9 Common Young Women Leader Problems and Their Solutions

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this post, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

Communication

It’s really important to know the best way to contact your leaders, young women and even parents. Creating a directory of young women and leaders will help you have a place for this information and a way to easily share it with everyone in your organization. It can be something as simple as a Word document or a spreadsheet. If you want a template that you simply need to fill in, The Red Headed Hostess has one in her 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

Monthly newsletters can also help improve communication. If nothing else, they provide information in writing. Both Word and Excel have templates you can use for this. The Red Headed Hostess has editable newsletters that look really nice. All you have to do is fill them in. You can find them in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit. 

Organization

One thing that helped me a lot as a young women leader was to have an organization calendar. Toward the end of the year, my secretary and I would sit down together and plan the upcoming year. Read about how it do it here. 

Word and Excel both have calendar templates you can use for this. You can also get it as part of the Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit.

Birthdays

First, create a birthday list so it’s easy to see when they are.

Then, come up with some simple ways to recognize birthdays. The YW Birthday Kit provides a variety of treat labels, poster and badge to make it easy and simple to make their birthdays special. You can  purchase it separately or in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit or 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

Weekly Activities

I’m a huge fan of planning activities with a purpose. If you want to learn more about my process you can read more about it here. Once you have a purpose, sometimes a “library” of ideas for activities can be very helpful. I find Beehives can really benefit from that. The Red Headed Hostess includes a list of 180 ideas for activities in her 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

They’re even organized by category!

Personal Progress

Want to track your young women’s progress and keep it all in one place? The Red Headed Hostess Personal Progress tracker is perfect for that! It’s also included in the 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

There’s also an Honor Bee tracking sheet, too!

Young Women in Excellence

These Personal Progress displays would go really well next to each young woman’s display table.

You can also do a display for each girl working on her Honor Bee.


You can find both of these in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit.

For decorations, go to the heading Promoting the Mutual Theme for the Year.  

New Young Women

When a new Beehive joins young women, her adviser and class president visit her and give her a copy of For the Strength of Youth, a torch pendant and a Personal Progress book. Wouldn’t it also be nice to give them an info sheet about upcoming activities, leaders and girls in their class?

You can use the Getting to Know You sheet to learn more about them. These are included in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit.

Promoting the Mutual Theme for the Year

The Mutual theme teaching pack includes 38 pages of visual aids, quotes and teaching ideas. That’s enough that you could have an activity based on the theme using these resources once a month for a year and you’d probably still have some left over. This is great, because you can pick and choose with your class presidency what works best for your young women and implement it.

There is also a special events pack that includes decorations, invitations, and treat labels to help you with New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence and birthdays. My personal favorite included in that pack is the compliment card. Everyone writes what they love about the person whose birthday it is and then you give it to them! I know that a card like that would mean a lot to me!  This pack could also be used to help with decorations for camp, too.

Christmas and Birthday Gifts

Give them the gift of music! You can buy multiple licenses for either of the music downloads by Hilary Weeks. With 20 licenses, it works out to be about 63 cents per person. You can  choose between Peace in Christ or More Holiness Give Me.

You can also buy licenses for Anthony Sweat’s talk, Finding Peace in Christ to give as gifts. For 15 licenses, that works out to $1.20. He tells a great story about how we shouldn’t mistake being active in the church for conversion. It’s a great thought. Regardless of how we come to the Church, we all need to become personally converted.

If you are lucky to have a bigger budget for gifts, you really should check out the 2018 Peace in Christ study guides and journals. They are beautiful! I honestly want my own for Christmas! There’s one for Personal Progress, gospel study, Sunday journaling and Come, Follow Me. How do you know which one to get? Here’s a little about each one:

Personal Progress

This is a daily journal that is designed to help young women keep the Personal Progress value they are working on in their minds on a daily basis. Each page for Sunday allows for them to work on a Personal Progress experience.

Gospel Study

This is a daily journal with a question that relates to the 2018 Mutual Theme. This will help keep your young women thinking about the Mutual theme every day.

