Teen Girl Ministries

Helping you minister to teen girls.

Not Enough

March 5th, 2013 by kmattiuzzo

3513leadersnotenough.jpgI’m not strong enough to start the lawn mower by myself.

I’m not coordinated enough to follow along with aerobics videos.

I’m not smart enough to understand how a car works.

I’m not in shape enough to run a 5K.

And I’m not outgoing enough to be comfortable in group settings.

As women we tend to focus on how we’re not enough. We allow ourselves to dwell on our weaknesses and our insecurities and if unchecked, it can actually start to shape our life’s circumstances.

Instead, we need to focus on being all that the girls we lead need in a leader.

All that the girls we lead need in a leader is someone to listen to them.

All that the girls we lead need in a leader is someone to look up to.

All that the girls we lead need in a leader is someone to be consistent in their lives.

All that the girls we lead need in a leader is someone to pray with them and for them.

All that the girls we lead need in a leader is someone to speak truth into their lives and show them Jesus.

When we change our focus from being about us to being about the girls, our “not enoughs” tend to fade away and a new sense of purpose takes over — to be all that those girls need in a leader.

Paul had a revelation from God that can be a great source of encouragement and inspiration for anyone who feels like they are “not enough” when it comes to being a leader to the girls in your small groups:

“’My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10, NLT).

If your weakness is in public speaking, Christ will work through you.

If your weakness is in planning creative lessons or activities, Christ will work through you.

If your weakness is in finding the words to say when a teen girl is going through a tragedy, has made a bad decision, or is struggling with her faith, Christ will work through you.

We in the national Girls Ministries Department thank you for the time and energy you devote to the girls that you lead! May you be blessed and encouraged in your ministry this year!

Kicking Off a New Year

December 22nd, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

fireworks.jpgThe thought of starting a new year strikes us all differently. Some of us are thrilled at the thought of a fresh start, while others of us are terrified at the thought of repeating the same mistakes over again or disappointing ourselves if we can’t uphold our lofty goals.

But alas, a new year comes. :) And we must all adapt.

So what are some things that you as a leader can do to ensure that you kick off the new year on a positive note?

1. Analyze successes and failures. Did something that you did in your small group work really well last year that you want to be sure to incorporate this year? Did you try something that ended up being a total train wreck? Are there areas of weakness in your own life that were brought out in the way your group ran last year? Taking some time to honestly evaluate your small group will help you immensely as you look ahead to this new year!

2. Set goals. What do you want to see your group accomplish this year? Would you like to have a special event like a sleepover or an outing? Would you like to participate in a community outreach event with the girls? How many units or lessons would you like to see your group complete?

3. Make a plan. Pencil in any special outings or events you plan to do so you can build your schedule around those. Plan which lessons you would like to complete and block off the proper number of weeks for each. If using the Friends and/or Girls Only curriculum, choose a project for each unit ahead of time and plan out the logistics.

4. Communicate. Perhaps on the first week your group is back from break you could pass out a sheet that shows which units you will be completing and when, as well as including any other special events you have planned.

5. Send a card. Drop a card in the mail to each girl letting her know that you’re looking forward to seeing her back in your group at your first meeting of the new year!

6. Start a Scoop Sheet. Check out this awesome idea from pages 77-80 of Whitney Prosperi’s book, Girls’ Ministry 101. A scoop sheet is a list of questions girls can expound upon that will give you an idea where each girl is in her relationships with others, her parents, her walk with the Lord, and in what areas she would like accountability. Create your own questionnaire or buy the book and photocopy the sample worksheet. Hand out the questionnaire as girls enter your small group and allow some time for them to fill them out. Assure them they can be as honest or as vague as they want in their responses and that they can get the most or as little out of the activity as they want. Let them know that the ultimate purpose of the activity is to be able to more strategically pray for them during the week. Girls’ Ministry 101 is a great resource for all leaders of teen girls and offers many more outstanding ideas you can implement into your small group experience!

An awesome passage for both you as the leader and to keep in the forefront of your thoughts for your girls is Philippians 1:6, which says, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (NLT).

