I am guessing there are girls in your youth ministry. Maybe just a few girls or quite possibly your ministry is predominately all girls. While at the same time the truth remains that you are not a girl. (Well, unless you are a girl reading this post for guys only…which is totally acceptable!) And, girls and guys see and experience the world differently. This requires us to be intentional in our ministry approaches to those who are different than us.
Girls need you to understand their world.
They need you to counter the lies that they believe about themselves and replace it with the truth of who they are in God’s story.
There are 4 messages that girls can’t hear enough from the men in their lives.
The first message girls need to hear from you is:
“I get it”
This starts with a willingness to engage in their world. You have to be willing to admit that you don’t see or feel the world the same way they do and you must make attempts to understand girl world.
How do you do this?
Ask Good Questions. Let girls tell you what it is like being a girl in your town. What are their biggest pressures? What kind of expectations are they experiencing at school? How do they feel about the conversation around body image? What do they think about their place in God’s story? Don’t forget follow up questions, really try to dive into their thoughts and feelings. You can also ask your female volunteers…just be sure to ask questions!
Don’t Minimize Their Experience. As you dive into girl world, you may find some things silly or frivolous but to a teen girl they are anything but silly. Don’t minimize what they feel because you don’t feel it yourself. Sometimes we can make light of topics such as weight or the way girls interact with each other but these are not light topics. We can’t minimize their feelings instead we need to their validate their feelings WHILE helping them towards healthier and holier responses.
“I get it”
As part of your messages consider acknowledging their pressures and give voice to their potential feelings. Each point or action step in your message can include a specific challenge for both guys and girls based on what is happening in their worlds. So simple but such a powerful way to communicate clearly that you get it.
How else do you think you communicate to girls that you understand their world…that you get it?
(Total side note: Thank you for being willing to speak into the lives of the teenage girls in your ministry and life! They desperately need to hear from you! I hope you will join us on this journey of discovering the 4 messages that girls need to hear from you!)