Why Girls’ Ministry Matters

by Steph Williford

Is working with teenage girls as scary as you think it is? No … it’s scarier. This current generation of teenage girls faces more pressures in one day than we can even begin to imagine. They are currently walking through record amounts of pressures filled with comparison, heartache, anxiety and identity. I’ve had the immense privilege of working with and serving teenage girls for the last 15 years. Every single day, they challenge me, frustrate me, and most importantly, inspire me. They have the ability to love Jesus with an unmatched passion. They have the ability to make an impact on the world in unrivaled influence. So why does Girls’ Ministry matter? Because this generation could change the world for Christ.

Most churches and ministries aren’t financially able to have a paid Girls’ Ministry staff position, so a lot of the time the burden falls on ministers’ wives or volunteers. If I could boil down what I do down to a few points, here’s what it would look like.

Cyndi Lauper is my hero. Her song is a truth-teller: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!” Whatever you do with preteen, junior high or high school girls, make sure it has a fun component. Girls love to laugh and make memories together! Don’t be afraid to plan some fun! (If you need some ideas, ask a teenage girl – trust me; she will have an opinion.)

Girls’ Ministry happens wherever girls go. We often look at Girls’ Ministry like a piece of the “lunchable.” It’s this little section of the church that sometimes gets attention or serves a purpose. But Girls’ Ministry is more equivalent to a plate of spaghetti. It’s all connected! Encourage your girls to step up and serve throughout the church. Enable them to lead Bible studies and disciple younger girls. Challenge them to share the Gospel with their friends and family. Give them abundant chances to see that God can use them!

They can tell if you really care. Teen girls have the ability to determine if you are “The Real Deal” faster than anybody else. The entire world is trying to “sell” them on something. Don’t worry about making sure you have it all together or finding the “cool leader” to minister to the girls. They don’t really care if you’re relevant – they want to know that you care. Simply be there for them, pray for them, and point them to truth. God will take care of the rest.

They’re under attack. God’s Word says that nothing defines us outside of Jesus Christ. However, the world is quick to tell girls they are broken, invaluable, isolated and not enough. Sin makes every single person broken, but Jesus makes us whole. Not by our power, but by His We must be willing to be stronger and braver than our culture to point this generation to the freedom and hope we find in Jesus Christ.

Celebrate authenticity. Teen girls have a million voices telling them who they are supposed to be. Be the voice in their life that loves them no matter what. Make sure your speech is filled with grace, kindness and truth. Always point them to finding their identity in Christ.

Let your girls lead. Give your teen girls opportunities to help dream, plan, and execute ministry to their peers. They are more than capable! You and your volunteers can be there to give guidance, but let the girls step up. Trust me; they will surprise you!

When I was in junior high, my best friend continued to drag me to church. I am a literal product of a friend’s inviting me to church. It was through that friend’s invitation that I came to know the Lord, and years later, felt called to ministry. Girls’ Ministry matters. Yes, it will be loud. Yes, it will sometimes feel as if they’re speaking a foreign language. Yes, it will most likely be tear-filled. Yes, a Starbucks frap will, at times, have miracle-healing powers. But it will be so worth it!

Stephanie Williford is the Girls’ Ministry Associate at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. E-mail her at swilliford@prestonwood.org.