Ohio Teen Girl Conference
By: Leslie Wright
This last month in Ohio, we had our 3rd annual Teen Girl Conference. This conference is a Girls Ministries and youth event. I'd like to share with you how I got involved and how this event has impacted my life while ministering to the lives of girls and leaders.
My name is Leslie, and I am a mother of two (soon to be three) little amazing people. I am also a full-time youth pastor's wife. I have been working in youth ministry for six years and specifically focused on our teen girls.
Ohio Teen Girl Ministries Conference
Three years ago I was approached to be part of a team to develop the Ohio Teen Girl Conference (TGC). This team was made up of youth pastors' wives, female youth leaders and Girls Ministries leaders. Our task was to put together an event specifically geared towards girls in sixth through twelfth grade. As I joined the team, they began to list job descriptions for the event and asked what we would be interested in doing. One task jumped out at me right away. I don't know if it was the Holy Spirit's prompting or just an interest God had placed in my heart, or both. But I felt strongly to take on the role of decorator for this statewide event. That was kind of a crazy thing for me to do! Or at least I thought so.
I had never done anything like this before. At the time of the first conference, our first child was just born. I felt that I should quit my teaching job, which would cause us to have an extremely tight budget. I also owned a small business that involved the selling of someone else's creations. While I really wanted to continue helping with the family finances, I was getting worn out committing to the small business and also planning on a second baby.
Now, three years later, we've had our third Teen Girl Conference with 325 beautiful girls. The theme this year was Cherished. We wanted our girls to walk away knowing they are cherished according to Jeremiah 31:3, which says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."
We had many breakout sessions that explored what it means to live life with this understanding. Topics included:
- How do you show others Jesus and make them feel loved?
- How to determine what makes a healthy relationship and what to do if you find yourself in one that isn't
- Seeing yourself as God sees you
- You are cherished by a Heavenly father. What does that mean and how do we respond?
It was so wonderful to see the girls and their leaders engage with the Holy Spirit and allow God to speak into their lives!
Since the beginning of this journey 3 years ago, God provided, and the coolest thing happened! Out of the invitation to decorate for TGC, God opened doors and I started my own small business called Out of the Dust. (Then the Lord God formed a man, from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 NIV). I take old items and brush them into new life. Paint, lots of amazing paint! Refurbishing furniture and home décor. God opened doors for me to be able to sell my wares at three different shops in our area and on Facebook!
I'm so glad the Lord gave me the opportunity to work with a team of women that continue to speak into my life and gave me the chance to discover my talents and use them for God's glory. It started with me stepping out of my comfort zone to serve on a team, and it has turned into something I love to do that provides for my family.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® and NIV® are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc. Use of either trademark for the offering of goods or services requires the prior written consent of Biblica US, Inc.