Frequently Asked Questions

General

+What does GEMS Girls’ Clubs provide member churches?
  • Provide Christ-inspired and Christ-directed leadership to the overall ministry.
  • Develop effective, inspiring program materials for girls and their mentors (counselors) that are biblically-based and culturally-relevant.
  • Organize, plan, and provide multiple training opportunities for mentors (counselors) each year so they can be prepared and fully equipped to lead.
  • Regularly pray for the girls and counselors in GEMS Clubs everywhere.

 

 

 

 

+What is the church’s role in GEMS Girls’ Clubs?

 

  • Uphold and seek to accomplish the mission of this ministry—to help bring girls into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Embrace and hold as truth our Statement of Faith.
  • Provide for regular and consistent Bible study in club by utilizing the materials produced by GEMS Girls’ Clubs.
  • Provide Christ-inspired and Christ-directed leadership to the girls in club through the prayerful selection, supervision, and support of mentors (counselors).
  • Ensure that the club meets regularly throughout a designated season.
  • Support the GEMS ministry through regular and consistent prayer.
  • Support GEMS financially by ensuring that annual club dues ($3.oo per girl) are sent to the GEMS Service Center.
  • Support the ministry of GEMS financially by collecting and forwarding to the GEMS Service Center one annual offering.

 

 

+Is there a program for boys?

Yes, Cadets is a club program that grows boys spiritually through the mentorship of godly men. Christian Service Brigade is another ministry that seeks to build young men to love and serve Christ.

+How do parents feel about GEMS Girls’ Clubs?

Parents love GEMS! They appreciate that their daughters have a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn, grow, and discuss the tough issues they face every day. They see the benefits of the relationships their daughters form with their Savior and with the women and girls at club. Parents also love the big group and family events offered through GEMS and the opportunities they provide to have important faith-related conversations with their kids.

+What materials do I need to have a GEMS Club?

Each program level (Awareness for girls in grades 1-3, Discovery, for girls grades 4-6, and Advanced for girls in grades 7 and 8) has multiple age-appropriate curriculum choices. Once you determine the age-range your specific club will offer, you can investigate the options that would work best for you.

+Who are the leaders?

GEMS counselors are women of faith who desire to live radically faithful lives for Christ—acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with Him. They are women who understand the call outlined in Titus 2 and desire to build relationships with girls in order to mentor them and show them what it means to live God-honoring lives.

+What does a typical meeting look like?

You can format your club meetings to best suit the needs of your counselors and girls. But, here are some basic components that many clubs find it beneficial to incorporate into a typical meeting:

  • 6:30 Opening (large group)
    • Welcome and object lesson or devotional thought
    • Praise and worship
    • Prayer
    • Announcements
  • 6:55 Bible studies in small groups
  • 7:35 Activity time in small groups
    • Badge work, games, service projects, or crafts-with-a-purpose
  • 8:15 Snack (large group or small), closing prayer, cleanup
  • 8:30 Dismissal
+How long do meetings last?

Most clubs meet for two hours every week or every other week from September through April or May.

+Where do clubs meet?

Most clubs meet in the sponsoring church or Christian organization and utilize classroom space as well as larger meeting spaces. Some clubs also use community centers and shared spaces through home school associations.

+How old are girls in GEMS Girls’ Clubs?

GEMS Clubs are developed for girls in first through eighth grades. A pre-school program and a leadership-training curriculum for high school-aged girls are also available. While materials are produced for each of these levels, you are free to determine the specific age-range your club will offer.

+How much is the annual dues?

The annual dues is $3.00 per girl. Each year it is due by November 15th.

Training

+How can I stay up-to-date with the GEMS ministry?

Reading Cable is a great way to stay informed with what’s happening in GEMS. This quarterly publication will give you news, information, updates, and ideas for club. We’ll also tell you about any new products or curriculum we’re offering and keep you posted on any large group events in your area. If you are not receiving Cable, contact your Club Coordinator or call the GEMS Service Center at 616-241-5616 ext 2.

Our monthly e-newsletter is also a key resource. Sign up now if you are not already receiving it.

You can also like us on Facebook to share ideas and get inspiration from counselors across North America. Or, follow us on Twitter!

