3 reasons to separate boys & girls

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve spent time visiting incoming freshmen and their families in their homes. During these visits, I ask teens to reflect on their experience in our junior high ministry. I also share information about our high school ministry with them. As part of this, I ask parents, “What’s one thing you’d change about our junior high ministry?” In answer to this question, parents of boys typically tell me:

“It wouldn’t hurt to put the boys and girls together sometimes.”

This statement is a critique of our small group ministry, which in junior high we separate by gender. When asked, parents will typically elaborate on this critique, saying something about how “It’d help to control the boys if they were around the girls.”

Truthfully, it’s the last part of this critique that’s hard for me to swallow. The point of junior high small groups isn’t control. It’s relational development and faith formation.

In fact, that’s why we switched to same-gendered small groups several years ago. This separation is one that I wholeheartedly believe in, for three main reasons:

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

Order Now

Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

Order Now

The Real Jesus

Order Now

The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

Order Now




Recent Posts