“So, to sum up, we’d like to help you pay your fees so you can spend the girls’ subs money on actually doing the grassroots work with girls that you’re meant to.”

I nearly choked on my cappuccino.

Our (fairly-new) pastor was recognising that the work we do in Girls’ Brigade (GB) is front-line, community mission work and it’s successful too.

Wow! There’s been a GB group in our church since the 1920s and, although we’ve always been really well encouraged, finally the church is putting its money where its mouth is. Sadly I guess that many churches see GB as just another club who use their facilities.

Once a week the lights go on and a little band of girls arrive and do . . . whatever it is GB girls do and then they trot off home again. Occasionally you might see a few of them with their leaders for a church parade, maybe even one or two parents who’ve turned up to support them.

The weeks, months and years come and go without many people asking ‘What IS Girl’s Brigade all about?’ and ‘What, exactly, do they do?’

What IS Girls’ Brigade all about?

I joined GB when I was eight years old and I grew to love a brilliant organisation with a fantastic aim: to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and, through self-control, reverence and a sense of responsibility, find true enrichment of life.

Up and down the land and, in fact, in many countries around the world, GB groups are, in various ways and through a host of different activities, helping girls to follow Jesus – and helping them find true enrichment of life!

Such a strong purpose is the main reason why some 30 (plus) years later I’m still to be found in the church hall every Wednesday evening with a wonderful team of leaders and a happy bunch of girls finding out what life is all about.It’s said a large percentage of Christians found faith as a child or teenager and perhaps, for that reason, a large percentage of our time and money should be spent in evangelising children and young people – that certainly seems to make a lot of sense to me.

What a privilege it is too, to be involved in the care and nurture of precious young people as they grow and develop. As GB leaders we hope to encourage girls in all areas of their lives, providing them with opportunities which help them become well-rounded individuals who have learnt new skills, grown in confidence, discovered a God who loves them and expressed all of this in serving others.

What a difference these young people can make in the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more and more youngsters could experience the joy of being part of a church family through GB? So, if your church is blessed enough to have a GB group, why not give the leaders a word of encouragement; give the group a monetary gift and maybe even find out how you can volunteer?

You’ll be getting involved in mission… you’ll be helping girls to follow Jesus!