+How do I find the AC/LT in my area?

Visit our Area Coordinators and Leadership Trainers’ directory or call the Service Center to find out more.

+What are the benefits of attending Conference?

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” GEMS counselors have a calling to teach young girls, and the Annual Counselors’ Leadership Conference is the best way to prepare for this role.

+What if I’m coming to Conference alone?

No problem! If you are coming to Conference alone we will place you with another counselor who may be alone as well. Please be sure to indicate on your form if you are a 1st Time Conference Attendee (under your name and address). At the beginning of each Conference there is a special reception to welcome and enfold each counselor who is new to the Conference experience. We’ll answer your questions, give you helpful hints, and take good care of you!

Conference

+What are the benefits of attending Conference?

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” GEMS counselors have a calling to teach young girls, and the Annual Counselors’ Leadership Conference is the best way to prepare for this role.

+What if I am a part of a new club?

New clubs receive one free Conference registration when accompanied by one paid registration. This encourages new counselors to experience the rewards of Conference.

+How are room assignments determined?

If you wish to room with a specific friend or individual you must send your registration forms together in the same envelope. Room assignments are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once rooms are assigned, it is very difficult to make changes. So if a larger group wishes to be placed in close proximity to each other, it is recommended that all of the registration forms are sent in together.

If you register online, your registration must be received on the same day as the person you wish to room with.

+How are workshop choices handled?

You choose which workshops shops you would like to attend on your Registration Form, listing them in order of preference. Then, workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Some are limited to attendance size by the leader; these naturally will fill up faster. When a registration is received, if the first choice is filled, the second choice will be assigned; if the second choice is filled, the third choice is assigned, and so on. Please be assured that every attempt is made to give you the workshop choices you prefer.

+Should my church be asked to help support me attending Conference?

Conference is an outstanding training opportunity for women serving as mentors to girls.
Bring a registration packet to your pastor or church counsel. Show them the training that is offered.
Point out that it is easier to recruit volunteers to a ministry (GEMS) when training is offered. Volunteers who are equipped to serve are happy and effective volunteers.

The GEMS ministry becomes an evangelism and discipleship program for any church when counselors are trained and prepared to make the program successful.

We also encourage counselors to raise funds for their registration fee. Some ideas include:
Suppers: Baked potato supper, soup supper, chili cook-off, something with a theme.
Sponsorship for specific events: rock-a-thon, walk-a-thon, bowl-a-thon.
Bake sales, pizza sales, catalog sales, pig-n-a- blankets, pies, etc.
Work on a project together and auction it to the church family: quilt, meals for a month.

+What do you miss if you don’t attend?
  • Conference offers the chance to meet with sisters in Christ and share a sweet time of fellowship. It’s a time to be encouraged and supported in your ministry.
  • Conference offers opportunities to grow; not only in the GEMS ministry but personally and spiritually.
  • The new theme for the next GEMS season is introduced at Conference. You will see and learn firsthand how to best present the theme to your GEMS.
  • New GEMS curriculum, materials, and products are introduced at Conference.
  • You will learn how to relate to the girls in your club as well as to your fellow counselors, parents, and church.
+What if I’m coming to Conference alone?

No problem! If you are coming to Conference alone we will place you with another counselor who may be alone as well. Please be sure to indicate on your form if you are a 1st Time Conference Attendee (under your name and address). At the beginning of each Conference there is a special reception to welcome and enfold each counselor who is new to the Conference experience. We’ll answer your questions, give you helpful hints, and take good care of you!

+When is the Registration Form available?

The Conference Registration Form comes with your Cable and is mailed mid-January. You can also register online.

+How is the registration fee determined?

The budget for Conference is set in the fall prior to the event and must be approved by the GEMS Executive Board. Facility fees including lodging, meals, snacks, set-up fees, meeting space, audio/visual equipment rental, speaker and musician fees, equipment operators compensation, event insurance, conference materials, promotional materials, Conference publications, and shipping of materials as well as administrative support salary all factor into the cost of a Conference.

+What is the goal of Conference?

To provide an uplifting, spiritual growth experience for all who attend. Deepening the faith walk of every woman who attends is paramount as we plan Conference.

