A great way to bond with your teenage daughter: Do service and make friends together! I know this seems simplistic, but there is literal bonding power when we serve together.
What is ministering?
In our church we get assigned to “minister” to each other. And I’m still trying to get used to that fancy word…I adore the beauty of it from the scriptures. One of Jesus’ biggest admonition to us is to love and minister to each other.
Sometimes think at first it sounds daunting to “minister.” But really it’s just looking out for each other and becoming friends.
I LOVE how this program has impacted me through the years. It has helped me reach out to people I may not otherwise naturally be drawn to. I have been blessed countless times because people have been looking out for me.
Serving others with your teenage daughter
Well, when kids turn fourteen they get an assignment to minister/look-out-for-others as well.
And most of the time they generally get assigned to be partners with their mamas. They are assigned to minister to others in the ward (church congregation).
I think it can be a little tricky sometimes to figure out a way to do that together.
I mean, Lucy sure says it like it is, and I think most kids would agree with her:
“it’s dumb that we are ministers with adults. Because the adults just talk the whole time and the kids don’t have any purpose.”
Mother/daughter Ministering Night
So we worked that concern into how we did our Mother/Daughter ministering night this year. We’ve done this for the last few years to get those paired up together pumped up about how awesome this program is.
Steered by Lucy’s thoughts, we decided to add in a little “speed friending” game. We figured this might help the girls feel more comfortable asking the moms questions. And maybe it would help the moms realize how interesting those girls can be.
We can learn so much from each other.
It was a fun night.
I took this photo right after we set up:
I’m kicking myself I didn’t get a picture with all those cute girls and their moms filling up the couches and chairs in the front. We gathered there first while listening to our awesome Ministering Secretary, Hilary, give some beautiful thoughts at the beginning:
Then we got to work with the “speed friendshipping”
The girls stayed put on their side of the table. The moms moved down one seat each time we called that one minute was up. For that one minute they sat there and asked away, got to know each other…
…and then shifted down another seat to greet another new “friend.”
Hilary printed out questions and put them on slips of paper in the middle in case they needed prompts for questions:
There was such a fun spirit in that room!
Such an important skill to look people in the eye, to get to know each other, to learn to communicate, to learn to love better.
A small gift for friends
After that the girls and their moms made cards and filled some cellophane bags with little chocolates they could go drop off to those they minister to, together.
It was a fun night.
Hopefully it prompts those girls to know how important they are as ministers.
The Power of Service
Some of my most beautiful ministers have been kids/teenagers. They are the ones who have reached out to MY kids and buoyed them up when they’re sad. This ministers to me as the mom too! The ones who run up and give me hugs in the hallways at church. The ones who get excited when they see me out and about and remember my name. The cutie pie ones who came and “heart-attacked” my front yard the other day just because they knew I do a lot with the women in the ward and wanted to thank me:
(that was an Activity Day activity…so cute right??)
Yep, kids underestimate how much they can minister and lift and love those around them, even old ladies like me:)
I hope they learned their “power” a little more at our ministering night!
SO, if you have a daughter (or son!) you want to bond with, put your heads together and figure out someone you can reach out to. We obviously don’t need church assignments to create opportunities to look out for others. We have only to notice a neighbor, friend or even stranger who might need some extra love.
It can be such a powerful way to make your relationship that much stronger!