Sunday Journal

This journal is arranged by the Come, Follow Me topics and is a place for young men and young women to write down notes from their Sunday lessons.

Come, Follow Me Study Guide

This is for youth who want to study along with the Come, Follow me lessons. It includes all of the young women lessons, all of the Sunday School lessons and most of the young men lessons. This is also ideal for teacher prep.

Now it’s your turn. What young women leader problems did I miss? Do you have a favorite resource you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments. 

 

 

 

The Shocking Truth about Goals and Leadership

Actively setting and pursuing goals can greatly help you improve as a leader. Many of the skills you need to be a great leader, especially one who works with youth, can be developed indirectly by working toward a goal. You can even set goals to directly address areas where you would like to improve as a leader. Consider the following things that making and achieving goals can do for you:

Having a definite target positions you for success

It’s really good to get clear about what you want and what you’re trying to accomplish. Otherwise, how will you know when it’s done? Class and quorum presidents need help with determining objectives for their callings and may need you to help them get that clarity. If you know how to do that for yourself, it will be easier to help someone else to do it.

Goal-setting helps with self-mastery

This life is a journey of self-mastery. Much of our role as youth leaders requires a certain level of self-mastery. It takes some self-mastery to not come unglued when a teenager is deliberately rude. It takes self-mastery when an activity completely falls apart one hour before it’s supposed to happen. It takes self-mastery to help our youth self-discover an answer to a problem when we already know it.

Making progress on a goal creates a sense of accomplishment

Great youth leaders have good self-esteem. Setting and achieving goals helps with that. I also think that your self-esteem is contagious. People who feel good about themselves build others and help them to feel good about themselves.

Goals help you break down a big project into smaller pieces

Many of the objectives we have in the youth programs of the church are pretty big projects, whether we’re talking about helping our youth prepare to go to the temple one day, planning camp or a Mutual activity. Those are all objectives that are best reached by breaking them down to smaller steps. If you are already practicing this in your life, you will be better able to help the youth “baby-step” their way through everything that needs to be done in the young men and young women programs.

Goals help you get the best results

This might be my favorite reason to set goals. Everyone wants to get the best results they can, don’t they? I know I do. Your class and quorum presidencies probably do, too.

You’ll be better-prepared to set goals with you class and quorum presidencies

Goal-setting and achieving is a skill that needs practice. As you counsel with your youth leaders, there will be times when it will make sense to set goals. You will be a great guide and mentor to help them do that in a way that will help them be successful. That success leads to a sense of achievement and that sense of achievement helps support good self-esteem.

 

2 Ways to Help LDS Youth #LIGHTtheWORLD

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is gearing up for their Christmas social media campaign and I’m so excited about it! This year (2017) we are using the theme #lighttheworld to encourage people to engage in Christlike service. Every day in December through Christmas, there will be a scripture to focus on to help you come up with simple acts of service.

To help you encourage the youth you work with to participate in #lighttheworld, I put together a service bingo board and a service scavenger hunt. Here’s how you can use them.

Light the World Bingo

 

A bingo board has 25 spaces, so it works really well for service for 25 days in 25 ways! I included a free space where they can write down what they did. You can hand this out the last Sunday in November to your class and have them report back. You can do this every week until Christmas and try to get them to black out the board or for as little as one week and have them go for 5 in a row. You can give them a small treat every time they get 5 in a row or for blacking out their board. The thing I think will make the biggest difference to them is to have them share with each other a meaningful moment from their service.

Light the World Scavenger Hunt

This is designed to use as an activity. You will need to provide a few supplies, like paper, pens, cards, cookies, etc. All you need to do is  make copies, divide the youth into teams, provide an adult leader for each team, give them a time limit and have a prize for the team that earns the most points. You can have a class or quorum president lead a short discussion at the end where the youth can share some of the experiences they had while they were out serving others and why service is important to really help it be a learning experience.

Sound good to you? Click the link below to get both!