God’s not done with any of us yet. :)  He’s still working in our own weaknesses as well as in the weaknesses of the girls you lead. You might be slow to see the Lord’s working, but the God who started the work will continue to complete it.  And that can be your happy thought as you get ready to kick off a new year!

Rejuvenating During Christmas Break

December 9th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

peaceful-eyel.jpgLet’s be real — leading a group of teen girls week after week can be exhausting. In addition to balancing your own home life, possibly a job, and other commitments at church or in the community, you expend a lot of time and effort putting together weekly lessons and activities that will challenge and inspire the group of teen girls you lead.

All leaders need a break here and there from responsibilities to be able to be rejuvenated.

Before we go any farther, I just want to take a minute to thank you. Thank you for volunteering your precious time to invest in the lives of the girls you lead. Thank you for being there for them when they need someone to talk, pray, or cry with. Thank you for going the extra mile to plan activities that help the girls develop deeper relationships with each other and with you. And thank you for showing up on the nights when it’s rainy or snowy out and it would be much nicer to stay home where it’s warm! The time and attention you give those girls does not go unnoticed — so thank you so much for all you do!

Now, here are some suggestions to help rejuvenate yourself over Christmas break so you can start the new year with renewed passion and excitement!

1. Light some candles and take a bubble bath. Do you remember how magical bubble baths are?! Close yourself off from the busyness of your evening and enjoy a few moments of solitude.

2. Start a new personal devotional. Sometimes a new daily devotional book is all we need to feel ourselves invigorated and inspired. Get yourself a pretty notepad and a new pen and get lost in your time with God.

3. Meet a friend for lunch at your favorite spot. Sometimes the life of a leader can be lonely. Make time for friends this week!

4. Get some exercise. Take a long stroll around the block (or the inside of the mall if it’s cold out!). Pop in an aerobics video. Do some leg lifts while you’re waiting for dinner to cook or the washer and dryer to finish. Bring some of those endorphins back into your life!

5. Pray. Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a renewed vision and burden for the girls you lead. Ask Him to infuse creativity into your planning meetings and for spiritual breakthroughs these next few months.

Thank you again for your hard work these past few months. I hope your Christmas break is an amazing time for you to decompress and enjoy some free time with your family and friends! Blessings upon you as you relax. :)

Great Gift Ideas for Girls!

December 1st, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

present.jpgWant to get the girls you lead a little something special for Christmas but you’re not quite sure what to do? Check out these ideas!

Cute notebook and Teen Girl Ministries pen.

A pair of cute socks.

Girls Ministries mug and matching spoon.

Divide a pack of Christmas cards and envelopes so each girl gets 2-3 and a sheet of Christmas stickers.

Nail polish and cute files or a manicure set.

Teen Girl Ministries dog tag necklace.

Homemade flower pens.

Cosmetic case (you could even fill it with candy!)

Teen Girl Ministries lanyard.

Hair accessories.

Christian e-book or audiobook download.

Christmas ornament with group photo.

Homemade rice bag (for microwaving and using as a heating pad).

Remembering 9/11

September 12th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

911.jpgThe tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11 was incomprehensible. No act of terror before it on U.S. soil can compare, nor has there been an act so horrendous since.

Take some time in your small group meetings with your girls to reflect…


Where were you when you heard about the attack on 9/11?

 

What were your emotions (or for those of your family members if you were too young to remember)?

 

Ten years later, how has your life been affected by 9/11? 

 

How can Americans best commemorate 9/11?

 

What does God think of sin?

 

Read Isaiah 41:10,11. What does this passage mean to you? 

Recommended Authors

August 26th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

books.jpgA common question our office receives is what authors we know of and can recommend for both girls and leaders. Here are a few great suggestions!

Hayley DiMarco has written more than 30 books on a variety of topics like dating, sex, modesty, mean girls, parents, idols, Q&As, and devotionals. Taking a direct and honest approach, Hayley infuses her writing with tons of Scripture, statistics, quotes, and is visually appealing. To view a complete list of books by Hayley DiMarco, visit hungryplanet.net.

