A Few New Changes!
We will no longer be using the name PreSisterhood for our group, we'll just be the Pearls and Sapphires of the Godllywood group. I know it's become habit to call ourselves the PreSisterhood, but with a little effort, you'll get used to the change:)
From now on, all of you who were once called Big Sis's, will be called Sis's. The Big Sis of every area is the Big Sister (pastor's wife) who will oversee your group. She will make the monthly meetings, that will include both moms and girls. The first half of the meeting will be held with everyone, and the second half the Sis's will take the girls into another area to play games, for them to catch up on friendships and to have fun together, while your Big Sis will make a meeting just for the moms.
Make sure to have games that both the Pearls (6-9) and the Sapphires (10-13) will enjoy, plus fun music for them to listen to in the background.
Pre Sisterhood Monthly Meeting procedures
Choose ten different girls to have a special position every meeting. If you don't have that many girls, then you can have some do double duty. Have a chart for the coming three months hanging in Kids Zone to show who will do what each month.
1. Meeting opener (makes the opening prayer)
2. Meeting closer (makes the closing prayer before snacks)
3. Attendance taker/dues collector
4. Two hostesses
5. Four clean-up girls.
Have a pretty decorated PreSisterhood box that you bring to every meeting with:
Attendance and dues list
Dues collection box
Craft items of glue, crayons, sharpies paper etc.
At the start of each meeting, have greeting time. As soon as they come in the room, all the girls have to go around and greet each other with a hug, say “Hi Sarah,” or whatever the girl’s names are, then hello to the moms with hugs as well (if dads come, just a handshake is fineJ), finally hugs to their Big Sis’s. Those who come late miss out on the greeting time.
Start with a prayer by the girl who is the meeting opener, then take attendance and collect dues. Even though the one who actually takes the dues and give the receipts is a Big Sis, allow the girl assigned for that job to ask each girl if she brought her dues and make a check mark on the attendance sheet. After that, sing a song and play a game. Take pictures! Afterwards, talk about tasks and the message of the month. Separate moms and girls and have the Big Sis’s give them a craft or game to play as your Pre-Sisterhood leader spends time with the mothers to discuss problems, questions and motivates them to help their daughters.
Everyone come back together for snack time, as the one chosen makes the closing prayer. Hostesses serve the drinks, spend time chatting and having fun until it’s time to go home!
The Job of a Big Sis: Be a Motivator!
“My Baby Sisters can do great in their tasks one month, but in the next, it seems like they forgot all about why they’re in he group.”
“I feel like I have to keep onto them all the time, like they don’t know how to motivate themselves.”
One thing that you as a Big Sis has to remember is: you’re dealing with young children, not adults. Your biggest task? Be a MOTIVATOR!! Even if you have to repeat yourself month after month, you are building healthy habits that they will carry with them once those habits are established. That could take a year or more, but if you expect them to do it on their own, you may end up losing them. Some girls come from highly motivated families that already have those healthy habits – great! But many of them don’t, and you may be the only person in their lives who really cares enough to guide them in these ways.
Young children, as we all know, have very short attention spans, but also have a great desire to be stimulated with new and interesting things. They love getting positive feedback for things that they do well, and are easily discouraged when they feel that those who are over them don’t care.
Just stop and think about what your girls might be going through at home. Sometimes their desire to do well in the Pre-Sisterhood is smothered with other stressful things that are going on at home. If there is tension between mom and dad, (depending on how their parents are behaving) your Baby Sister can easily begin to feel very insecure about her future and her worth. If she is in constant survival mode at home, feeling pulled apart inside with the fear that her family is about to fall apart, her ability to focus on schoolwork and obeying her parents and her tasks can feel impossible to her.
There are times your Baby Sisters aren’t doing well, just because they are emotionally paralyzed by problems at home. What they need is someone who can see that they aren’t being “bad girls,” they need a Big Sis who can remind them that they are GREAT, that they can overcome anything, that you are praying for them and rooting for them and believing that everything can get better.
They need you to reassure them that they aren’t being irresponsible or immature, they aren’t trying to treat the things of God like they don’t matter – they are just very shaken and confused. If a girl who normally does well and loves the group suddenly loses interest, it’s a sign that something has shaken her, and she may not be able, or want to talk about it.
