1. Tell us the story of how Precious came about?
Having both come from unchurched backgrounds and spent our youth, searching for a sense of identity in the wrong places, we know too well how tough it is to be a girl today!
Precious was born out of our desire to give girls the right environment, unlike traditional Sunday school settings, to creatively explore the issues girls face surrounding identity.
We began by running themed events for girls using arts & crafts, music and teaching, weaving God’s message throughout. From the styled scene sets to the goodie bags they take home, we quickly recognised how girls appreciate details and experiences.
We are authentic and open about who we are as a Christian ministry. We found girls and mums where happily inviting their non-churched friends to Precious events and mums began to ask to come too! So we sensed the need to respond and hosted our first Vintage Tea Party in 2013, an event for girls of all ages. Engaging Mums, daughters, grans, aunties, we had a unique opportunity for cross generation work amongst women. The results where amazing, our numbers tripled and the buzz created in our community is still having an impact!
2. What are the aims of Precious?
Our overall aims are to inspire girls to find their identity in God and make an impact in their world. Encouraging girls to express their individuality and develop a healthy self-esteem, in a creative and accepting environment.
We want to see girls confident and ‘comfy in their own skin’, not driven by stereotypes or peer pressures.
So we always look to introduce girls to positive role models within Christian and popular culture and encourage them to look out for the needs of others, making a positive impact on those around them.
3. What have been the challenges so far?
It’s a challenge to find suitable material and resources for girls that is written and applicable to UK culture.
We continue to write all our own material and hope to make this available to others in the not so distant future!
It can also be tricky for us to negotiate our way through the complex world of femininity; we have on occasion been stereotyped for being ‘pink & girly’. This challenges us to be clear about being uniquely female the way God designed us to be and not the way the world prescribes us to be.
4. What have been the high points?
Our high points are always the stories we hear through others or directly from girls or women of how God has used Precious to talk to them or how they feel inspired and empowered!
A girl, aged 8 had written a comment at an event, which read ‘At Precious I’m free to be me!’ Another women emailed us saying that at 42 her inner girl finally feels listened too.
5. Do you have any tips for others wanting to set up similar projects?
Yes! ‘Just go for it’
This verse in Ecclesiastes helps us to keep our, ‘lets just do it’ attitude:
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well - Ecclesiastes 11:6 (NIV).
Some things work out and others don’t but unless we are prepared to ‘have a go’ we would be none the wiser.
We also love how God teaches us so much more about ourselves in the process of prepping and preparing for events - we ultimately never have anything to loose.
6. How can people pray for Precious Ministries?
We’d love to encourage prayer for all girls across the UK, we long to see girls of all generations confident and strong in their identity in God and prepared to be the difference in our communities.
As we sense Precious increasing in size and moving beyond our home church we would really appreciate prayer for wisdom and discernment for the next chapter in the Precious story.
You can find out more about Precious here.
Louise Harmer is a trained artist, designer and fashion buyer who had a vision for Precious Ministries whilst leading and developing youth events 5 years ago. A mum of 3 who is always on lookout for Precious’ next creative fix!
As well as being a busy mum of 3, Selina Webb is an experienced youth worker and leader with a 'real life' story that means she can relate to the joys and pains of growing up in our modern world.