The “No Purple” ministry has become a standard rule of thumb in many youth groups. Most of us make sure to remind our volunteers: female students should be mentored by female youth leaders and male students by male leaders.

Neely McQueen, Student Ministries Pastor at Overlake Church in Washington, believes youth groups that adopt this standard are missing out. She believes it can be very healthy for students to have discipleship-based relationships with leaders of the opposite gender.  

To hear more about why opposite gender relationships in youth ministry can be beneficial for students, and a bit about what this looks like in-action, listen to the newest Mentor Me: a conversation with Neely McQueen, an inspiring thought leader in the world of youth ministry.

Check out our Mentor Me series, A Conversation With Neely McQueenJesus ministered to both men and women and, with the right boundaries, we should all be able to as well. Neely discusses the importance of being aware of your body language when communicating to members of the opposite sex. She also talks about how to discuss difficult issues like body image, sexual orientation, sex, and pornography with your youth.

Neely has been working with teens for over 20 years. Aside from building an entire youth ministry around Star Wars, she has many more inspirational ideas regarding gender differences in youth ministry. In this twenty-minute podcast, you’ll learn how to not let gender difference stand in the way of your ministry to students.

Mentor Me: A Conversation With Neely McQueen


Neely is a huge advocate for making girls feel more included in youth group settings. Women are objectified in popular culture, so it’s important that we treat them as equals in youth group. She suggests sharing the stories of biblical women (not just men) with radical faith more often to shift stereotypical views and uplift the female students in the group.

Available for download now, “Mentor Me: A Conversation With Neely McQueen” is one of our newest youth leader resources. We can’t recommend it enough if you want to know more about appropriately working with the opposite gender in your youth ministry.