Women’s ministry embraces precious girls
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
February 15, 2011

Women’s ministry embraces precious girls

Women’s ministry embraces precious girls
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
February 15, 2011

From Ruth and Naomi to Lois and Eunice to Jesus and the

Samaritan woman, scripture teaches that ministry to women is valuable and

necessary. Ministry to girls is also important, and in order for girls to

mature into godly women they need to be taught the truths of scripture and how

to practically live out those truths.

This is why the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

(BSC) recently launched GEM: Girls Embrace Ministry. GEM seeks to encourage

seventh through 12th grade girls to walk with Jesus Christ every day and to

begin now, at an early age, building a legacy of faithfulness.

Just as gems often experience a refining process before they

become precious, valuable stones, so must all believers go through times of

learning and growing as they seek to become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.

GEM desires to teach girls that they are precious in God’s eyes and He wants to

refine, mold and shape them into women who reflect His character and who are

equipped to serve Him.

“As female leaders invest in the lives of teenage girls,

they disciple the teenage girl and help her with life issues from a biblical

perspective,” said Ashley Allen, director of Embrace women’s missions and

ministries. “GEM recognizes that the girls of today’s church are the women of tomorrow’s

church. There is an important responsibility for female leaders to teach and

train the next generation.”

GEM, like BSC’s Embrace women’s ministry, is based on three

intents found in Matthew 28:19-20: evangelism, discipleship and missions.

“GEM, in working within the context of the larger youth

ministry, needs to help young women not only foster a lifestyle of sharing

Jesus Christ with the lost people they meet, but also help teenage girls come

to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Allen said.

Focusing on discipleship helps girls grow in their

relationship with Christ and learn how to prayerfully study and then apply

God’s Word in their lives. As girls are discipled and learn more about what it

means to follow Christ, they will learn that scripture instructs them to tell

others about Christ.

Photo by Alexandra King

Girls play a game during fellowship time at a Girls Embrace Ministry kickoff event.

“GEM desires for women to be equipped to do Kingdom work

through service locally and globally,” Allen said.

The GEM kick off event was held Jan. 28-29 at Great Wolf

Lodge in Concord. Girls and female youth leaders gathered for fellowship,

worship and times of teaching. Merrie Johnson, BSC student ministry consultant,

joined Allen in leading the event. Rachel Lee Carter, Mrs. North Carolina USA

2009 and founder of Modeling Christ, brought the keynote address.

Becoming women of purity

Carter shared with the girls and leaders gathered for the

kick-off event that although she grew up in church, went to youth group and

prided herself on being “good,” she cared more about popularity than about

influencing her friends with the gospel.

By the time Carter was 18 she was living in her own

apartment in New York City, making $150 an hour as a professional model and, as

she described, “having the time of my life.” Yet, before long Carter was in

trouble. She began listening to music she should not have listened to, her

language turned filthy and she started practicing New Age religion. Her habits

of staying out all night at clubs and not taking care of herself physically

caused her career to suffer. “I felt helpless, hopeless and like a failure,”


When Carter had nowhere else to turn she turned to Jesus.

One night in her New York apartment, Carter “surrendered it all” to Jesus


Carter is still a professional model, but has turned her

career into an opportunity to share the gospel and how Jesus changed her life.

She teaches on what it means to be a woman who is not only pure with her body,

but also in her heart and mind. Carter shared that in all things, just as

taught in 1 Tim. 2:9, girls should regard the spiritual things and seek to

honor Christ in all they say and do.

Start GEM in your church

Allen shared with the girls and their leaders that the

intent of GEM “is not to have event, event, event. It’s about starting from the

foundation of scripture.” As older women teach the girls how to walk with

Christ, they do so in order that “the word of God will not be dishonored”

(Titus 2:5).

GEM will look different in each church, just as Embrace

looks different in each church. With that in mind, ministry leaders can follow

seven steps to begin GEM:

  • Prayer — Leaders should pray for God to reveal His

    purposes for GEM and for girls to put their trust in Him.

  • Connect — Meet with the pastor and youth pastor. Ask about

    their direction and vision for the ministry. Do not go forward with this

    ministry unless the pastor and youth pastor agree that this is God’s will for

    the church.

  • Network — Talk to the girls who will be involved in GEM about

    what they would like to see included in the ministry.

  • Refine — Create a GEM leadership team; one person cannot

    do all the work.

  • POG — Determine the purpose, objectives and goals for GEM.
  • Engage — Get the girls involved in GEM through Bible studies,

    events and mission projects.

  • Reflect — What went well? What can be done differently?

    Always be looking for ways to make the ministry more effective.

Regional training

Four one-day training events are being held to help equip

women’s ministry leaders to start GEM in the local church. Each event starts at

7 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. on a Friday evening. Cost is $10. Girls and women’s

ministry leaders are invited to attend.

During the regional trainings Ashley Allen, director of

Embrace, will meet with ministry leaders to discuss the how-to’s of starting

GEM, and Johnson and Carter will meet with the girls to talk about modesty and

purity in Christ.

  • Feb. 18 — Apex Baptist Church

  • March 4 — First Baptist Church, Dublin
  • March 18 — Old Town Baptist Church, Winston-Salem
  • April 8 — West Asheville Baptist Church

For more information about GEM or Embrace, visit www.embracenc.org. To

register for a regional training, call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5561.

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