Get the pack

For more #LighttheWorld resources, visit The Red Headed Hostess. 

December Come, Follow Me Resources

To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this post, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

It’s hard to believe it is the end of the year! I know some of you are looking for something Christmas-y to teach. I think the lesson on using our spiritual gifts is perfect for this! You could download the 5th Sunday lesson on Light the World and use elements from both to create a great Christmas lesson!

Here are the rest of the resources I gathered for December!

How can I invite others to come unto Christ? 

Get the handout.

How does Heavenly Father want me to use my spiritual gifts? 

Get the handout. 

How can I prepare to establish a Christ-centered home? 

Get the handout. 

What can I do to help new members of the Church? 

Watch the video about Georgia Elias and use the discussion questions on Life’s Journey to Perfection.

How can I help my less-active friends return to church? 

Bring some burned matches and ask your class if it is possible to light them again. Read more about this object lesson on Mormonshare. 

What is Zion? 

I really like these scripture quote and question cards. I think it’s always to good to teach our youth how to find answers in the scriptures.

How can I participate in the hastening of the Lord’s work? 

Sometimes, it’s really helpful to give my class a worksheet to guide them through the lesson. It keeps me from having to repeat the questions and it gives class members a place for taking notes, if they want to. These sheets are based on three conference talks in this lesson.

Want more ideas? See the December Combo Pack from The Red Headed Hostess, my Pinterest Board or join my Facebook group

 

 

 

5 Clever Ways LDS Youth Leaders Can Make Their Family a Priority

I often hear from LDS youth leaders who feel they struggle sometimes to take care of their family and their calling. I get it. Both take time and dedication. And, let’s face it. We can’t do everything. We have to make decisions about what’s most important. When we make those decisions, we also decide what we’re not doing, too.

You want to do a good job in your calling. You love the youth and want to tend to their needs. These are good things as long as we are not overlooking our family’s needs.

Before you put on your youth leader hat and get to work, please consider these tips.

  1. Daily Family Prayer and Scripture Study- In our family, we share something from our personal study right before we pray.
  2. Family Home Evening- These can be short and simple. You can hold it any night of the week. Some of my friends do Sunday night, some on Friday and we stick with Monday.
  3. Family Dinnertime- We don’t succeed at having this every night, but we do for most. It’s a good time to connect with each other.
  4. Weekly Planning- This helps us know what everyone else is doing and gives us a chance to resolve scheduling conflicts.
  5. Regular Family Councils- These provide opportunities to problem solve together, resolve conflicts and help each other to become better individuals.
  6. Family Fun Dates-We do these on a weekly basis.
  7. Regular One-on-One Time with Each Kid- My husband does these on a weekly basis. They could also be parent-child dates. Carving out a little extra quality time on a weekly or monthly basis could make a big difference.

Now, I don’t expect you to implement every last one of these. What I hope is that you’ll find ways to make sure your family is getting the time it needs while you are fulfilling your calling as a youth leader.

Your turn. What’s your favorite way to make your family a priority? 

How to Be a Great LDS Youth Leader and Strengthen Your Marriage

What does your marriage have to do with being a great leader? Awhile ago, I wrote about the importance of leading yourself. For those of us who are married, it’s also important to “lead” your spouse. I’m sure some of you are wondering about that. Marriage relationships are made of up of two equal individuals. Let’s substitute another work for lead here- influence. Leadership is influence. We tend to think of leadership as holding a position, but it’s so much more than that. If you truly have the attitude of a leader, people will be influenced for good by you, regardless of the position you hold. Your marriage can be a great place to work on those skills of influence. I also firmly believe that we will be our best at our callings when things are going well in our marriage and our spouse is supportive.

I strongly advocate prioritizing marriage over our callings and not just saying it, but taking a series of actions to keep it there. Here’s what it looks like in my marriage. Yours may look a little different than ours. That’s okay. What matters is that you have a plan and you’re acting on it.

