ÂŠ2013 by My Healthy Church, Springfield, MO 65802. All rights reserved. Permission to duplicate for local church use only.
Hello Friends, If there is one thing my two daughters could agree on when they were small and I allowed them a reward for good behavior or an achievement it was their fascination with things shiny or glittery — a journal with a shiny cover, colored markers that glow in the dark, or flavored shimmery lip gloss. Their “art of choice” also usually included glitter of all different colors. And today … many girls are still drawn to pretty and fun things that shine! This year’s annual Girls Ministries theme — Shine, Shimmer Glow — is taken from Zechariah 9:16-17 (The Message). The devotional found on page 10 of this booklet details the objective and powerful truth of this Scripture for any leader of girls and preschool boys. I encourage you this year to meet with your Lead Pastor and begin now to set aside a Sunday to celebrate the girls and preschool boys in your congregation. Being a kid or pre-teen in today’s culture is hard and our young people — now more than ever — need encouragement, discipleship, and unconditional love as they navigate through the challenges of their youth. Honoring the girls and preschool boys in your church is your way of saying to them “your life has value and meaning and we are proud of you.” The planning guide on page 8 will help get you started and this year we introduce a useful NGM week prayer guide on page 9 that you can share with your leaders. We all need encouragement from time to time so consider this my note of encouragement to you today. What you do for Girls Ministries in your church matters! If you can introduce a girl or preschool boy to Christ and help that child move toward a deep relationship with Jesus, your purpose will be fulfilled! Thank you from the depths of my heart for your ministry and support of girls across this country and around the world.
Much love, Candy Tolbert
Why we do what we do ...
by: Dr. Melissa Alfaro
There are many stories we could share about the impact Girls Ministries is making in the lives of girls across the country. We strive to empower girls to realize their importance and potential in the kingdom of God. This is what defines who we are and why we do what we do. “Mrs. Trevino, can you please send Fabiola to the office? Her father is here to pick her up.” Curious, yet a bit excited to unexpectedly be leaving school so early, Fabiola, a fourth-grade girl, gathered her items and walked to the office. To her dismay her father notified her that her mother had died tragically. Shock, anxiety, doubts, and fears clouded her limited comprehension of the situation. How could this have happened? She had just kissed her mother good-bye that morning. As a ten-year old she could not wrap her mind around all the details; all she knew is that her and her two-year-old brother found themselves without their mother. Would she love again? Would she be able to laugh or dream again? A sullen little girl continued to carry on with her regular routine, yet something in her had died and she felt that life would never be the same. Shortly after, in an effort to reach out to this young girl who was struggling with loss and grief we invited her to attend our Girls Ministries Stars Club at our local church. The church setting was a bit unfamiliar for her. She was raised Catholic, although her families’ attendance was sparse. Her first few visits she lasted just a few minutes before she left the classroom looking for us. Then
something amazing happened! The Stars Club decided to reach out to Fabiola. With cards, words of encouragement, and kind gestures the girls and sponsors began to step out of their clubroom in order to show her God’s love. Fabiola had never received so much love and attention and it was just what she needed. Almost a year later, Fabiola is a devout fifth-grade Star who looks forward to Wednesday nights with her sponsor and her new friends. Most of all, she loves hearing about Jesus. I’ll never forget the day she told me that she had opened the “door of her heart” for Jesus to come in (using her sponsor’s words). You see while Fabiola may have lost her mother, she had not lost her ability to love after all. All she needed was for one sponsor, a few Stars, and a church family to make room for her so that she could feel loved, laugh, and discover joy on the other side of grief. Why do we do what we do in Girls Ministries? To make room for the Fabiolas — the poor, the hurting, the lonely, the lost, and the motherless — so that they will learn that despite their pain and tragedy they too can make room in their hearts for God’s love and His divine purposes in their lives. Her heart . . . her world . . . HIS
purpose! Melissa serves as Girls Ministries director for the Texas Louisiana Hispanic District. For the past 10 years she has worked as an ESL Teacher and Administrator in the public school system of both the Elementary and Secondary levels. Melissa and her husband Jay are Senior Pastors of El Tabernaculo A/D in Houston.
The 2013 theme, “Shine, Shimmer, Glow,” is The annual National Girls Ministries Week offering, supported by Zechariah 9:16-17 MSG. The national collected during local National Girls Ministries Girls Ministries Department offers resources to Week services, assists the national department in help church leaders mentor girls with God’s fulfilling this mission statement. The national Girls definition of beauty in the midst of our sexuallyMinistries staff provides field ministry, develops driven culture, teaching girls to take new materials and products, provides time to develop their relationship with Your generosity training and leadership materials, and identity in God. processes training certificates, and helps cover processes orders for materials and The national Girls Ministries administrative offerings for national projects. Department guides the overall vision and direction of Girls Ministries. Our costs and enables The annual offering taken during mission statement is threefold: Girls Ministries Week in the us to continue to National local churches is a means of support 1. To provide effective discipleship provide quality for the national department. Your tools and support to districts and generosity helps cover administrative materials and local churches costs and enables us to continue to provide quality materials and services services. 2. To enable leaders to accomplish to more than 200,000 girls and sponsors the fivefold purpose through involved in the Girls Ministries program. The women mentoring girls national Girls Ministries Department thanks each one who participates in this offering, and we 3. To believe God for a harvest of girls — fulfilling pledge ourselves to be faithful to our mission of His perfect plan for their lives enabling leaders to disciple girls.
