What do I need as a young woman in Germany to develop my God given potential? – was the heading of a survey which was done via Facebook in November 2019.
Some of us women and female leaders in Germany are very passionate about the next generation of women and want to encourage them in their leadership, create space and desire to get women up on church and conferences stages. Therefore, hearing from them was important to us to possibly create new opportunities for them.
Within three weeks in November 2019 young women aged between 20 and 35 were invited to answer a short survey created by myself and Melanie Carstens (JOYCE women´s magazine).
The special interest was in women who fitted one of these categories:
- Feel a calling of God on their lives
- Have leadership potential
- Want to invest in the Kingdom of God
- Want to develop in teaching and evangelism
- Have a longing to see the world being transformed
The survey was undertaken via Google form and was shared on Facebook. The answers provided were anonymous. There were closed and open questions. None of them were obligatory.
117 women took part. We were deeply encouraged by the fast response, the many shares on Facebook and the encouragements we received via Messenger.
Here is the summary of the findings:
a) What would help you? What do you wish for?
The following options were given to the women from which they were able to choose from:
- I am looking for a mentor (for a certain phase)
- I wish for someone to journey with me
- I would like to learn to preach (better)
- I want to be supported in my calling
- I want to grow in my identity and self-worth
- I want to further develop my leadership gift
- I would like to have a space of engaging with like-minded younger women
- I have everything I need to develop my potential
Following answers were given in the order of the most clicked ones:
76 persons – I want to further develop my leadership gift
74 persons – I want to be supported in my calling
72 persons – I want to grow in my identity and self-worth
57 persons – I would like to have a space of engaging with like-minded younger women
43 persons – I would like to learn to preach (better)
4 persons – I have everything I need to develop my potential
The point chosen by most is „I want to further develop in my leadership gift“. Only 4 of 117 women say they have everything they need to develop their potential.
b) How old are you?
This was an open question answered by 115 from 117 women.
The majority of them are between 21 and 32 years of age. Twelve of these are 21 and therefore the largest group in their age group.
c) Are you engaged in a church or in Christian ministry?
Out of the 117 surveyed, 93 of them are engaged in a church or in a Christian ministry. 17 of them in both areas. Only 9 people of this group have answered with a no.
- If yes, where?
105 persons answered this question with where. Here are some samples:
Among the answers you can find everything. From churches to organisations. From full-time to part-time.
56 named a church, 46 an organisation or network. Some mentioned several things they are involved in.
d) What else is there you would like to see, but it has not been mentioned yet?
38 people mentioned their further wishes and expectations.
A summary of the 38 answers:
- A place where I can refuel, a community or a kind of support group
- Female role-models
- A female mentor who guides me practically and takes me along so I can also see her in action
- A place for theological reflections and vital issues and questions in life
- Balance between being a leader and a mom
- Tolerance / equal treatment
What does this small survey reveal:
The need for support for young women in leadership is big. If the needs here are mirrored elsewhere across Germany and the world, we as older women and men need to seriously rethink the way we have supported so far and need to take concrete new steps.
In Germany there are various offers for women but they often only address or attract women above 40 years of age and often only by a small number.
On the 10th May 2020 several women will meet via Zoom or in Berlin (coming from Switzerland and Germany) to discuss what we could offer more strategically for these younger women in responsibility.
Cru/Campus Switzerland offers 4 different modules for women. In 2019 they started a preaching workshop with over 70 women. Could this also be something for Germany? How can we develop mentoring communities like Berlin is starting with “Beyond”?