Younger Women Matter!
by April Motl
I’ll never forget the first women’s retreat I attended. For years I had listened to my mom come home and talk about the wonderful time she had in the mountains with her sisters; now it was my turn! I was a freshman in high school – too young for most women’s ministry events, but a sister church allowed high school girls to attend their women’s retreat if accompanied by an adult. The blessings of that first retreat beckoned me back again and again. There are unique benefits in allowing a young woman into the thick of women’s ministry.
There is more to life than the fleeting pursuits of high school. In fact, many women struggle with scars from choices made during their teens and twenties. Young women need to understand that the choices they make today will affect their tomorrow.
Women’s retreats contain discussion questions and topics that are probably not tailored to teen life. That’s okay! Those women’s retreats challenged me to grow! It was that first retreat in the mountains that the Lord began the overhaul my life desperately needed.
I was privileged to see godly women in a setting far more conducive to authenticity than just Sunday church. I saw them share their struggles. I saw them pray for each other. I saw them break before the truth of God’s Word. I was given a broader vision of what it looks like to be a godly woman and that gave me something to reach for.
At that little retreat center nestled in the mountains I was wrapped in God’s love on a spiritual level, but also on a practical level as my big sisters in Christ listened, laughed, and prayed with me. It was there I was encouraged to learn to play guitar. It was there I found the grace to let God peel away the layers of childhood wounds so that I could step into womanhood in freedom.
As a teen I fell in love with women’s ministry because I so powerfully felt God’s love at those retreats. Today, I serve the young women at our church and pull as many of them into our events as possible. Connecting the generation gap within the church is a passion for me because it so intensely affected my life.
Recently, I saw the coordinator for those first retreats I attended. I told her about the blessings from our young women’s retreats. I think she was happily surprised. Include some teens in your women’s ministry and you might have a delightful surprise down the road as well.
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