Vicky Courtney operates a blog where she not only talks about her own life revelations as a mom, but she addresses cultural issues as they arise. She has published a few issues of Between, a bookzine for tween girls, and Teen Virtue, a bookzine for teen girls. She is probably most known for her book 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter and the small group teen girl study His Girl. To view a complete list of books by Vicky Courtney, visit vickicourtney.com.

Lacei Grabill’s book Borrowing God’s Glasses: A Girl to Girl Look at Life Through His Eyes is a great read for teen girls. Lacei hits the big questions teen girls face — Who Am I?, Who Is God?, Who Are Christians?, and Who Am I Created to Be? Sub-chapters include lots of personal stories, Scripture, and thought-provoking content as girls develop a better understanding of themselves, their God, and the world around them. In addition to great content, the Appendix in the back of the book offers great resources for leaders using this book in a small group setting. It comes with ideas for running the group, a suggested activity to go along with each chapter, and a weekly update and prayer request form to use for each meeting.

Whitney Prosperi’s book Girls’ Ministry 101 is full of helpful ideas for those working in ministry rolls with teen girls. Whitney offers tips on building relationships with the girls and getting the girls to build relationships with each other, ideas for retreats and small group meetings, and ideas for how to get teen girls involved in outreach and volunteer projects in the community. She is also the author of a devotional called Life Styles: Real Perspectives from Radical Women in the Bible. 

Kinda Wilson’s hilarious and honest look at dating and single life in her book Confessions of a Non-Barbie is relatable to teen girls in any relationship status. Chapter titles include I’ve Got You Under My Skin, God Says I’m Beautiful, But Today I’m Just Not Feeling It, I’ve Been Slam Dumped!, and more. This book is jammed with sidebars, poems, tips, comics, and lists. To read more about Confessions of a Non-Barbie, visit kindawilson.com.

Ginny Olson authored Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them, an amazing, comprehensive look at teen girls and how the youth leader can better come alongside them as they deal with day to day issues. The 11 chapter titles include Identity Matters, The Adolescent Girl’s Body — In Search of “Normal,” The Adolescent Girl’s Body — Body Issues, Altered State:  Adolescent Girls and Self-Injury, Dating Matters, Sex Matters, Emotional Matters, Brain Matters: Cognitive and Educational Issues, Family Matters, Friendship Matters, and Faith Matters. Each section concludes with a paragraph addressing ideas of how youth leaders can respond to the challenges mentioned.

Rick Bundschuh’s Surviving Middle School has received rave reviews from middle-schoolers and is highly promoted by the national Youth Ministries Department. This (non-gender specific) book is full of tips, advice, and wisdom for middle schoolers to help them make the adjustment to a new phase of life. Topics covered include making and keeping friends, managing cell phone issues, handling peer pressure, understanding what’s going on with your maturing body, making right choices about God, and more. For a list of other books by this author, visit zondervan.com and search ‘Rick Bundschuh.’

Purposeful Prayers

August 19th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

peaceful-eyel.jpgDepending on your state the teen girls you lead may already be back in school. If not, they are probably just days away!

It goes without saying that our students need our prayers. Because of the investment you’ve made as their mentor, you know better than I do the kinds of issues and challenges your teen girls are faced with on a daily basis in their schools and homes. But I would guess that if you compared notes with leaders in another part of the country that the needs would be fairly similar. Peer pressure, self-esteem issues, doubt, broken family relationships, etc.

If you don’t already, I challenge you to pray daily for each of the girls you lead by name. The next time you see that girl, look her in the eyes and tell her you’ve been praying for her. You might be the only person praying for her throughout the week and what a difference that could make to her!

Do you ever get discouraged when your prayers seem unanswered? Do you get frustrated over weeks and weeks of not seeing a spiritual break-through in your girls? Do you get frustrated after months of praying for favor for your students in a particularly difficult school?

