coffeegirls.jpgToday’s post is written by Sarah Martin. I know you will be blessed and challenged by her great thoughts on reaching the young women of today:

I invite you to take a moment to remember when you were in your twenties-let’s say…23 years old.  Maybe you were stepping out into the work force and anxious about launching your career.  Maybe you were seriously dating, but concerned if this man was Mr. Right.  Or, maybe you were carrying a load of debt from college loans.  I am guessing that one emotion that bubbles up with your memories is a bit of uncertainty.  That word definitely wells up in the decade of our twenties.  Am I making the right decision about my college major?  Or, does he really mean it when he says he loves me?  As well as the all pervasive insecurity of what is my true purpose in life?  All of these uncertainties (and many more) swirl through the minds of the twenty-something woman and foster a sense of insecurity.  What do you remember doing when this emotion showed up in your life?  You probably called your girlfriend and dished about your plan of action to conquer these life questions and uncertainties.

There are many ways to minister specifically to the twenty-something woman.  It is important to be relevant and authentic while speaking directly to the specific issues that are common to this demographic of women.  But, I believe the foundation of a twenty- somethings ministry is to create an environment where they are free to connect, be heard and feel as if they are not the only one in the boat.  While working with She Seeks  this past year, our intent has been to do just that.  In fact, one of the pages of the site is entitled “Express Yourself.”  This has been a spot for the women to tell us silly things like their favorite ice cream flavor or lip gloss color.  On the more serious side, the women have also expressed deep spiritual desires, concerns and even uncertainties in their relationship with God .  What is so fascinating is that the women have connected and encouraged each other with out our intervention; they have reached out on their own to make another woman feel like she is not alone in her struggles.

The scenario mentioned above can be duplicated in a live (off line) ministry as well.  By building a foundation of connectivity and commonality, a ministry for twenty-something women can become a vital part of the church you are serving in.  What better way to reach out to these women than by expressing your empathy in their life situation and connecting them with a network of women who share the same concerns?  This will open the door to rich conversations about  how Jesus will grab hold of their uncertainty and walk them through every step of their twenties and beyond.

Do you have a thriving twenty-something ministry? Please share how your ministry has fostered the environment of commonality and connectivity.

Resources: Threads is a division of LifeWay specifically for young adults.  Check out all their great resources geared toward this age.

Also, check out:

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No Other Gods by Kelly Minter

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Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy by Kelly Minter

 

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Girls Gone Wise In a World Gone Wild by Mary Kassian

 

SarahMartin-1.jpgSarah Martin can easily count on two (or more) hands the life lessons from her twenties that she would like to impart on her younger girlfriends.  She is passionate about reaching out to women in their twenties and loves connecting with them via She Seeks.  She Seeks is a division of Proverbs 31 Ministries  and focuses on women 18-29 years old who are single and in the college/career stage of life.  Read more from Sarah and the She Seeks team or Sarah’s personal blog Live It Out.

Comments

  1. cyndi grace says:

    How would I start something like this for my younger women. I can see how an online place would work for them. Can I do this on facebook or is there another way?

  2. Cyndi- I am thrilled that you have an interest to develop a ministry for the younger women in your church! While online aspects of ministry are effective, it is also important to develop the “in real life” part of ministry. A couple of things to keep in mind when working to reach this age group:
    Be cognizant of their schedules. Most of them are in school or work full time. So for example, a mid morning Bible study would not work for them, typically.
    I also suggest recruiting some of the younger women in your church to join the women’s ministry leadership team. This way, you can get their perspective on events and ministry ideas AND they will help you promote the events to their girlfriends.
    Finally, in addition to what I wrote about in the post, twentysomethings don’t usually need to be attracted to Bible studies and events with cute fashion shows or crafts. They want to hear Biblical truth that is raw, real, and relevant with out the fluff. (I think most women in general want this, too!)
    I hope these ideas help! I would love for you to pass along the SheSeeks.org website to your young women. We want to be a resource for you, as a ministry leader. And, don’t forget that LifeWay has incredible resources such as the book suggestions in the post. I have been studying Ruth by Kelly Minter and I can completely see how it will speak to the twentysomething woman.
    Thanks!
    Sarah Martin

  3. Ashley Linne says:

    Love it! Something I am seeing more and more is that many women under 30 today (and I’m only in that group for a few more months!) are not only busy, they are sometimes resistant to group stuff. It’s such a strange paradox– we definitely want to be a part of the group, but we also desperately want to be seen as individuals. I am seeing the value of those personal interactions goes far above and beyond the group ones; the text message, the email, the note on the Facebook wall, the lunch date– I think those are the things that are really proving to these ladies that they are important to me and to God. It takes more time, emotion, and discernment than planning larger-group events (not that there isn’t a need for those). But I am curious to see what the long-term impact is as we try to do both.
    (I feel like all I just said deserves a big “duh.”) :)
    As for the “raw truth,” that is so accurate. Even the girls I know who are not yet following Christ want to study the meatier truths of Scripture and dive deep.

  4. Chris Adams says:

    Good words, Ashley! Thanks for chipping in with some more great “young” thoughts!

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