Engaging younger women is a challenge that presents itself in every church, regardless of its size, ethnicity, or language. While many strong relationships between younger women and women who are more mature can be found, the interests and needs of young women can sometimes create a gap in their involvement and investment of their time in activities related to ministry and missions.
Surely, there are some things that “work” with younger women better than others! This brief article will attempt to answer the often-asked question, “How can we involve younger women in women’s ministries and mission activities?” Here are several suggestions that might help you as you plan events and try to create a balance with women of all ages.
- Publicity – Most younger women are adept at using a computer and will respond more quickly to invitations they receive via email. Many women’s groups cannot afford to print and mail high-end publicity pieces even if the volunteers to do the work are available. Email allows for initial announcements and invitations as well as the reminder notices that are good to send out. Find someone in your church who can design quality pieces and put them to work! Younger women will respond positively to this “cutting edge” approach! NOTE: no publicity is as good as the personal touch so don’t neglect inviting younger women personally.
- Newsletters – Sending email newsletters (E-newsletters) is a quick way of getting information to a lot of people with little expense. Newsletters are most effective when sent on a regular basis with a consistent format. If they are easily recognizable, younger women will know immediately that the email is something they want to open. Be sure your articles, announcements, etc. are timely, concise, and informative. Younger women lead complicated, busy lives so respect their time!
- Online Bible studies/discussion groups – Younger women who work outside the home may not be able to attend your regular women’s group meetings. Keep them “in the loop” by sending out summaries of Bible studies with discussion questions. Include them when asking for input for future events or ask them to send in their comments prior to the small group sessions so they can still participate.
- Prayer requests – Emailing prayer requests is an excellent way to engage younger women. While they may not be able to attend your women’s prayer group meetings or may not be interested in attending another meeting, you can inform them about prayer requests that have been submitted. Consolidate missionaries’ prayer requests during special mission offering times and email them to younger women. This will make them aware of what missionaries are doing around the world and again, make them feel included.
- Missions Blasts – Design a snappy, brief paragraph with photographs about what happened on a church’s mission trip. Create a thirst for missions information by suggesting websites that will give them up-to-date news from around the world. Make these infrequent, brief, and attention-grabbing!
Younger women CAN be involved in what your women’s groups are doing! Be creative as you reach out to them. Be sensitive to their needs. Be aware of their interests. Be up-to-date in your approach and be sincere in your desire to help them grow as Christian women.