GA, Acteens vital to next generation
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- It was as a GA at First Baptist Church in New Brockton, Ala., that Carmen Bruce remembers God beginning to speak to her heart and the Holy Spirit showing her need for a Savior.
"If I hadn't been a GA, I really don't think I would have understood the importance of personal involvement in missions," Bruce said. "I also would not have become aware of the cooperative effort we as Southern Baptists share in working together to carry out the command of the Great Commission."
To this end, Bruce sees GA and Acteens as organizations that teach the next generation to be true disciples of Christ.
"I wish children's and youth leaders in all churches, regardless of size, could understand they can have GA and Acteens programs and see the importance of these ministries.
"The need for a 'girls only' time is also very important," Bruce said. "This also helps us fulfill the biblical method of teaching found in Titus 2. Acteens can help our young girls learn how to be young women of grace and virtue and reflect the glory of God."
Her passion from God to minister to girls living near her and far away led Bruce to become an Acteens leader at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Enterprise, Ala.
"I enjoy seeing young girls become more active in serving," Bruce said. "But most of all, I enjoy working with Acteens because I know that is what God has called me to do."
In Acteens, girls not only learn about ministry opportunities; they also put their faith into action.
Last fall, for example, the Mount Pleasant Acteens group announced to their church the beginning of a new ministry called Handing Her Hope and adopted it as their project for 2012–13.
Handing Her Hope is a ministry of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in conjunction with Mt. Pleasant Mission Moldova to offer the hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of the darkness of human trafficking.
The ministry raises awareness of the reality of human trafficking, prays for victims and with those vulnerable to trafficking and raises financial support for Christ-centered anti-trafficking mission projects in the country of Moldova.
As of June, the financial support raised by the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Acteens totaled $3,669.52.
Mt. Pleasant Acteens earned the money by making, packaging and marketing a hair tie-bracelet product called Marianna's, named in honor of a young Moldovan girl rescued from human trafficking.
"Our churches need true disciples," Bruce said. "GA and Acteens are an important part of that discipleship."
Laura Wilson is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was an intern at national WMU. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).