Acteens

Add a Little Christmas to Your Life

Shopping. Partying at school. Cooking. Wrapping. Baking. Decorating. Traveling. Getting together with friends. And that doesn’t even include the church activities, choir programs and special Christmas services.

It feels like time speeds up between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we move at a faster pace through the month of December, trying to do all we feel like we are “supposed to do” at this time of the year.

Added to our attempts to juggle all of the extra activities and events and responsibilities that Christmastime brings, we also must continue our regular tasks of going to work or school, buying groceries, doing laundry, and running the children from this lesson to that activity. No wonder it feels like everything is moving at warp speed to the point that when the New Year comes our December feels like a blur and we long for time to rest.

Does Prayer Really Matter? Really?

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You close your eyes, bow your head, and before a word crosses your lips you start to wonder, “Does this prayer really matter?” I mean, since when have words spoken in private ever changed global catastrophes like the war in Syria or the refugee crisis in Europe? Is prayer even all that important?

Oh, my friend, it is so important. When we pray, we’re really doing two things at the same time. We are (1) cultivating our relationship with God and (2) refining our own hearts in the process.

We pray out of a concern for others and with the faith that the One we pray to can actually hear us and cares about us. It’s an exercise in faith, plain and simple.

By voicing our hearts to God, we also underscore how important our words are. Sometimes we find that all we need is to sit in silence, at peace in the presence of a God beyond words.

Prayer is also the first step toward action. How many examples can we find in Scripture where someone wrestled with God in prayer over something they knew they had do? Honestly, more than I’d prefer to count . . .

Leading Students with WMU in Mind

As you lead your student group, I’ll bet the last thing on your mind is the list of WMU objectives. Before you flip past it in your next WMU Catalog or Year Book, take some time to think through each one. You might be surprised how integral these points are to our shared faith.

Pray for Missions

When was the last time you led your group to pray for a missionary? What about praying for someone you knew needed to feel the love of Christ? Praying for missions is no small thing. When you bring these prayers and petitions before God, it solidifies them in your own heart and often motivates you to action.

Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing

As followers of Christ, our faith must move us to action. It’s never enough to simply “feel” for someone who needs Christ. Share that love with them, my friend! And help your students see that they too are a valuable part of the mission of God.

Thanksgiving Grace

It was the first year Mackenzie was going to sit at the “grown-ups” table at Thanksgiving. She had aged out of the children’s table following the last round of babies born in the family and more space was needed at that table. As the oldest grandchild, she got to move to the dining table first. She was excited to sit with the adults—even though their conversation would probably be pretty dull. Anything would be better than trying to play peacemaker amongst her cousins all through the meal.

Mackenzie couldn’t wait until it was time for everyone to sit down together. This year there would be no need for fixing her plate early so she could sit with the other kids. Mackenzie could imagine it all. This year, she’d be passing the piping hot bowls of mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn, along with the enormous platter of turkey and dressing. The table would be filled with the family’s Thanksgiving favorites, along with a beautiful centerpiece, lit candles, and a beautifully set table—all on Nana’s treasured tablecloth that had belonged to her mother and grandmother before her.

Responding to Disasters to Share Christ

As a member of the Texas Baptist Men’s disaster relief shower and laundry unit in Austin, I am often called out to help those who have faced a traumatic event in their lives. We are there to meet victims’ basic needs in a dire situation—we wash their clothes and provide hot showers with clean towels for them.

But more importantly, we are there to minister to their souls and share the love of Christ. Victims of floods like we have had in Texas this year or other disasters are hurting and need comfort. We listen and when we establish a relationship with each person, then we tell him or her about our Jesus, Who is the Everlasting Comforter.

Our motto is Anyway, Anytime, Anywhere—Love, More Than Words and it means being on mission for Christ, sharing His love in a tangible way for eternity. We make a difference in people’s lives for now and forever.

What opportunities do you have to help others so you can share the love of Christ? How have you learned to live a missions lifestyle?

MissionsQuest

Acteens creates a wonderful, encouraging, supportive, girls-only group environment. But that’s not all! Think about this: What happens when a girl is out in the world on her own, now or in the future (college, career, family), without her Acteens support system nearby? She has to be strong in her own faith and confident of her own gifts and abilities, right? But to get to that point, she needs some solo practice. Right? That’s where MissionsQuest comes in.

MissionsQuest gives Acteens the opportunity to learn and grow as the unique individuals God made them to be. MissionsQuest gives you a means to mentor girls one on one. You could even ask other women in your church to "adopt" an Acteen for MissionsQuest. Of course, individuals have to work with and relate to other individuals. MissionsQuest has that covered too.

Acteens Leader Training

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'" -Mark 8:34 (NIV)
 

Throughout its history, the effectiveness of Acteens has depended on leadership. It is safe to say that one person with a passion for missions can impact an entire group of teenagers. The beginning point is a desire for students to be involved in missions.

Whether you are a new leader just starting Acteens or a leader with an expanded program, take a moment to answer these questions:

About Acteens

Acteens is the missions education organization for teenage girls ages 12-17 or in grades 7-12. Acteens is just one of the missions education organizations offered by WMU. Acteens guides teenage girls to a greater understanding of God's work in the world and how they can join Him in His work.

The WMU vision statement says, "WMU challenges Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God." That is why WMU exists and why WMU does the work it does every day. WMU has been doing this work since 1888. Throughout these years, WMU has seen countless teenage girls involved in missions education and hands-on missions involvement. Teenage girls continue to grow their understanding and involvement in the cause of missions, the cause of Christ, through Acteens.

WMU Names National Acteens Panel

National WMU has named four mission-minded teens with outstanding character and credentials to serve as missions influencers on the 2016 National Acteens Panel.

They are Sarah Golden of Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Pike Road, Ala.; Hannah Hutton of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas; Jemima Louis of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas; and Ana Sandoval of Freeman Heights Baptist Church in Garland, Texas.

Acteens is WMU’s missions organization for girls in grades 7-12 to help them grow in their relationships with God and their peers. Together they live a missional lifestyle, develop leadership skills and become actively involved in ministry.

“Of all the things we learn, Acteens most importantly develop an ability to love,” said Louis. “The organization develops a love for serving, a love for others and a love for God.”

All four panelists have been involved with Acteens for six years and have demonstrated a commitment to service through the local church.

Hutton claims that being an Acteens member has helped her share the gospel within her sphere of influence.

MissionsQuest FAQs

What Is MissionsQuest?

MissionsQuest is the individual achievement plan designed for teenage girls who choose to go deeper in their missions lifestyles.
 
MissionsQuest consists of six areas, or quests, in each of which Acteens complete a series of missions activities. The six quests are:

  • Quest for Vision
  • Quest for Character
  • Quest for Excellence
  • Quest for Confidence
  • Quest for Creativity
  • Quest for Courage

MissionsQuest will help girls develop their gifts, skills, and talents. The goal is for students to grow in Christ as His disciples, learn more about themselves, develop a missions lifestyle, work together to complete spiritual/discipleship goals, and grow in relationship with one another. You will be their guide and encourager. 

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