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Engaging Young Women

This generation is the wired generation, the first to grow up with the world available at the touch of their fingertips and their eyes on the screen. Through use of technology, they can change the way we live & work & change the world we live in.

They have learn skills & have at their disposal unprecedent tools which allow them to learn new things every day, respond to things that are going on, connect with the people around the world & make greater things happen-even change the course of history.

Through the check of a button these young people have access to infinite amounts of information across a variety of digital channels, websites, utube, social media among them. So much vast waves of arresting material competing for the young person’s time & attention.

Immendiacy is part of the DNA of today’s young people. Massive ideas that take too long to realise, don’t appeal. Young people want to make real & positive  change in here & now & move onto the next issue..

Even small actions that harness their hope & allow them to make a difference means they can add their footprints to the journey. If they love what you do, they’ll keep walking with you. Backing young people & giving them the tools & resources enables them to make real change. This generations are of mass skills & capabilities. They have experiences in education & number of careers are their lifetime.. Their stop with you should be rewarding because they have been enriched by new knowledge, skills & experiences. To keep up with the rapidly changing environment in which these young people meet, interact, communicate & operate, let’s take advantage of teachable moments. Ask directly what makes them comfortable.

Women of today are incredibly unique with thoughts, desires & opinions that are vastly different from each other.

We come from different educational  & vocational backgrounds but there is one thing in we have in common – a desire to know each other better & discover how others handles the demand of life. As we grow in our relationships with each other we asked how we might make a difference in our communities through joint projects & ministries. As we serve others  together we enjoy “ girl time” too! Since women are often relationship- oriented, we enjoy serving in pairs or teams as we learned from one another while building relationships.

But the Women’s  Ministries  are struggling today how to reach & engage these young women. What worked for the last generation isn’t , quite frankly working for this new generation of young women.

What does this generation long for?

Listen to me: Just sit there & allow them to talk. No anecdotes or profound answers are necessary. She does not want answers but just want you to be okay with their questions.

Last with me: She long for someone to be there in those hours when she is afraid to call anyone else. You to be available to see her  through the long haul. Show her  that you won’t abandon her  like so many have. Model a friend that does not desert or run away when things get hard. As the years go by, show her that you are not only someone she can look up to, but that you are also someone she can walk beside with.

Love on me: Show her a love that keeps on loving even when she make mistakes or embarrass you. Show her that you can dream for her when she have no belief in her own capability. Show her that you believe in her when the world is telling her that she have failed. Be someone she can respect & look up to. Give her tangible evidence of unconditional love.

Learn from me: Sit with her & learn from her life lessons. Hear what she have to say before you tell her all the things you know. It’s freeing to encounter a woman who is humble enough to push her years & knowledge aside in order to hear her.

Live with me: She has been given a short lifetime. She long to live her life abundantly & as fully as she can, but don’t  want to do it alone! She wants you to live with her & show her your faith lived out. She would rather see a sermon, than hear one, any day. She would rather that you walk with her & watch you point the way. She wants to see that you can live a radical faith that does the extreme & irrational at times. She wants to see who you are when no one else is looking

Engaging the young women in the ministry is a constant theme today:

We must first recognize that women are not the same. Respect women’s intellectual abilities.

We must acknowledge that women are unmarried, childless, divorced, single, struggling with infertility focused on their careers and everything in between. They’re all important to God & none of them should have the impression that God’s plans don’t include them.

Where do we start and what is it that these women are really seeking?

One thing that continues to emerge is that these younger women are looking for connection through relationships .They want a place to be real, to be heard, to be loved.

  • Let’s prepare her for the “real” world.
  • Talk to her about what she ultimately wants
  •  Connect her with the right resources
  • Teach her the vital tools to continue her journey with Christ

How?

The example Jesus lived for us as He taught and served while here on earth.

My relationship with God must be my priority:  Do you walk a God-first relationship with your women? This up and coming generation is all about authenticity. They are looking for the “real thing”. They don’t just want to hear about your relationship with God, they want to see it.

Live out God’s Word:

Love and forgive:

Go tell:

Matt. 4:10 “ You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you

shall serve”

Mark 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.. Teach your women to listen to God through His Word and to walk it out. Young women of today are very intelligent. They study God’s Word. But do not want to stop there. We need to provide opportunities to live out what they are studying. These are women of action, compassion & mercy. Walk with them in study and service.

Matt. 22:39 “ You shall love your neighbour as yourself”

Matt.6:14 “ For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”

If we work with women, we will have disagreements and frustrations. Are you teaching your young women how to love those they disagree with? Are you living forgiveness in front of them? Don’t let your girls be part of a ministry that criticizes each other or breaks off onto groups of competitors. They want to see love lived out and forgiveness freely given.

Matt. 28: 19-20 “ Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of  age” Amen

We have to be intentional about teaching the young women to share their faith. Helping them to see that each day of their life is a part of God’s story. As we share God’s story in our own lives, they will begin to recognize His work in their lives.

There are so many truths we could cover. Giving, praying, fasting, scripture memory, the list goes on but it take some  time to see if you are covering the basics with your women, Are they growing, serving, sharing? Provide examples and opportunities & you will see this younger generation join in with great enthusiasm.

We should talk honestly and biblically about our experiences with with spiritual doubt, depression, injustice, loneliness, temptation, abuse, regrets, sex, career success, insecurities, need to achieve, perfectionism, financial worries, sexual harassment,  boredom, anxiety, exhaustion, great books, compulsive eating, addictions, and things that keeps us awake at night, that ministry would produce some powerful life changing!

How to begin a programme together:

1. Start with a prayer & leading of the  Holy Spirit

2. Listen

3.  Be real

4. Use the Word

5. Be patient

6. Keep the lines open

7. Let God get the glory

Jesus mentored His disciples for 3 years. He was patient with their competative attitudes, tempers, doubting hearts & fears and  He never gave up on them. It’s a privilege to share in the ministry of Christ.  Commit yourself to doing as He did, in order to encourage, strengthen & inspire the women God assigns to your care!

Conclusion

Story:  Two churches  tried every avenue to reach their younger women: tea party, missions, retreats- you name it , they tried it!

Finally they decided to stop their activities and seek God’s directions.

They examine the church roll. List all women in their church. They gathered pertinent information such as current church involvement & any specific needs that these women need. They simply prayed for these women without making any formal contact with them. Several months later , they wrote each woman a letter telling them that they have been praying for her & wondered if anything special they could add to their prayer list for the next few weeks. Many of the women responded with needs & appreciation for having been lifted up in prayer.

Some  time later they surveyed the younger women about their interests & current level of involvement in the church & community.  A new younger women’s mission group with its own leadership emerged in both churches!

And it all began with PRAYER and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPs with the desire of these older women to reach the younger members. It is never about numbers, or programs, or making an organisation look successful. It is always about helping another woman find her place in God’s great call

 Let’s live the kind of life God intended for us, it’s going to make an impact on others. Each of us has a circle of influence that we can powerfully impact when we are the kind of woman God wants us to be.

Let’s give these young women a place to find the friendship, faith & fun they’re longing for.

Young woman..

” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way in life, & imitate their faith.”.. Heb. 13:7

Amelia Gavidi

Section: Conference & Forum Material