Bonding Over Integrity and Bad Dad Jokes: Northview's Father-Daughter Ball
Saturday, November 16, 2019, was a win for the Kingdom and the student ministry of Northview Church. It was a magical evening for several young women and their male role models at the Northview Westfield Campus. The afternoon found the girls getting pampered by volunteer make-up artists, nail techs and hairstylists. The dads and other father figures made their way to the event for a quick meeting with the student ministry pastors before connecting with their date (or dates) for the evening, entering a decked-out sanctuary for a short service. After the service, the fathers and daughters spoke privately about the message—the importance of sexual integrity and reinforcing how valuable each young woman is to Christ.
Earlier, volunteer Heidi Stan helped a pair of sisters get ready for the event. Megan Sipf was attending the Ball with her younger sister Ashley Sipf. Megan had attended the Ball previously and was excited to share the experience with her father and sister this year. “Last time, my dad gave me some great advice, and the service was amazing,” shared Megan. Stan, a regular volunteer for “A Night to Shine,” made both girls feel welcomed and cared for with her gentle questions and genuine interest in their experience.
As Audrey Wright joined a table at the nail area, volunteer Lisa Snethen gave her a welcoming hug. Audrey and her family have attended Northview for years and she volunteers at the Carmel campus in the Fire Station. Caroline, her friend who recently started visiting Northview Church was glad to be there.
When Caroline’s parents heard about the Father Daughter Ball, they knew it would be an opportunity for her and her father to reconnect.
Jason Gaylor, the father of an 8th grader, was one of the first to arrive. He stood to one side, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, waiting for his date. “I really want to build upon our relationship, cementing the fact that she can always come to me, in success and failures, in any trials and tribulations, no matter where she’s at,” Jason explained. His preparation for the event included arranging at work so he could attend, taking time writing the letter to share with his daughter, reviewing the provided support material from the church, and lots of praying for the right words to come when he speaks to his daughter.
Pastor of the Student Ministry, Kent Bjurstrom provided some insight into the intensity and magic of the evening. “We all know these conversations can be awkward. But we also know that the more we engage in these conversations with the people we care about, the less awkward they become. Sexual integrity and reinforcing these father-daughter relationships are too important to ignore because it's uncomfortable. There is too much at stake. Everyone needs someone to fight for them, and these girls have fathers or father figures that want to be that person.”
Meaningful conversations can begin and continue after this event, by providing dads with the tools to engage with their daughters. “This is not a once and done talk. This is just the starting point. Knowing about sexual integrity and its importance is the beginning. Reinforcing it and how special these girls are to their father figures needs to be an ongoing conversation,” Bjurstrom stated.
Along with the guidance on sexual integrity, they encouraged the fathers to spend some time writing their daughters a letter, in preparation to speak to them. Bjurstrom explains that girls need to hear they are unique, amazing and created by God for a purpose. Other conversation prompts were shared throughout the evening; from the whimsical “should pineapple be on a pizza” to more thought-provoking “what is your dream job?”
Think about the young women in your life. Are you speaking positivity to them? Are you reinforcing how special they are to you and to Christ? What can you do to let them know you will fight for them and their integrity?