I always knew deep down that I wanted to start a girls’ ministry, but for a long time, I wasn’t sure how.
Over time, I felt like God gave me one step, and then another, as He began to show me how to walk forward into this dream. It was a long, slow process (and still is), but I stand in awe at what He’s done. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak full-time at events, start a YouTube channel and write two books for girls. Even more, I have been blown away by hearing the stories of how God has used these small offerings for His glory, and seeing how He’s been at work deep in my heart through it all.
And so today, if you too are burning with a desire to start a girls’ ministry, I want to share a few things I’ve learned along the way, in the hope that maybe they can help you as well.
1. Pay attention to what makes your heart come alive.
I believe that God puts desires and dreams in our hearts. They’re the things that come so naturally to us, it’s almost like breathing. We don’t even realize they’re a special desire; we think everyone has the same desire to help others in the same way, because it seems so normal!
For example, when people told me they couldn’t imagine writing a book, I was confused. Didn’t everyone love writing as much as I did? It felt so easy and natural, even when it was hard. It was a gift and desire God had given me.
So what are the things that make you come alive? What is the kind of ministry you’d like to do? If you could do anything, what would it be?
2. Find your “who.”
Who exactly do you want to reach?
- Other Christian girls in your high school?
- Elementary-school girls in your city who don’t know the Lord?
- Somebody else?
- What’s their background?
- What do they do for fun?
Be specific. Why? Because if you want people to feel a sense of community in your ministry, it helps to tailor your message to your “who.”
I want to reach American girls in high school and college who are struggling with self-worth. To be honest, I’d like to reach every woman in the world, but I know I need to keep a specific “who” in mind. Then when I create speeches, books and YouTube videos, I’m creating it with a specific demographic in mind.
The way I would create a video for a 40-year-old mother of five is very different from how I would create a video for a college student who feels like no one likes her.
As I tailor my content toward my “who,” I will likely reach lots of other women as well, of all ages and backgrounds. But what I’ve been told by business and YouTube coaches is this: If you try to reach the generic “everyone,” you’ll end up reaching no one. So be specific about your “who.”
3. Consider your “why.”
Why do you want to reach these specific girls? What changes do you want to see in their lives because of this ministry? Who do you want them to become?
Figuring out your “why” helps you focus on the specific things God has for YOU to do in this ministry.
4. Let your “why” inform your “how.”
How, specifically, do you want to reach your “who”? For example, will you provide blogs with Christian dating advice, or a YouTube channel with positive lifestyle videos, or will you write a book on a certain topic?
One of the mistakes many people (including myself) have made is trying to do everything. The thing is, no one has the expertise and time to do everything well. At one time, I was trying to run a fabulous Facebook page along with Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube platforms, as well as speaking, writing books and blogging. It just didn’t work! I couldn’t give my all to any one thing, and so they all suffered.
As my “who” and “why” developed, I started homing in on just a few things that I felt God wanted me to do. Simplifying my “how” has freed me up to focus my energy on just a few things, so I can do those things with excellence.
5. Get other people involved.
Find some other people who share your vision and get them involved. This could mean simply brainstorming with them on how to reach the people on your heart, or it could mean actually working with them to start this ministry.
This reminds us that we were never intended to be independent “stars” or “celebrities”; we were intended to be part of the body of Christ, part of a team, who can reach more people because we’re working together.
I’ve purposefully involved other, trusted people in each stage of ministry, and it’s enabled me to provide much richer, deeper content for girls.
6. Create a vision plan.
Write down the things you want to do with this ministry, and start to brainstorm the steps it would take to get where you want to go. Pray about each step, talk with people you trust and write it down.
Realize that things often don’t play out the way we expect, because I think God likes to keep us on our toes and relying on Him. However, I still think it’s helpful to write down the little steps it’ll take to get to the big goals.
7. Don’t despise small beginnings.
There’s this beautiful verse in Zechariah 4:10 that says “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….”
It’s talking about when the Israelites began rebuilding the temple, but I think it can also apply to when we start walking forward in a dream God has put on our heart.
For example, it’s easy to think that having 30 YouTube followers is laughable. It’s a small beginning. In those moments when you’re getting just five views on a video, it’s tempting to dream of millions of followers while feeling discouraged about the present. But it’s important to put your whole heart into the small beginnings, too.
I’ve found that each step of the way, God has something He wants to teach me. Over and over, as I’ve pursued girls’ ministry in different ways, I’ve felt Him speak to my heart, “Tiffany, I’m far more excited about what I’m doing inside you than anything I’m doing through you.” He’s taught me beautiful lessons about who I am and who He is—and He’s taught me many of those things through small beginnings.
In fact, the slow, slow growth has been a gift in disguise. It’s allowed God to teach me things I need to learn, work on my character and prepare me for the future. Now I thank Him when things seem to be moving slowly, because I know it’s His protection.
I’ve learned that more than anything I could ever do for Him, He wants my heart to stay close to Him.
8. Take the first step.
When it comes time to start, go for it! You may find that you’ve been waiting for a long time, when suddenly you sense deep down that it’s time to start. If that’s you, then simply take the first step.
And don’t let the fear of failure hold you back! Any time you try something new, there’s a risk that it won’t work. But you’ll never know if you don’t try! And each time something “fails,” you’ll have learned some valuable lessons.
It’s like inventor Thomas Edison said about some of his attempts: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Don’t see potential “failure” as an enemy; see it as a teacher. Ask God what He wants to teach you through each experience you encounter.
So, girls, comment below. Do YOU want to start a girls’ ministry? If so, who do you want to reach? I can’t wait to hear from you!