Daily Prayer and Scripture Study

Every morning, we take a few minutes to read from the Book of Mormon and share our thoughts on what we read. Then we pray together. It really is a blessing to hear my husband when he talks about me in his prayers. We spend about 10-15 minutes on this. That’s not a lot of time. It helps bring the Spirit into our home and relationship when we do this.

Weekly Date Night

Weekly date nights are a great time to connect with each other. It’s time where you can focus on each other, share an experience and have fun together.

I’ve been a huge fan of date night since my youngest was a baby. One of my friends was a bishop’s wife and she told me that she needed to go on a date with her husband every week to maintain her sanity. She’s someone I admire and I thought that was a pretty good example. It’s helped me keep my sanity through the demands of raising kids and tough callings.

Monthly Date Night Planning

This is something we started doing about 4-6 months ago. We take turns planning our dates and kept forgetting whose turn it was! Now we take 15 minutes once a month to get out our calendars and record when and who for our dates.

Weekly Finance Check-ins

We’ve tried doing this alone, with me entering most items on our budget and just found that it didn’t work for us. Not being on the same page when it comes to finances can lead to marital problems.  Taking a few minutes each week to talk about what was spent and make needed adjustments for unanticipated (or forgotten) expenses can help you stay on the same page.

Monthly Budget Planning

Taking a little time before a new month to come to an agreement on what your expenses are can also prevent disagreements and arguments. This also gives you some time to work out compromises on items where you might disagree.

Taking time to invest in your marriage can make such a big difference in so many ways. It can even help us to be better in our callings because we will be developing our influence and our spouses will be more likely to be supportive.

What is your favorite way to strengthen your marriage? 

4 Delightful Ways to Empower LGBTQ Youth

This is a sponsored post. I received a copy of That We May Be One to review, my thoughts and opinions are my own. To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this email, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

Meet Tom Christofferson, Elder Christofferson’s brother, Mormon, and gay. He recently published a book that shares his thoughts on family and faith and tells his story of growing up as a gay teenager in the Church, leaving the Church in his search for happiness and then returning.

I am certainly not a mental health expert, neither is he. At the same time, there were several things that stood out to me as I read this book that we can do as youth leaders that I think are worth sharing.

Take Time to Understand the Ambiguity

LGBTQ church members deal with quite a bit of ambiguity. We teach that God loves and knows every single one of us. We also teach a moral code that can directly conflict with things that they may deeply feel.What comes naturally to them must not be acted upon. It’s important to recognize that they may be feeling that ambiguity. We can accept them as they are and love them, just as the Savior would.

“The Savior provides us the clearest example of loving those whose life choices have been less than He would have hoped, allowing His kind acceptance and regard to show them a higher vision of their own possibilities than they had previously grasped.” Tom Christofferson

Help Them Live One Day at a Time

I love this one, because I think it is true for everyone. We can get pretty far ahead of ourselves. Sometimes it’s best to slow down and take one thing at a time. Very often, we don’t have all the answers and we certainly can’t see into the future to know what will happen.

Tom points out that more and more young women are identifying themselves as LGBTQ a “decade or more before a decision would need to be made about the direction of their lives.”

Sometimes we can be very quick to attach final judgments on ourselves or someone else because of choices being made today. Those judgments can be wildly inaccurate and harmful.

We simply don’t have all the answers to a lot of things. It’s okay to not know something. As a matter of fact, I see it as a sign of courage to admit that.

Draw them closer to you

Tom’s direct advice to youth leaders who have youth who come out to them is to draw them closer to you. Find ways to continue to include them. Please do not push them away. Loss of a relationship can be a risk factor for mental illness and they are already in a vulnerable place in their lives.

“identifying themselves as queer, for example, does not mean that they are having sex or doing anything inappropriate. They are learning about themselves and trying to live honestly in the world.” Tom Christofferson

It is important that we let them know that we love them and that we want them to come to our activities and that they will be treated with kindness and acceptance.

One of the best examples of this is the conversation Tom had with his bishop when he decided he was ready to come back to Church. He asked if he would be welcome. His bishop responded that both he and his partner would be. Their ward was striving to become better disciples of Christ and that all were needed in that effort.