Here is our offering for the support of the nationwide ministry to girls.
Church Account #:
Name of Church :
A return envelope has been provided in the Theme/Sleepover packet for your convenience.
Please make checks out to National Girls Ministries and mail to: 1445 N. Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802
2 Months Prior
•• Check with your pastor about placing a National Girls Ministries Week service on the calendar, the possibility of presenting Girls Ministries during a service, and/or a directed Girls Ministries prayer time. •• Another option if you are unable to have a service is to see if you can set up a booth outside the sanctuary promoting Girls Ministries and discipleship to girls.
4 Weeks Prior
•• With your pastor’s approval, arrange for a speaker for your NGMW service. •• Provide the devotional/sermon to the speaker as a suggested sermon topic or the Girls Ministries promotional video on this DVD.
2 Weeks Prior
•• Pray with your girls and sponsors concerning the NGMW service and offering. •• Display the NGMW poster included on this DVD in the posters folder. •• Girls can decorate offering containers to be used to take up the NGMW offering. •• Select girls to be greeters and ushers. •• Print the order of service and/or other pertinent NGMW information in your church bulletin. Basic NGMW information is on page 7.
Before the Service
•• Girls can serve as greeters, distributing a printed program listing all participants in the service along with their club level and perhaps a short bio. A Girls Clubs bulletin (item #08MW8275) is available from Gospel Publishing House.
Entering the Church
•• The children can enter to various club or Girls Ministries (“Honor You”) theme songs, each club carrying a club banner. (Club banner posters are available from Gospel Publishing House.)
Special Presentation Suggestions
•• Allow each club (or just one club) to sing its club theme song. A Theme Songs CD (item #28MW5084), recorded in English and Spanish, is available from Gospel Publishing House. •• If you want to tie in the Sleepover theme and Coins for Kids (CFK) project, a video about the current project is at www.ngmevents.ag.org/ cfk/ current.cfm as a free download. You can also find reproducible handouts in the Sleepover packet.
Ideas for Raising Financial Support
•• Let girls receive the National Girls Ministries Week offering. Use the information on page 6 as an example of how the offering benefits ministry to girls. Consider asking the congregation to walk to the front and place their offering in the containers the girls have prepared.
Following National Girls Ministries Week
•• Mail the NGMW report form on page 7 along with your offering (in the envelope provided in your Theme/Sleepover packet) to the national Girls Ministries Department. •• Send an e-mail with comments, suggestions, testimonies, and pictures of your NGMW service to firstname.lastname@example.org with National Girls Ministries Week in the subject line or post it on the NGM Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ NationalGirlsMinistries. t
Topic: District and Local Leadership Pray specifically, for: • Wisdom and guidance as they lead • Them to find compelling and creative ways to communicate principles and truths to girls • Financial provision for their ministry • God to raise up the volunteers they need
Topic: Our pastors and support staff
Topic: Girls world-wide
Pray specifically, for: • Their families protection, physical strength, and provision • Vision and guidance as they lead • For direction and unity of purpose for pastoral staff and Girls Ministries leaders
Pray specifically, for/that: • They will see themselves as God sees them and understand their identity should be found in Him • They will learn the importance of the Great Commission and how they can help reach the world for Christ • This ministry will enable girls to develop their gifts and become godly young women
Topic: Girls Ministries
Topic: Financial Blessing
Pray specifically, for/that: • Involvement in Girls Ministries will continue to grow across the country • Girls Ministries will enable girls to experience encouragement, support, and accountability through lasting Christian relationships • Many girls will be won to Christ through the ministry
Pray specifically, for/that: • Financial provision for National Girls Ministries (NGM) through NGM Week offering and throughout the year • Churches partner with NGM to understand the purpose of giving • NGM would be good stewards of monies received
Topic: National Girls Ministries Staff
Topic: Coins for Kids (CFK) Project / Nationalwide Sleepover
Pray specifically, for: • Wisdom and Guidance as they develop materials and product — pray these discipleship tools and other resources will foster effective training to reach today’s girl • Protection, physical strength, and provision for them and their families
Pray specifically, for: • The children of Samuel’s House and missionaries Gary and Patricia Heiney • The CFK project, Hope of Venezuela, and ask God what He would have your girls/church give • The Nationwide Sleepover — that this event would be an opportunity for evangelism 9
One of the most rewarding aspects of what I do in ministry as your National Director is traveling to districts as a guest for different Girls Ministries events. I marvel at what unique and creative women (and men) you are! Each of you is wired differently and your approach to the way you lead is colored by the creative personality God has given you! And while I celebrate those differences I am also keenly aware of the challenges you face in your churches with budget constraints, recruiting leaders, and staying current in a culture that seems to shift from month to month. If we’re not careful the drudgery of our workload, the different hats we wear along with outside opposition can draw our attention away from our overarching vision to girls and preschool boys: To help provide a future where every child is moving toward a deep relationship with Jesus Christ; one which empowers her to realize her importance and potential in the Kingdom of God. This year’s theme is “Shine, Shimmer, Glow” from the powerful verse of Scripture found in Zechariah 9:16-17. The central themes of the entire book of Zechariah are hope and encouragement — encouragement for the present, the near future, and the last days. God will care for His people! Zechariah reminds you and me that God’s good and gracious purposes for us will be fulfilled no matter what our present difficulties are. Above 10
by Candy Tolbert all leadership in difficult times must have an underlying vision of greater realities. Zechariah and I have one important thing in common: • He believed in his people! • I believe in you! Zechariah, whose name means “the Lord remembers” had a ministry of proclaiming encouragement to the Jewish people and he also knew how to let them know he believed in them! Let’s do a quick review of this book: • Zechariah was a priest and prophet who — in these chapters — spoke to a discouraged people. • Having returned to Jerusalem from Babylon to reestablish the city and rebuild the temple, the people’s enthusiasm had waned. • But Zechariah wasn’t just concerned with rebuilding the temple, he was also anxious to rebuild the people’s relationship with God. • Through divine visions from the Lord he was able to encourage the people to complete the work they had begun years earlier.
