On April 12th, our youth ministry had an event that they’ve never done before. We called the event, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and it was a time for our junior high girl students and our high school girl students to come together for a joint event. In the past, we have always separated our events. However, in the last couple years, we have made an effort to make our two youth ministries, one ministry. We changed our names from “Ruckus” and “Decrease,” to “Rooted,” we have combined Sunday services on occasion, and we even have a couple combined events such as the Pumpkin Carving Party and the Christmas Party. While all of these things have slowly brought our two ministries together, junior high students and high school students continue to keep to themselves, and for the most part, have little interaction with one another. There was more work to be done.
Being the Youth Female Director, I have the privilege of meeting with all of our female students one on one, and get to know them better. Throughout these one on ones, I have found that a lot of the junior high girls have so much anxiety when they come into the high school room on Sunday mornings, and feel uneasy being around high schoolers at our handful of joint events. High schoolers on the other hand, don’t want to be bothered by the junior high students. When they come in on Sunday mornings you can see the eye rolls and hear questions like, “why are they in here?” This made my heart sad. We are supposed to be a church family.
In the midst of planning which months would have a junior high girl event and which ones would have high school girl events, I began brainstorming what it would look like to have a combined girl event. I knew the junior high girls might be anxious, and the high school girls might be annoyed, but I thought, “Let’s try it and see how it goes.” The night consisted of speed-friending, a 40-player game of musical chairs, bracelet making, photobooth pictures, and of course 80’s outfits and music. In the beginning of the night, the junior high and high school girls stayed in their own groups, but by the end of the night, the girls were mingling with one another and even making plans to hang out with one another at Hume Lake this summer. Mission accomplished!
My heart was overjoyed watching the girls get to know one another and put aside the fact that they are in different grades and stages of life. One of my favorite moments that night was during our speed-friending game. I told everyone it was time to switch and start the new question, and I heard one of our high school girls frantically say, “WAIT! I need two more seconds; I have found my twin and we’re not done with this question yet!” At the end of the night, I challenged the girls to keep this going. Say hello to one another on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s and sit with one another when we have combined service.
Originally, we planned to only have this event once a year, but after seeing the fruit of this event, we have decided to do this event twice a year. I am so excited to see how God will use these events to change the dynamic, grow our ministry and impact our students.
"In the last couple years, we have made an effort to make our two youth ministries, one ministry."
"My heart was overjoyed watching the girls get to know one another and put aside the fact that they are in different grades and stages of life."
"I am so excited to see how God will use these events to change the dynamic, grow our ministry and impact our students."