A good question to reflect upon is how LGBTQ youth can help us to become better disciples.

What can you encourage them to do today that will bring them closer to Christ?

My favorite chapter in this book was on acceptance vs. condoning. It’s something that I wanted to better understand. I love the overall principle that he teaches here. He says,”If my circumstances are such that I feel I cannot do everything I would like to in order to become like the Savior, at least for today there are many important things that I can do.”

They may decide to take a same-sex partner. They may even decide that leaving the Church would be best for their mental and physical health.  You can still love them. Please remember that they are still the person you loved before they came out to you. If you want to help them continue to connect with God, he makes a couple of suggestions that I really like:

  • encourage them to find a partner who will pray with them. Heavenly Father always wants to hear from His children.
  • encourage them to observe a monthly fast that includes time for reflection, prayer and giving to those in need.

I think mostly, we can reflect on the question at the top of this heading: What can you encourage them to do today that will bring them closer to Christ?


For more information on Tom Christofferson’s story, please check out That We May Be One by Tom Christofferson.

Here are some places you can find it:

Amazon

Deseret Bookshelf Plus (listen for free with at trial membership)

Barnes and Noble

 

November Come, Follow Me Resources

To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this email, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.


From Why is work an important gospel principle? 

From How do I know if I am becoming converted? 

From How can I find solutions to my problems? 

Get All Three Handouts

Additional Teaching Ideas

What does it mean to be self-reliant?

I love these two study sheets about The Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Talents from The Red Headed Hostess. Sometimes it can really help with a discussion when our class has time to write their thoughts down before sharing.

Why is it important for me to gain an education and develop skills?

Invite some of your class members to come to class prepared to teach a talent or skill. Share some quotes on education at the beginning of class and ask what they have in common. Read the rest of this idea on Life’s Journey to Perfection.

Why does the Lord want me to be healthy?

Try this object lesson from MormonShare. Bring water, soda and a plant with you to class. Tell you class your plant needs a drink. Read the rest of this object lesson here. 

What is the Lord’s way for providing for the poor and needy?

The Things I Love Most made a handout from the hymn, Have I Done Any Good in the World Today. You can get it here.

Need more ideas? Check out November’s Combo Pack from The Red Headed Hostess, my Pinterest board or my Facebook group

 

4 Things Effective Youth Leaders Do to Take Care of Themselves

My very first girls’ camp as an adult was pretty rough on the first day. I thought I was doing the right thing by making sure the young women were all settled. Then an adult leader showed up to our campground late, asking where she could find everyone. I began to walk her to the waterfront. I suddenly felt dizzy. My knees gave out under me. What on earth was wrong!?

So, what was wrong with me? A classic case of heat exhaustion. I had been so preoccupied with making sure my young women had what they needed, I had forgotten to take care of myself. I hadn’t had anything to drink or sat down or gotten out of the sun. That was a super-foolish thing to do in the hot and humid Indiana summer.

Now, why would I tell you this?

To truly be effective as leaders, we need to be able to “lead ourselves”. As Elder Holland has said, if we don’t make time to be well, we will be forced to make time to be sick later on.

I do hear from a lot of youth leaders who feel like they struggle to maintain some semblance of balance. They’re not sure how to take care of themselves, their marriages and their families and give their calling the attention it deserves.

In this post, we’ll focus on taking care of ourselves first, I’ll save the topics of marriage and family for another day. If you think of others to add to my list, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Daily Prayer and Scripture Study

For me, this is my daily dose of personal peace that helps me start my day. On days when I forget, the first thing I notice is that I’m incredibly grumpy. Then I reflect back to whether or not I prayed and studied and I realize that hadn’t. I’ve learned through time and experience that I have more patience to handle my day with it than without it. As a matter of fact, pretty much everything is better with it.

So, what are some things daily prayer and scripture study can do for us as leaders?

