Women’s ministry embraces precious girls
    February 15 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    From Ruth and Naomi to Lois and Eunice to Jesus and the Samaritan woman, scripture teaches that ministry to women is valuable and necessary. Ministry to girls is also important, and in order for girls to mature into godly women they need to be taught the truths of scripture and how to practically live out those truths.

    This is why the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) recently launched GEM: Girls Embrace Ministry. GEM seeks to encourage seventh through 12th grade girls to walk with Jesus Christ every day and to begin now, at an early age, building a legacy of faithfulness.

    Just as gems often experience a refining process before they become precious, valuable stones, so must all believers go through times of learning and growing as they seek to become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. GEM desires to teach girls that they are precious in God’s eyes and He wants to refine, mold and shape them into women who reflect His character and who are equipped to serve Him.

    “As female leaders invest in the lives of teenage girls, they disciple the teenage girl and help her with life issues from a biblical perspective,” said Ashley Allen, director of Embrace women’s missions and ministries. “GEM recognizes that the girls of today’s church are the women of tomorrow’s church. There is an important responsibility for female leaders to teach and train the next generation.”

    GEM, like BSC’s Embrace women’s ministry, is based on three intents found in Matthew 28:19-20: evangelism, discipleship and missions.

    “GEM, in working within the context of the larger youth ministry, needs to help young women not only foster a lifestyle of sharing Jesus Christ with the lost people they meet, but also help teenage girls come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Allen said.

    Focusing on discipleship helps girls grow in their relationship with Christ and learn how to prayerfully study and then apply God’s Word in their lives. As girls are discipled and learn more about what it means to follow Christ, they will learn that scripture instructs them to tell others about Christ.

    Photo by Alexandra King

    Girls play a game during fellowship time at a Girls Embrace Ministry kickoff event.


    “GEM desires for women to be equipped to do Kingdom work through service locally and globally,” Allen said.

    The GEM kick off event was held Jan. 28-29 at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. Girls and female youth leaders gathered for fellowship, worship and times of teaching. Merrie Johnson, BSC student ministry consultant, joined Allen in leading the event. Rachel Lee Carter, Mrs. North Carolina USA 2009 and founder of Modeling Christ, brought the keynote address.  

    Becoming women of purity
    Carter shared with the girls and leaders gathered for the kick-off event that although she grew up in church, went to youth group and prided herself on being “good,” she cared more about popularity than about influencing her friends with the gospel.

    By the time Carter was 18 she was living in her own apartment in New York City, making $150 an hour as a professional model and, as she described, “having the time of my life.” Yet, before long Carter was in trouble. She began listening to music she should not have listened to, her language turned filthy and she started practicing New Age religion. Her habits of staying out all night at clubs and not taking care of herself physically caused her career to suffer. “I felt helpless, hopeless and like a failure,” said.

    When Carter had nowhere else to turn she turned to Jesus. One night in her New York apartment, Carter “surrendered it all” to Jesus Christ. 

    Carter is still a professional model, but has turned her career into an opportunity to share the gospel and how Jesus changed her life. She teaches on what it means to be a woman who is not only pure with her body, but also in her heart and mind. Carter shared that in all things, just as taught in 1 Tim. 2:9, girls should regard the spiritual things and seek to honor Christ in all they say and do.    

    Start GEM in your church
    Allen shared with the girls and their leaders that the intent of GEM “is not to have event, event, event. It’s about starting from the foundation of scripture.” As older women teach the girls how to walk with Christ, they do so in order that “the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5).

    GEM will look different in each church, just as Embrace looks different in each church. With that in mind, ministry leaders can follow seven steps to begin GEM:
    • Prayer — Leaders should pray for God to reveal His purposes for GEM and for girls to put their trust in Him.
    • Connect — Meet with the pastor and youth pastor. Ask about their direction and vision for the ministry. Do not go forward with this ministry unless the pastor and youth pastor agree that this is God’s will for the church.
    • Network — Talk to the girls who will be involved in GEM about what they would like to see included in the ministry.
    • Refine — Create a GEM leadership team; one person cannot do all the work.
    • POG — Determine the purpose, objectives and goals for GEM.
    • Engage — Get the girls involved in GEM through Bible studies, events and mission projects.
    • Reflect — What went well? What can be done differently? Always be looking for ways to make the ministry more effective.  
    Regional training
    Four one-day training events are being held to help equip women’s ministry leaders to start GEM in the local church. Each event starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. on a Friday evening. Cost is $10. Girls and women’s ministry leaders are invited to attend.

    During the regional trainings Ashley Allen, director of Embrace, will meet with ministry leaders to discuss the how-to’s of starting GEM, and Johnson and Carter will meet with the girls to talk about modesty and purity in Christ.
    • Feb. 18 — Apex Baptist Church
    • March 4 — First Baptist Church, Dublin
    • March 18 — Old Town Baptist Church, Winston-Salem
    • April 8 — West Asheville Baptist Church
    For more information about GEM or Embrace, visit www.embracenc.org. To register for a regional training, call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5561.

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    2/15/2011 4:14:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments




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