This summer we had the first ever Generations…The Unbroken Chain: Ministry Through the Ages training event. It was such an eye-opening experience. One of the highlights was the “top ten” for each generation represented. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing what the breakout leaders thought were the most important things for leaders to know about the generation they represented.
First, we’ll start with girls, what has been called the iGeneration. This generation was represented by Jimmie Davis, director of girls’ minister at First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, NC. She is also author of Girls’ Ministry Handbook and Girls’ Ministry Idea Book. She has spent years working with girls and raising up leaders among the teen girls she has invested in. I will give you her top ten ideas and add some comment to each.
Here are her top ten things you must know about girls:
- The needs of teenage girls are met differently. Even though the needs are similar those in every generation (need to be loved, family, sense of belonging) they must be met differently be cause if her generation’s uniqueness.
- Teenage girls need genuine authentic female Christian role models. Women involved in their lives must make sure their walk matches their talk since the girls’ perceptions of her role models is reality in her mind.
- Relationships are the key! They need to know you care about them.
- Teenage girls are technology driven. Know what they listen to on their iPods. Text them on their cell phones. If you don’t know how, get one of them to show you!
- They are connected by social networking and are peer oriented. Facebook, Twitter, blogs. They use each of these to build relationships. Get on the techno bandwagon, leaders, if you want to stay connected to them.
- Even though they are connected, they are often alone and lonely. Find times to meet face to face and find out what is really going on in their hearts and minds.
- iGeneraton girls are multitaskers. Listen to iPod, text on the phone, do homework, all at the same time. If you want to make sure they are hearing you, ask them to repeat what you just told them.
- iGeneration and postmodern girls are innovative. They want more than pat answers as they search for truth in a generation where there seems to be no absolute. Help them create ways to get involved in something bigger than themselves.
- God has a Kingdom plan and it includes iGeneration girls! God has a purpose for every girl who walks into your church. Help her discover God’s story and purposes in her life.
- Reaching our teenage girls is important ministry! Learning to live your legacy intentionally everyday will enable you to leave a spiritual legacy for our daughters, granddaughters, and the teen girls in our churches.
Each of these top 10 thoughts about girls is a challenge but also inspires us to do something to make a difference, now, today, not later.
What are you doing that is effectively reaching the girls in your church?
Here’s another blog that you should check out. It is our LifeWay Girls’ Ministry blog.