  • gain personal revelation for any task we need to do involved with our callings
  • help us prepare to teach, whether or not our study involves the topic we’re preparing to teach.
  • help us have the patience we need when dealing with difficult situations that stem from our callings
  • help us understand and have empathy for those we serve with and those we serve
  • help us find wisdom as we try to balance our personal lives with our callings
  • help us to have the Spirit with us at all times

Diet and Exercise

Now, I could do much better on the diet part. I am a huge fan of exercise. That’s something I do pretty well with. Consider what Elder Scott has to say about this:

I love this because I have always felt that exercise improves my ability to feel the Spirit!

What can proper diet and exercise do for us as leaders?

  • Provide stamina and physical strength to keep up with the youth.
  • Provide an outlet for anxiety and other strong emotions, which can help you be more patient
  • enhance revelation
  • help you sleep better
  • give you more energy

Sleep

This one matters a lot! You can’t get very far without sleeping. A few weeks ago, I learned about this the hard way. A flight delay left me stuck in New York on my way home from an international trip. It meant that I ended up staying awake for about 38 hours without being able to sleep for more than an hour at a time. I tried to stay awake on the day I got home, but as soon as I sat still, I fell asleep. It took me a couple of days to recover. I don’t recommend trying it!

Now, there may be circumstances that interfere with your sleep that you can’t help: new baby, sleep disorder, etc. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the need we have sometimes to exchange our sleep to get things done that really aren’t more important. This really helps no one, especially yourself. You will simply become spread more thinly than you are. It’s very much a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will honestly be able to give so much more when you are well-rested!

What can a sleep in proper amounts help us do?

  • feel the Spirit
  • have the strength and stamina to keep up with the youth
  • stay focused and complete tasks faster
  • solve problems
  •  keep things in a proper perspective
  • be more patient and generous

Reading

Now, you may enjoy reading or you may not. This is something that can help you a lot if you enjoy reading. And, no matter what you read, it will help you as a leader! Reading helps us to:

  • think better
  • improve our people skills
  • master communication
  • relax (other hobbies can do this for us, too)
  • keeps us young

Thanks to Michael Hyatt for this info on reading and leaders. 

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself, so you can lead? 

The Very Best LDS Conference Resources for Teens

To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this post, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses and I only recommend products and services that I trust and that I believe will be useful to you. 

Every conference, the search is on for the very best way to encourage our youth to prepare for conference, pay attention during conference and to keep it visible in between conferences. I’ve started collecting some resources to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. I will update this as I find more resources, so be sure to check back to see what’s new!

Before

The LDS Conference Study Journal is great for both before and during. I really love that there’s a page to write down personal questions and concerns that you have going into conference.

You can share this guide to preparing for conference by simply sending a link via email or text. They can choose from several options on this page how they’d like to prepare: review the blessings of conference, consider personal questions and learn about our leaders. I like that this option lets our youth decide which method of preparation interests them the most!

It would be so easy to print this New Era article to hand out on the Sunday before conference. It covers ways to prepare. Things to pay attention to during conference and how to keep it in your heart after conference is over.

During

Check out this note-taking sheet from NathanRichardson.com! I love that he has a space for each member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve! I also like that there’s a “so what” column. It’s really good for our teens to think about what they will do differently because of what they see and hear during conference.

This Personal Progress Social Media Challenge is great for during conference! I love that it helps young women to do their Personal Progress and helps them share the gospel online!

This conference packet from This Mormon Life is designed for young men. It fits nicely into a small 3-ring binder. There’s also a Jeopardy game in this post to be used as an activity for after conference.

After

The General Conference Family Kit has something for all ages. The thing I like best about this one are the trivia pages. Perfect for  post-conference youth activity that would also take little to know prep!

Life’s Journey to Perfection’s conference packet is good for before, during and after. Since resources to help after conference are a little harder to come by, I’m putting it here. Her packet includes a page where teens can write a list of talks they want to re-read. This is something I want to start doing!

What are some of your favorite LDS Conference resources for teens? Please share in the comments!