* Are there any areas in my ministry/life that may make a girl feel uncomfortable?
o If so how can I address these?
* Where am I numb when it comes to girls?
Girl Leaders to Guy Leaders – [ask these questions in a group setting]
* Are there actions or behaviors that the female leaders or girl teens do within the ministry that cause you to stumble or issues we can address?
* Am I doing anything inappropriate towards the leaders or teen guys?
* Do you feel supported in my role as a female leader?