Doing Girls Ministry When the Bible Comes Alive
By Renée Griffith | Posted In Ministry Tools
Bible Engagement Project sat down with Girls Ministries Director Lori Warning to hear about the ways that the Bible is foundational to Girls Ministries curriculum. She also shared a window into her devotional life, highlighting a posture of ongoing expectation when it comes to opening God’s Word each day.
Bible Engagement Project (BEP): You’ve been in this role just over a year and a half. Share with us about your background and then your journey to becoming Girls Ministries national director.
Lori: As a young girl I attended church, but by the time I was in second grade, my parents divorced and my family’s connection to church was severed. I didn’t go to church again until eighth grade when a friend who saw through my bristly personality invited me. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I attended a Bible camp and rededicated myself to the Lord. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and God placed a call to ministry on my life.
Fast-forward to adulthood: My husband and I served in full-time ministry for eighteen years, primarily as children’s pastors. We spent ten years in Iowa and then relocated to Springfield, Missouri, where we were on staff at two churches. I completed a Master of Organizational Leadership at Evangel University. Then I had the opportunity to serve as the curriculum coordinator for Girls Ministries here at the national office. Several months later, I was approached about the opportunity to step into the director’s role.
BEP: What led you to accept that decision?
Lori: When I was first approached about this opportunity, I thought about my passion for the local church: any way that I can help churches, I’m all in. And one of the things I’m most passionate about within the local church framework is that churches recognize how girls and boys learn and respond to the Word of God differently—and so they should disciple them differently. This is why the Assemblies of God has ministries like Royal Rangers and Girls Ministries.
BEP: Talk about the ways that Girls Ministries uniquely equips local churches for discipleship.
Lori: Through Mpact Clubs, we have a very systematic process for discipling girls, primarily through Scripture memorization. If a girl has spent all of her school years in Mpact Clubs, she has read the entire New Testament. I love the foundation that this provides to our churches’ young women. Our children are a part of the church today, yes, but the way we lead them today determines the strength of the church tomorrow.
BEP: Your love for the Word of God is evident. How did you grow to love the Bible so much?
Lori: From very early on, I had a pretty distorted view of Bible reading. I thought that it had to be so regulated, for a set amount of time and first thing in the morning. It took me years to realize that I could open the Bible at any time and have a personal conversation with my Heavenly Father.
Such a positive example of love for the Word, though, came from my grandfather. He would bring out his big Bible on Saturday nights, sink into his armchair, and invite me to sit on the edge of the chair as he prepared for Sunday School.
“Lori, would you look at that?” he’d say, showing me what excited him about the Word of God. I began to want what my grandfather had when he opened the Bible: it was as in a movie when you open the book, the light shines out, and everything moves—it was that alive to him.
That personal connection he had to God seemed so far away from me as a child and then as a young girl. But by the time I was in college, I began slowing down my reading to meditate on the words I saw, study them, and really meet God in the pages of the Bible.
Now, I think I have at least four of my Bibles here in the office because I love different translations: I love to compare them and get fresh revelation. Almost anywhere I am, I can pull up a Bible app and have my phone read Scripture aloud. I can read the same Scripture a hundred times, but the hundred-and-first time, it can come alive in a new way. When you’re in a relationship with God, you can hear the same Scriptures over and over, and they won’t get old.
BEP: How would you encourage district and local Girls Ministries leaders to be Bible-engaged?
Lori: Other than introducing girls to a personal relationship with Christ, which is first and foremost what changes lives, giving them a Bible and studying it with them is the primary way to do this. We have so many great resources in Girls Ministries. The Fire Bible, for example, is a powerful tool for girls and boys alike. There’s an app to go with it, too! Check it out here!
When the Bible comes alive to you, and when you take girls on the journey to where the Bible comes alive for them, this is what takes the girls ministry to the next level.
BEP: Tell us about some of the Girls Ministries leaders throughout the United States right now.
Lori: Oh, I could sit here and gush about every single one of them! These leaders are excellent at coaching and modeling the joy of reading and learning God’s Word and hiding it in their hearts. From this seat, I get to watch them lead in ways that are best for their part of the country. Someone from the Southwest teaches differently than someone in New York. But through the different means and modes, they’re all passionate about leading girls to Jesus. And they do this through having hearts devoted to God and His Word.