• Two years after Zechariah began his campaign to encourage his people, the rebuilt temple was dedicated! In your Girls Ministries leadership role perhaps you have experienced the fact that at times there is something harder than believing in yourself. It is believing in others. I can’t help thinking of Zechariah because every GCLTG, MLDU, or sponsor guide curriculum fades in comparison to the power of belief you have in the girls you lead and the women you train. Zechariah possessed that kind of belief in the God he served and people he was called to lead. He did three things: • He taught them dependence on God • He encouraged and empowered them • He communicated the vision God was giving him.
you need to be. Shine with encouragement to your girls and leaders. How? By giving them a glimpse of the hope and future that God has in store for them. (Zechariah 9:14-17, The Message, emphasis added) “Then God will come into view, his arrows flashing like lightning! Master God will blast his trumpet and set out in a whirlwind. God-ofthe-Angel-Armies will protect them – all-out wars, the war to end all wars, no holds barred. Their God will save the day. He’ll rescue them. They’ll become like sheep, gentle and soft, or like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun. Then how they’ll Shine! Shimmer! Glow! The young men robust, the young women lovely!” t
And ultimately … they succeeded in their task! Life was hard and Israel was struggling, but God foretold through his prophet Zechariah that a better time was coming for his people. You and I have the mind of Christ (Colossians 3:2). Take a moment and think about that. God’s mind is certainly broad. He understands everything about the whole creation and everything and everyone in it. He pays attention to it continuously. His constant thinking about the world He has made is the only thing that keeps that world from ceasing to exist. But He sees the creation and all our daily situations and details through an eternal lens. We also should be concerned to maintain an eternal perspective on everything our mind entertains. Only a leader with God’s perspective and a sincere belief in those she leads can offer genuine hope in dark days. The greatest vision any Girls Ministries leader can communicate is the vision of God’s eternal plan for us — His redeemed creation. That’s what Zechariah wanted these discouraged people to understand and remember. So, be encouraged today! You are God’s unique creation and you are exactly where 11
“Are you my Daddy?” That was the greeting the big burly construction workers who were part of a U.S. missions team, got from Orlando, the youngest boy in Samuel’s House. Venezuela has been described as the forgotten paradise. It’s beauty is impressive. A country rich in natural resources. Yet 87% of the population live below the poverty level. Many find themselves homeless, helpless, and hopeless. While doing ministry in the streets of Caracas, missionaries Gary and Patty Heiney saw up-close the problem of abandonment with 5,000 children under the age of nine living in the streets. This harsh reality birthed the desire to provide hope and a future for these children. As with the biblical account of Hannah who dedicated the child Samuel to the Lord, so that he would “grow up in the presence of the Lord,” Gary knew the key for breaking the cycle of abandonment and hopelessness would be to raise a new generation in the presence of the Lord. Samuel’s House is the fruition of that God-given dream. When completed, it will have eight homes which will accommodate the parents and up to ten children each. Through donations, they now have a multipurpose hall, which serves as housing for offices, a gym, and a church. They also constructed a greenhouse, and the property is abundant with orange and avocado trees, passion fruit and many other crops for consumption by the families and to sell to help sustain the home. The only missing but crucial item is a school to help educate the children. This is where Coins for Kids comes in. Our 2013 CFK project will be to build a school for the children of SH as well as the children in the surrounding community. Because of their background, many of the children that come to SH have learning and emotional disabilities which the local schools are not equipped to handle. The school will offer top notch education and one-on-one interaction from qualified educators who not only love teaching math and science, but also godly biblical principles to those who attend. Help us give children like Orlando who are growing up without a father and mother a quality education and solid Christian discipleship to help break the cycle of poverty and abandonment in Venezuela!
©2013 by My Healthy Church, Springfield, MO 65802. All rights reserved. Permission to duplicate for local church use only.