Many years ago I was given the opportunity to take on a teenage girl’s class at church. It was a definite “God thing”. I had noticed for a while that a lot of our young girls had one or two friends in the church but that the girls were not united as a whole. I was concerned about this issue because scripture is clear about unity. So, God provided me the opportunity to go to work on this.
I combined the middle school, high school and college age girls together, which created some scrutiny. People thought this was too much of an age difference.
My goal in this class was to not only teach God’s word but to create love, companionship, and unity among these young ladies. It would not only serve them in their teen years but create lasting Christian friendships.
I started with the rules. They were very simple. Each girl could speak freely about what was on their mind, but the rule was there was to be no gossip outside the classroom about what each girl said, and negative comments toward each other was not permitted.
I told them that I wanted them to think of this class as a family, to be there for each other and always lift each other up with encouragement. We tried many different things through the years to create a bond like secret sisters, accountability partners, prayer partners, encouragement boards, etc…
I found the age discrepancy was actually a good thing. The older girls were there for the younger girls giving them advice and mentoring them. We made class interesting, fun and even ended class most nights with girl talk.
The girls chose a name of SOS, which stood for Sisters of Service. We began to grow and even some girls from other congregations began to join us, and some girls from the local college. We began to do theme nights and sleepovers for fun and fellowship, and then moved on to community outreach.
Of course in any situation where you have women there is always the possibility of drama, but we have had a very small amount through the years.
This group has been a success, not because of my teaching (I am not the greatest speaker), but because I started to see these young women with unique personalities and differences begin to bond and truly act like sisters in Christ. They began to sit together during church functions, give each other advice and serve alongside each other in the church. Some girls have fallen away, some are now married, some have moved away, but I know they will always have a special place in their heart for each other, and someday these girls who still worship together will not feel alone as adult women and will serve in God’s Kingdom alongside each other.