YOUNG WOMEN’S FORUM
A PLACE FOR ME!
Initially when young women look for a place for themselves they always tend to ask, “What’s in it for me?” This may be in the area of making new friends, having a place to share their feelings or just basically having a comfortable place to hang out. And oh yeah, talk about the bible too! This is how their minds order time and priorities. We must teach them to make the Word a priority, but we must first get their attention and earn their respect.
This report will help to pinpoint some areas that need to be considered concerning the personal aspirations of young women from the ages of 18 to 39. This will be a biased report of which I will draw knowledge from the young women that I have worked with from ages 16 to 21 and young women from ages 22 to 30, not withstanding some personal reflections that I will glean from my own life.
To establish a report with any group of women, a consideration for what that group will encompass is key. Particular to this task is the one of localizing a target group. Each group has its own range which includes what that group’s priorities are, their level of spirituality and the things that they do to entertain themselves. Consequently, each age group is special in its motivations and needs to broken up into workable pieces.
1. What is the vision or mission statement? What is the overriding theme of why we exist? If they are to know who they are then, they must have a good firm foundation.
2. And the vision must be kept before them. Proverbs 29:18 reads, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish…” (Amplified).
3. Many matters of the heart and chaotic experiences during this age are fleeting. So, Ecclesiastes 11:10 is a constant reminder which states, “Therefore remove [the lusts that end in] sorrow and vexation from your heart and mind and put away evil from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity [transitory, idle, empty, and devoid of truth]” (Amplified). As young women search for answers to life, they ask themselves, “Who am I?” or “What am I about?” Youth is wasted on the young, because as they go on their pursuit, their lack of knowledge and understanding (wisdom) causes them to make a lot of unnecessary mistakes and time is wasted. Some time those roads lead to tragedy or even death. Thus, a foundation of Jesus needs to be laid early enough to thwart the unnecessary pitfalls of life.
Young women constantly ask themselves, “Who am I?” or “What am I about?” We as older and more experienced women know the roads that we had to travel to answer some of these same questions. As we continue to grow, the Lord unfolds the answers. Nevertheless, when we walk along side young women the task, for them, is not as painstakingly arduous. As we pen the words of our goals and objectives, this mind must guide us. There must be a remembrance of struggles past and a desire to give to or under gird those who now struggle. The caption below will give the ultimate ideal for both groups of women as we seek to establish the hook: What will the mission statement be for the 18-25 year olds that will get them and keep them excited? Additionally, what can the older young women ages 26-39 look forward to after a hard week at work to refresh themselves? What’s the hook?
Since “What’s in it for me?” is usually what young women from 18 to 25 will ask, then, we must find that hook that will draw and keep them participating and growing within the ministry’s framework. If they are to spend their time doing anything, to them, it first must be entertaining. It must then hold their interest, continuously. Innovative approaches to ministering to them will need to be researched. This group of young women is very easily bored, demanding and desire leaders who talk the way they do and who can “Go There With Them”, so to speak..
But before all this, we must begin by first stepping out to build casual relationships with each young woman, conversing with them on a regular basis, staying abreast of their personal progress, and engaging them in conversations of a more personal nature. Ideally, this will build trust, because young women between the ages of 18 to 39 are able to quickly discern a phony, one who does not really care about them. They must have the opportunity to warm up to their leaders and the leaders need time to grow in their care for the issues of youth.
This scripture helps leaders in their resolve as they enter into relationship with young women: “[Let your] love be sincere, (a real thing)…Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another…never lag in zeal and earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the spirit, serving the lord”. (Romans 12:9-11 Amplified) Written by Rev. Anita Glaster 2002