She Speaks: Connecting intentionally with young adult Salvationist women | Women

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She Speaks: Connecting intentionally with young adult Salvationist women

Could She Speaks be part of connecting young adult women in The Salvation Army of the future?
Posted April 5, 2021

The Salvation Army in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa has on opportunity for engaging young adult women in our movement. Women's Ministries Mission Leader Rosy Keane shares insight into why and how the 'She Speaks' initiative might be just what your Division could use to engage.

Young adult women esepcially are globally connected, justice-minded and, through the advent of social media, they’re used to having a voice. So how will The Salvation Army meet the needs and opportunities represented by these young adults?

Each generation has its own patterns of behaviour, pressing concerns and ways of ‘doing church’ that energise them when connecting into their community.

Pew Research Centre has tracked the trend of young adults establishing their life, future and families in a completely different manner to previous generations. Young adults’ living situations are different, they’re having fewer children, changing careers more often, pursuing higher education and, if they’re getting married at all, then it’s later in life. This means that models of church life from years gone by don’t connect with young adults in the same way.

Young adult women especially are globally connected, justice-minded and, through the advent of social media, they’re used to having a voice. So how will The Salvation Army meet the needs and opportunities represented by these young adults?

The 'how to' of She Speaks:

She Speaks’ is a night for young adult women to get mobilised in their life and faith.

The mission of ‘She Speaks’ is to provide a platform and connect young adult women in relevant, like-minded and empowering communities. We bring in an expert speaker on a subject that young adult women want to hear more about, and two local debuting female Salvationist artists. These nights are intimate and filled with prayer and conversation, time for Q and As with the artists, and a break in the middle for discussion and questions with the speaker. We intentionally seek to develop and platform young women who will thrive with the added exposure and encouragement. Something special happens as we all become part of supporting a woman’s emerging talent.

  • Location: ‘She Speaks’ are hosted in a local café from 7pm to 8:30pm - a café is both neutral and familiar territory, as many women bring friends who aren’t connected to The Salvation Army. Food and coffee are available to purchase (some divisions have generously chosen to cover this cost).
  • Promotion: Each speaker and artist is promoted with a bio and a custom ‘She Speaks’ poster, which has become a recognisable brand to our target audience on social media.
  • Ethos: ‘She Speaks’ is an intentionally all-female event, as statistics and research show women don’t get the opportunity to speak as experts, serve in leadership roles or talk in groups as often as men do. We value developing women’s voices and platforms in this short-form supportive environment, with the view of women gaining confidence to contribute to the wider community.

Previous She Speaks:

Let's host a ‘She Speaks’ in our Division!

She Speaks is one vital avenue in connecting with young adult women, and we’d love to bring it to your division or region. Territorial Women’s Ministries would love to partner with your division to host a ‘She Speaks’ night.

Please contact your Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries to discuss if ‘She Speaks’ could be what your young adult women are waiting for.

If you love the idea of a She Speaks but you're outside the age range - why not get in contact with your local Salvation Army leaders or Corps Officers to see what's on offer, and connect with the Divisional Director of Women's Ministries who oversees opportunities for women in your division. You could even partner together to run a similar night using the She Speaks 'How To' format - name it something unique to your community, advertise to your people and gather women together in the name of Jesus!

She Speaks Online | Young Adults  _______ The Church | with Megan Pattinson

Watch our She Speaks 2021 here

In July 2021, our second-ever She Speaks night was hosted online, with longtime Salvationist Megan Pattinson as our guest speaker, cultivating a conversation about the state of young adults and the church. Megan shared how her journey with friends and peers in Christchurch City Salvation Army sustained her in different seasons. Her question, 'The grass might look greener, but what are we doing to water our own grass?' spoke to many of us about our convictions for integrated, relevant and responsive community.

From sustainable, relevant relationships, the difference between a community of faith and our faith expression and how to address leadership or conversations about our needs (and our wants), there are some real gems of generosity to be gleaned from the night.

Sabrina David shared her More Than Words project, a collaborative undertaking with young Māori and Pasifika girls from a Salvationists friends outreach group. Sabrina talks through how her creativity combines with the needs of others to create new language and opportunity - something she has developed through her university work and space within The Salvation Army art opportunities too.

Emma Thomson has been a longtime staple in The Salvation Army worship and youth scenes and was our inaugural She Speaks artist in 2018 at a local cafe in Wellington. Emma shared her creative origins, her passion for writing music that matters and how her drive has shaped her connections to others in the artistic community.

She Speaks Online 2020 | Being an ally to survivors of sexual assault | with Jean Nangwala

Watch our She Speaks 2020 here

In June 2020 we hosted our first-ever ‘She Speaks’ via Zoom, with an advocate, artist and activist Jean Nangwala from Zambia. Jean is currently interning with the International Social Justice Commission, and her passion to help survivors of sexual assault process their trauma and find Christ in the pain, made for an intense, healing night. We had 65 young adult women from around the world tune in. (You can view the recording on our Facebook Page Salvation Army Women’s Ministries).

Our guest artists were illustrator Charlie Robinson from Westgate Corps, and musicians Robin, Deane and Chantelle from Hamilton City Corps. Their artistry and interviews filled us with inspiration to begin our own creative projects, and understand the healing and hope that these forms of art provide.

The Zoom Breakout Rooms provided an extra level of connection and intimacy, and people were able to discuss this complicated topic at their own level of comfort. We look forward to hosting more Zoom ‘She Speaks’ on intense subjects like this, open worldwide to all young adult women. Videos of the post-online events will be available to view on our Facebook Page.

‘She Speaks’ has proved to be a powerful way to connect with young adult women in the ways that mean most to them, while platforming the women of The Salvation Army and developing their voice.