A recent article in Interlinc’s Youth Leaders Only brought the particular challenges that both guys and girls bring to youth ministry. One of the ideas was that we ought to focus our ministry on guys because the girls will naturally show up, if the guys come. The reason, they say, is not so much that girls are looking for boyfriends, but rather girls are naturally more social than the guys. This is a very intriguing thought given the dynamics that take place in youth ministry. In my experience, this seems to mostly true. There are a few specific ways I feel that this applies.
1- The guys do appear to be harder to entertain and keep entertained. Of course, our goal is not to entertain them. It would be nice, though, if they did stay engaged in what we were doing for longer than 10 seconds. There are guys that will come once in a while and state they have no friends here. That might be true, but they won’t have any friends here if they never come. What does it take to reach them?
2- When we do “guys only” events the girls complain that they want to do them. We have a yearly camp out with the guys, which is well attended and a highlight of the year. The girls want to come every time, while some of the guys have a hard time committing to a whole weekend.
3- There are more girls on my leadership team than guys. Why? It is just the way things are right now. It is a concern, though, if there truly is a lack of male leadership in the church at large.
4- Even when we have large guys playing against small girls in a game, I have generally had consistent participation from the girls. When we play dodgeball some of the guys throw it so hard you would think they were trying to put a hole in the wall. Even with that, we have lots of participation by everyone. Turn it around and make the game less active and guys sit out. We played football on the day after Thanksgiving and had both guys and girls show up and play.
I guess what I am saying is that I do see the point of this article and believe there is something to it. I currently try to maintain a balanced approach to things and am constantly adjusting to the feedback I get. It doesn’t really matter to me what we do on the peripheral, as long as we proclaim Christ through the Word and are making disciples.
Read the whole article here…. My Guy Centric Heresy