My first year I interned at a church I was given a big stack of student ministry books. Most of them were awful books of curriculum from the 80’s. As I was searching through the books I found a chapter titled, “Program for guys, girls will follow.” At first I repeated it as a joke, but as time passed, I started to realize it’s true.
There are no good outreach events for girls. I can think of some activities which girls would enjoy doing, but I wouldn’t call them outreach events.
In the book “Why Men Hate Going to Church,” the author discusses how women will do manly things, but men won’t do feminine activities. When girls do masculine activities, it’s often praised. But when guys do even remotely feminine activities they’re ridiculed. One of the big jokes in the movie “Meet the Parents” was that Ben Stiller’s character was a male nurse. The pattern holds with outreach events. Girls will show up for events aimed at guys, but guys won’t show up for events aimed at girls (and there aren’t any good ideas)
Last fall I put these theories to the test in my student ministry.
We asked our students what kind of event they would invite their friends to. The guys unanimously said they wanted an air soft war. The girls said they wanted a baking party. I joined the two ideas together, and threw a massive air soft war which would end with a feast of cookies cooked by the girls.
My wife and I named it, “Guns N Goodies.” Normally I’m not into Christian knock-off logos, but for this event I made my own. It was a cookie with two crossed air soft guns in front of it. We promoted it with a creepy promo video and bribed students to invite friends.
It worked. It was the largest event the student ministry had thrown up to that point. We even had an impromptu shaving cream fight. There was one problem…
…no one was inside baking except the leaders. All of the girls were outside ready for war. And the impromptu shaving cream fight was initiated by the girls.
Moral of the story – Any good idea you have for an event for girls, there is a better idea which is “guy” oriented.