There are a lot of conversations about Millennials these days. As a Millennial myself, I find observations about my generation interesting. Some observations are very accurate, while others don’t quite seem to capture how people my age actually think, feel, and act. Some people are encouraged by what they see in my generation. Others, point out the negative characteristics we possess. There is one thing for certain—young adult women are in our churches and they want to be engaged in community and in the study of God’s Word.
Every Sunday evening, I have the privilege of leading a few young adult women in Bible study. All of them are in their early 20s and it is a joy to discuss the Lord, Scripture, and life with them. Over time, I’ve noticed a few things about leading young adult women in Bible study. As a 29-year-old myself, I share these insights as both a leader and as a participant in Bible study. Here a few things to remember as you lead this generation:
1. Embrace authenticity.
This is difficult because it usually means that you as the leader must choose to be authentic and vulnerable first. However, if the women you lead see you are willing to share and open up about your life, they will be much more likely to share about what’s really going on in their lives. I’ve seen firsthand how sharing about an experience in my life has encouraged other women to open up as well. There’s a moment when they realize, “Hey, I struggle with that too” or “I’ve experienced that before.” This kind of authenticity brings the group closer together as they discover that they have a lot more in common with others than they expected.
2. Discuss deep theological truth.
This generation of women loves to dig deeply into Scripture. They want to understand theological concepts and to discuss how it affects their daily lives. Provide opportunities for women to share their insights into a passage of Scripture. You’ll be encouraged by how deeply they are reflecting on what they read and how insightful their responses are as they wrestle with difficult passages. Don’t be afraid to introduce theological concepts and ideas. They’re ready for it and they are craving that level of depth in their study of God’s Word.
3. Remind young women of who they are in Christ.
I don’t have to tell you that being a woman in our culture is difficult. The messages that bombard young women today through social media, movies, magazines, TV, and more can be debilitating. Beginning at an early age, the world relentlessly tries to shatter their self-esteem, robbing them of joy. Take time to point out the value of each woman individually. Remind her of her worth. Point out truth in God’s Word. If you notice something about a young woman that you admire or a way you see her growing in the Lord, tell her. And encourage her to truly believe what you’re saying. You’ll never be in danger of over-communicating her value. She needs to be reminded often.
4. Provide accountability.
There are a lot of distractions in our world and young women are constantly feeling pulled in multiple directions. You can be a source of accountability for the women you lead. Send a text throughout the week encouraging her to continue on and keep her eyes focused on Jesus. Call her up if you know she’s having a particularly stressful day. Encourage the other women in the group to also provide accountability for one another. It’s amazing to see young women rallying around one another and encouraging each other to pursue Christ more and more each day.
5. Equip young women to take action.
This generation loves to get involved and take what they learn in a Bible study and put it into action. Provide opportunities for the women you lead to live out your Bible study discussions throughout the week. Organize ways for them to make a difference in your church and in your community. Find out what each woman is passionate about and provide ideas for how she can put her passion into practice. Serving together will bring the group closer and help women grow as individuals and as a group.
What are some other insights you’ve observed through leading young adults in your ministry?
Tessa Morrell is the editorial manager at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. In addition to her role on staff as a writer and editor, she also has the joy of serving as a volunteer leader of a small group of young adult women each week. That’s one of the things Tessa is most passionate about: studying God’s Word with women of all ages. Before starting her job at Brentwood Baptist, Tessa served in various roles with LifeWay Christian Resources as a camp staffer, camp intern, and editor of devotions and curriculum for students. She continues to work with LifeWay as a freelance writer and editor.