One big mistake that a Big Sis can make is to rebuke her Baby Sis, and think that she’s just being tough on her. Sure, part of motivation is to let them know that they need to change, but HOW you do that can make a world of difference. Before you start to accuse them of being lazy or unspiritual, find out more of what might be going on in her life. Some factors that can really confuse a young girl could be:
- She has to shuffle between a divorced mother and father every few weeks and feels like her life is unstable.
- She has to deal with parents that aren’t yet free and create a stressful home environment.
- She has problems with bullies in school or her neighborhood that make her feel fearful, angry or insecure.
- She has the pressure of cousins, neighbors or friends to do worldly things, and she struggles to know how to deal with that.
When a little girl is told by the behavior, words and rejection of her superiors that she is a failure, she may say with her mouth “Whatever…” but she will believe it with all of her heart and live with that seared into her mind for the rest of her life unless she finds God’s healing.
There could be many more reasons why your Baby Sisters are not always right on target every month with their tasks, and that’s where you come in. You are not just an “overseer” of tasks and monthly meetings, you are their mentors, their coaches, their cheerleaders, their spiritual Big Sisters, who believe in their potential, who love them, who encourage them, who constantly communicate to each one that THEY ARE GREAT!!! Even when life isn’t great, God created them great, and that’s the faith and vision that they need to have. That vision has to come from us.
Dos and Don'ts of a Big Sis
You're a Pledge, you're a Kids Zone teacher, you're a Big Sis. You probably also have a full-time job or have the pressures of school to deal with. I know, I know - you've got a lot on your plate!!
But for those who look at their calling to be a Big Sis as a burden, that's exactly what it becomes. You have the choice to see it as a great honor, a challenge, an opportunity to grow and develop your own character as a young woman who strives to bear more and more fruit. How else can fruit grow unless it is nourished with the right elements of sun, soil, water and air? Every aspect of your busy life can be used by God to mold you into His image, and if you serve Him well in each aspect, the rewards will prove that it was worth all the effort.
See your job as a Big Sis as an investment in the lives of these young girls in your charge.
Here are some Do's and Don'ts of being a Big Sis:
- Do find creative ways to help your Baby Sisters accomplish their tasks, even when it seems hard for them
- Do encourage them to believe they can do it with kindness - not harshness
- Do be an example for them of a woman of God who is feminine, strong, humble and fun!
- Do find out what they are going through - fears, worries, trouble at home, bullies at school, sickness, discouragement - and take the time to encourage them with caring words of faith.
- Do stay in touch with their moms. Make sure each mom feels included in the group by letting them know how proud you are of their daughters, and share ideas that would make the group more effective.
- Do keep in constant communication with your Pre-Sisterhood leader in your state or city. Believe me, they want to know how you and you're Babies are doing!
- Do share any testimonies with your pastor, pastor's wife, Pre-Sisterhood leader and your own Big Sister. That's what we live for!
- Do share any troubling news about your Baby Sisters with your pastor, pastor's wife, Pre-Sisterhood leader and Big Sister. We are here to help. (Troubling news can be anything from abuse at home to depression or inappropriate behavior.)
- Do assume that even when they are not motivated, they still want to be good girls. Their lack of motivation is not because they have turned bad, but because something negative has happened in their lives that they may need help to deal with.
- Don't treat the tasks as a military drill, or like a school teacher who gets angry when homework isn't done perfectly. Tasks should be challenging, but it's YOUR job to make them fun and interesting.
- Don't accuse your Baby Sisters of being lazy or selfish when they don't get their tasks done right. Find out why in a kind and discreet way first. There could be other factors in her life that are blocking her, both physically and emotionally.
- Don't show up for meetings unprepared. Make every moment you spend with them count. They need to know that you value them as the pearls and sapphires that the are!
- Don't treat their moms as if they are just chauffeurs for their daughters to show up for meetings. If you don't engage them in the group and make them value the Pre-Sisterhood, their daughters will lose interest quickly. Mom's are a very important part of our work.
- Don't serve as a Big Sis with a negative attitude. It's better to ask your Big Sister if you can step down, than to infect everyone around you with your negativity.
- Don't forget to send in your monthly reports for each girl, or forget to remind them of their dues.