In July of this year, the national Youth Ministries and Girls Ministries departments worked together to release the Teen Girl Retreat packet. This free, downloadable resource is designed to facilitate spiritual growth while helping girls connect with one another.
“Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) says ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’ Building healthy relationships are a vital part of spiritual development for adolescent girls,” says Candy Tolbert, national Girls Ministries director. “A resource like this will help girls build relationships with one another as they are mentored by godly women and grow in relationship to the Lord.”
Produced as a cooperative effort between national Youth Ministries and Girls Ministries, this resource is designed to help youth leaders as they endeavor to reach the girls in their communities.
“In a youth group setting, gender topics and ministry are naturally limited due to a mixture of young men and women,” says Jay Mooney, national Youth Ministry director. “It is important that churches provide the opportunities and the resources that enable personal ministry that can’t be done among young women in a mixed setting. The Teen Girl Retreat packet will help a church fulfill that ministry. The Youth Ministry family will find it on our discipleship resources web page.”
The retreat schedule is flexible. It can be hosted at a church, home, hotel, or retreat center and provides curriculum for as much as a three-day event including guided devotions, small group discussions and late-night games. Leadership training for facilitating small group discussions and hosting an overnight event is also included. Most sessions are discussion-oriented, allowing girls to develop relationships with each other while being mentored by Christian women.
“Our experience with the retreat was amazing!” says Rachel Chandler, youth leader at Hope Community Church in Springfield, Missouri. “It was easy to plan and extremely helpful. The girls were able to connect on a much deeper level than ever before. Initially, I think the girls were expecting a slumber party. The deep conversation and subject matter took some by surprise, but as the leaders set the example the girls responded very well.”
Hannah, a seventeen-year-old student and retreat attendee adds, “My favorite part about attending the retreat was being able to share my heart with the girls in my life. I never really opened up like that with anyone other than my closest friends. Sharing my thoughts and feelings with all the girls who attended brought us closer together and opened up some new strong relationships. The event really brought me closer to some of the girls and it also opened my eyes to how much we have in common!”
This free retreat packet can be downloaded from the national Girls Ministries website at http://www.tgm.ag.org. For more information about the Teen Girl Retreat packet, call the national office at 1-417-862-2781, ext.4067 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ashley Jacobs
Teen Girl Specialist, National Girls Ministrie