Last week I shared with you how I'm currently on this new journey of beginning a more focused and purposeful girls ministry within our youth group at church and recently we had the pleasure of hosting our first big event for all of the girls.
In the beginning stages of planning for this event I knew a few things - 1. I wanted the focus to be about Jesus. 2. I wanted it to be something totally different and new. 3. I wanted to have as many people involved in the process as possible and 4. I knew that I wanted a theme for the night to keep us focused and centered.
Erin (my partner in all of this) and I quickly knew that we wanted to theme to be a look a True Beauty - this is one of the biggest issues our girls deal with. We wanted to talk about insecurities but also talk about strengths. We wanted to talk about lies the world gives us about beauty but also the amazing truth that God provides for us about beauty. We wanted the girls be able to be creative, we wanted it to be intimate and we wanted it to be a a night of worship.
So how do you reconcile all of these ideas into one night? We sat down with our group of girls and began brainstorming different ideas and came up with something that we felt could encompass everything we wanted to accomplish.
Ok, so one of the first things you start thinking about - after you have your initial event idea is budget. These types of events can get costly fast - so you have to be creative. Since this was our first event we decided we needed to dedicate some time for just good ole fashion fellowship - so our cafe area was turned into a little coffee shop with various coffee's, hot chocolate's and hot tea's. To help save on costs here I asked our lovely adults and girls to bring in desserts while we provided the drinks. We also had the girls "bring their own mug" - which ended up really fun as the girls got excited about showing off their unique and different mugs - which in turn helped save a little cash since we didn't have to buy all of those cups.
I hit up the dollar store and one of my favorite spots -the target dollar section and picked up some great little items to help set the mood. One of my most favorite purchases were flameless candles - found at the dollar store. They had all different sizes and even had packs of 3 tea light flameless candles. I love these bc I didn't have to worry about anything catching on fire - and I can reuse them! I also picked up a few packs of glow bracelets at the dollar store - can you have a youth event with glow bracelets? Ok, maybe I just can't. They are just so fun. I also found some packs of heart foam shapes to place on our little tables and then we just used candy to sprinkle around. So to recap - each table had a foam heart, flameless candle, glow bracelets and candy. Inexpensive yet really cute.
The majority of the night though happened in our gym/worship center/multi purpose whatever you want to call it room. We wanted to create a worshipful atmosphere where the girls could spend some time learning about God, uplifting and encouraging one another and provide times of prayer. So inside our large space we set up stations - everything from encouragement cards, to sharing verses, to what God says about beauty. Each station had a large poster board with instructions and some sort of activity that they needed to do. We let it be a free for all - we wanted God to lead them in this time and instructed them that this was a time for them and God and not a time of loud talking or silliness. Since this was something new, I really wasn't sure how they were going to respond but I was so pleasantly surprised. This turned out to be such a sweet and special time. They took their time, stayed focussed and followed God's lead. We had girls writing letters to every girl in the room, writing letters to their moms and sisters, praying together, moving past their insecurities, illustrating true beauty - it was awesome.
I just can't wait for our next time together.
Some things I learned:
1. I will never again try to take pictures while trying to lead an event - I maybe had time for 8 pictures - I will totally ask someone next time.
2. I should learn how to brew coffee the next time we do something like this - turns out none of our adults knew how to brew large amounts of coffee...but we learned and it was funny.
3. Highschool girls have great ideas - I want to make sure I'm always hearing them.
4. When God takes control, just sit back and praise Him.
PS - if you are a youth leader, pastor, girls ministry leader and you want more details about what we did, please shoot me an email. I would love to help in anyway I can!
Thanks for joining us today!