To provide opportunities for counselors to develop and strengthen their skills in working with and mentoring girls in their clubs.

To provide personal growth opportunities for counselors. Recognizing that a counselors’ personal growth will enhance her ability as a counselor of girls, Conference workshops include a variety of topics.

To provide cross-cultural opportunities for counselors to develop enduring friendships with other women of faith.

+How are the dates selected?

Dates for Conference are determined by considering school schedules, holidays, and summer breaks in the US and Canada. In addition, we consider the availability of the facility. Typically, we try to keep Conference dates around the second week of July. When these dates are not available, we try to choose a date that will be convenient for most GEMS counselors to attend.

+How is the location for Conference chosen?

Picking a location for Conference begins with an invitation. If a GEMS counselor or a club feels led to hold a Conference in their area, they contact the Conference Coordinator and ask for a Conference Planning Packet. The Conference Planning Packet explains everything that needs to be done, step-by-step, to guarantee a successful Conference. Included in the packet is an invitation, which they fill out and send to the Service Center. Once an invitation is received, the Conference Coordinator visits the site to make sure the facility the LCC (Local Conference Committee) recommends will meet the needs of a Conference. The invitation and recommendation then goes to the GEB (GEMS Executive Board) for approval and a final decision is made about the site. Knowing that the cost and location of Conference may be prohibitive to some, we try to move the location around so that a majority of women may be able to take advantage of the Conference experience multiple times during their career as a GEMS counselor.

Note: Conferences are in the planning process for three years prior to the event.

Counselor

+When do I need to order magazines?

In order for us to provide you with the best possible service, and to ensure that your magazines reach you before the start of club, it is important for your SHINE brightly and Sparkle orders to be in as early as possible.

A subscription renewal form along with an invoice will be sent to Club Coordinators in June. This form automatically renews bulk SHINE brightly and Sparkle subscriptions at the number the club subscribed to in the previous year. Changes can be made on the renewal form to indicate any changes in subscription numbers. If the form is not returned to the Service Center by August 1, we cannot guarantee you will receive your magazines by the start of the club year.

Most clubs have a general idea of how many girls will be returning to club the next year.

However, when club starts and you have an exact count, simply let the Service Center know and we will adjust your subscription order.

+My church can’t afford GEMS materials. Is there support available?

We understand that not all churches or Christian organizations will always be able to afford GEMS curriculum. In response, GEMS offers the Adopt-a-Club program. This program allows clubs experiencing a time of financial blessing to assist those in a time of need. Magazine subscriptions and other curriculum are provided through this program.

Club Coordinators can request assistance by calling the Service Center or fill out Adopt-a-Club form and email it to michele@gemsgc.org.

If you are interested in adopting a club, contact the Service Center for more information. 616-241-5616 ext. 3030

+How can I stay up-to-date with the GEMS ministry?

Reading Cable is a great way to stay informed with what’s happening in GEMS. This quarterly publication will give you news, information, updates, and ideas for club. We’ll also tell you about any new products or curriculum we’re offering and keep you posted on any large group events in your area. If you are not receiving Cable, contact your Club Coordinator or call the GEMS Service Center at 616-241-5616 ext 2.

Our monthly e-newsletter is also a key resource. Sign up now if you are not already receiving it.

You can also like us on Facebook to share ideas and get inspiration from counselors across North America. Or, follow us on Twitter!

+Can I share my story and be featured in one of your publications?

We love hearing from our clubs! We feature GEMS Clubs in Cable, Connection Point, and sometimes even in our magazines. We’d love to hear what your club is up to and be able to share your story with other counselors and girls!

You can send your stories to amy@gemsgc.org or:

1333 Alger St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Don’t forget to send photos!

+How do I find the AC/LT in my area?

Visit our Area Coordinators and Leadership Trainers’ directory or call the Service Center to find out more.

+Where do I send any questions for the Executive Board?

If you have questions or comments for the GEMS Executive Board, they can be discussed at the next board meeting. Be sure to include your name, address, and church then send your inquires to boardquestions@gemsgc.org or:

Board Questions/GEMS Girls’ Clubs
1333 Alger St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

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