By Student Resourc... on February 22, 2017
- Provides an active, fun, dynamic, experiential way for students to grow in relationship to Christ.
- Offers examples of role models who are following Christ’s example in their walk with God.
- Allows girls time to reflect on their faith and understand what they believe and why.
- Challenges girls to develop a biblical, Christian worldview that puts God first and results in loving and serving others.
- Encourages girls to try different activities and roles to help them discover and use their spiritual gifts.
- Gives girls opportunities to develop leadership skills—planning, organizing, leading, communicating, working together in teams, working with different age groups, public speaking, writing, and using their own special talents.
- Uses a variety of learning experiences that meet all girls’ learning styles.
- Develops relationships of girls with God and with one another in lifelong friendships.
- Helps girls develop a commitment to missions and to church leadership.
- Teaches girls to share their faith and gives them the opportunity to do so both by telling others about Jesus and how to become a Christian and by serving others in the name of Jesus.
- Includes personal experiences with Christian disciplines—prayer, stewardship, daily quiet time, Bible reading, journaling, retreating, making time for solitude and meditation, Sabbath-keeping.
How to Start Acteens
Where Do I Begin?
It’s important to remember that there are many ways to do Acteens. Groups can meet as often as they are able—from weekly to once a month. Students are encouraged to lead meetings or plan meetings alongside adult leaders. Students may choose whether they will participate in MissionsQuest. Leaders should feel comfortable to design the Acteens program in their to church to fit the needs of the students.
- Talk with the WMU leadership team in your church.
- Talk with other women in your church who might be interested in leading or assisting with your Acteens group. Plan to meet to discuss the ins and outs of Acteens and how Acteens might work in your church.
- Order copies of The Mag for each student and Acteens Leader for each leader in your group. The Mag is the colorful, monthly magazine that helps teenage girls learn about and be involved in missions in the real world. Acteens Leader contains all of the essential items for leading Acteens. It includes ideas for planning and organizing, complete plans for Acteens meetings, personal Bible studies, stories about missionaries, the missionary prayer calendar, and other resources.
- Talk with your associational Acteens consultant. Ask her for contact information for leaders with excellent Acteens organizations in your association. Talk and meet with that church’s Acteens leaders. Observe their meetings. Interview their girls to see what they like about Acteens. Get ideas from them for getting started, enlisting leaders, and building excitement.
- Talk with the leaders and teenage girls in your church and community to schedule Acteens meetings.
- Contact your state Acteens leader for training information.
- Attend associational, state, and national training sessions.
- Contact your associational Acteens consultant. Call your local Baptist association for her contact information.
- Contact national WMU at email@example.com.
Who Leads Acteens?
Both adults and Acteens members are responsible for leading the work of the group.
Acteens leaders—Each Acteens group needs an adult leader from the church who is responsible for leading the group in preparing for, doing, and assessing the work of Acteens. As needed, other adults may assist the Acteens leader in leading the group and/or in mentoring Acteens members. Acteens leaders serve on the WMU leadership team in the church.
Acteens members—According to their maturity and ability, Acteens members may plan and lead their missions experiences.
Here are some characteristics you may want to look for in women who lead Acteens:
- She must love God and love students.
- Age is unimportant. She doesn’t need to know all the current teenage vocabulary, watch all the shows teens watch, or listen to all of their music. But she does need to value their opinions, to listen, and to seek to understand their world.
- She is patient.
- She doesn’t have to do things her way. She shares leadership with the girls in a team relationship. She is always open to their ideas.
- She is always available to give aid or direction, but she gives girls space to do their own work, to try new roles, and to test their gifts.
- Her goal is to help students mature into lifelong disciples who love God, God’s church, and God’s mission.
- She networks with other adults, parents, and community leaders to provide a variety of hands-on experiences for girls.
- She wants girls to discover God’s call on their lives.
- She will lead girls to discover biblical truths and their place in God’s kingdom.
- She’s not perfect, maybe not even experienced in working with girls or Acteens, but she has a passion for sharing God’s love in words and deeds and for passing that missions passion on to the next generation.
What Do Leaders Do?
- Serve on the WMU leadership team.
- Plan, conduct, and evaluate meetings and ministry activities with and for students.
- Get to know each girl involved, whether she’s a Christian, her learning styles, her gifts, talents, preferences, passions.
- Pray for each girl.
- Look for ways to involve individual girls and the entire group of Acteens in missions through your church and in your community, and sometimes in other states and countries.
- Provide spiritual direction and model a missions lifestyle.
- Seek to involve all students in Acteens, beginning with new seventh-graders.
- Participate in associational and state training.
- Lead in identifying objectives, setting goals, and implementing action plans to meet the goals.
For more information about starting, leading, and developing Acteens, order Acteens Guide for Leaders. Download our free starter pack!