I Didn’t Mean to Be an Acteen. Confessions of an Honorary Acteen.

I didn’t mean to be an Acteen. I mean, how detrimental to your “social standing” as a middle school guy in the youth group than to be associated with an all-girl organization?

Yet, there I was. The “Honorary Acteen.” Now, I wasn’t there alone. My best friend’s mom helped with the Acteens class at First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Tennessee, and GA Jam at Union University was looking to expand by including boys. So they wanted my best friend and I to tag along to help with any boys who were attending. We did. And it was fun. It was also my first experience being a leader in my church.

After this, though, my honorary title did not resurface until my junior and senior years of high school. Once again, the Acteens group was being missions minded and going out to serve.

This time, they were headed to Delaware to host VBS at a church needing help and doing some Backyard Bible Clubs in the surrounding area. And again, they wanted to take along some guys. So I tagged along. We had a blast and God worked in some mighty ways. I always seem to walk away from these things feeling that I’ve received more than I gave.

Now the “Honorary Acteen” title was back, and this time, I was proud of it. So proud of it that I served alongside them all year long. So proud of it that we went on another mission trip the following summer to Baltimore. So proud of it that I make sure the youth in my group at First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Tennessee, know it.

That’s right, I am now serving as the youth minister at my home church. This is largely due in part to the impact that Acteens (honorary or not) had on my life.

I am an honorary member of Acteens because of its mission to have students look past their personal wants and needs and become active missionaries wherever they are.

Ultimately, is that not the end goal for us all? Shouldn’t we desire to put others before ourselves on a daily basis? It is certainly my goal for my youth ministry.

My students will tell you that in my short time with them, I have questioned, “If not us, then who?” at least once in each lesson. But it’s so true. If we, the body of Christ, aren’t going out and ministering to those in need, if we aren’t there for our Christian brothers and sisters, if we aren’t shining lights for Him in our everyday lives, then who will? We can’t expect those not in the light of Christ to be the light of Christ. This is what our 12- to 17-year-old girls are learning on a weekly basis through Acteens.

In my time, be it sporadic and temporary, our Acteens leader made sure that the girls learned about missions all around the world. However, she also made sure they knew that they were to be missionaries right here at home. That is the great thing about Acteens.

While learning about the work around the world, leaders are teaching the importance of following through with our mission in our own hometowns. More than teaching them, they are showing them and leading them in actually doing it! And it is an amazing thing to witness.

I am proud of the work that Acteens do. I am proud of the leaders that work tirelessly to fulfill the mission of Acteens and ultimately of the gospel. And I am proud to be an Honorary Acteen.

 

Dylan Hill serves as the student minister at First Baptist Church Bolivar, Tennessee, and is proud of his title as an “Honorary Acteen.”

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