We see one example of the importance of continued, persistent prayer in Daniel 10:13. Daniel prayed to God and heard nothing for 21 days. He continued to pray and finally received his answer, but he couldn’t see the battle that had been going on in the supernatural realm. Demonic forces were trying to block the angel of the Lord from delivering the message to Daniel. But Daniel’s persistent prayers were finally answered as the battle was won.

There is a war raging for our teen girls that goes beyond what the eye can see. Continue to pray for the girls you lead as they head into this next school year. Pray that God’s hand would be upon them — guiding their steps, helping them resist temptation, strengthening their bodies and minds, and helping them be a light in the darkness!

Campus Clubs

August 12th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

screen-shot-2011-08-12-at-91143-am.pngIn these last few weeks leading up to the start of a new school year your girls will probably experience an abundance of emotions! Sadness from end of their freedom, regret from how they managed their time or things they left unaccomplished during their break, excitement to see their friends again, anxiety about starting a new school year, and an array of other emotions.

Now is a great time to speak encouragement into their lives! Share funny stories from your junior high and high school experiences and how you responded to some of the same issues your girls now face. And spend some time talking to them about getting more involved with other Christians from other churches on their school campuses. Campus Clubs could be a great student-led avenue for your girls to connect with other Christians in their school.

Check out the amazing free Campus Clubs resources provided by Youth Alive, the outreach branch of the National Youth Ministries Department. Visit http://youthalive.ag.org/ and click the Campus Club button for an explanation of what Campus Clubs are, their importance, tips for starting a club, and even helps for planning club meetings. The downloadable tools, tips for talking respectfully with school administration about starting a club, and weekly discussion guides are all available to help equip students to lead or come alongside another student leader better prepared.

Be praying for your girls and get ready for some awesome testimonies of how God is using them as they step out in faith.

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Click here to visit the Campus Clubs website.

New TGM Promo Video

March 15th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

Teen Girl Ministries is happy to announce the launch of a brand new promotional video! Take a look! http://tgm.ag.org/

behindscenes2.jpg

Capitalize on the Month of Love

February 4th, 2011 by kmattiuzzo

hearts.jpgThe first few weeks of February can be a very emotional time for teen girls. Some are on emotional highs because they finally have a boyfriend or a shot at a Valentine’s date. Some are totally apathetic and would rather just hang out and watch movies with the girls. And some sink into depression and emotional despair at the thought of being “alone” for another year.

Take the edge off the holiday by planning something fun for your girls to celebrate the month of love.

Read about it. Take the month to read a book together like And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh, PB&J: Dating, or Sexy Girls: How Hot is Too Hot? both by Hayley DiMarco. Challenge the girls to read a reasonable section of the book each week and then come together and talk about the book and what the girls learned.  If your girls have trouble remembering to read at home, allow time before your discussion for the girls to catch up on their reading.

Ask around. Have the girls interview several mature, Christian couples about their dating experiences. Encourage the girls to ask about how they met, their first date, what they did right in their dating relationship, and what they could have done better. Meanwhile, challenge the girls to collect “worst date” stories. Talking about how bad dates can take some of the glamour out of dating and provide everyone with a good laugh. Have the girls share their findings.

Call for backup. Invite a male pastor or youth pastor to talk to the girls. Let the girls ask questions. Sometimes it helps just to have the things female leaders say repeated by a male leader and it’s just another voice that can reinforce what parents are most likely trying to implement at home.

Go shopping. First Thessalonians 4:4,5 (NIV) says, “That each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” The problem is that we shop at the same stores as the heathen. Unless we all start making our own clothes (which is a viable option) we’re still going to have to shop at the mall. So, why not take a trip to the mall and show the girls how to shop with modesty in mind. If you find yourself to be a little trend-challenged, enlist the help of an older girl who consistently dresses modestly. 

Take a trip. Take the girls to a jeweler for a lesson on gemstone and fine metal purity. Call ahead and ask if someone would be available to talk to the girls about the importance of purity and clarity in gemstones. While you’re there, let the girls look at wedding and engagement rings. Talk to the girls about the importance of maintaining purity and the special bond of marriage.

And by all means — whip up a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies and load on the pink frosting! The girls will never say no to love in the form of a cookie.

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