IGNITION: Setting Young Adults on Fire

IGNITION was a safe space for me to worship God and learn more of how He wants me to serve His children,” shared 31-year-old Michaela Lawrence from Knoxville, Tennessee, “Its timing was perfect, as only God can orchestrate.”

A radiant mix of fellowship, discipleship, and worship took place at the third IGNITION: Young Adult Summit, held April 7-11, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  In addition to general sessions, ministry workshops, and mentoring intensives, an encounters café was held nightly until midnight, set in an inviting and relaxed atmosphere of candlelit tables and refreshment.  Acoustic worship sets, watching film segments, focusing on Ephesians 2, and entering into lively discussion were all part of the experience.

“I can think of no better experience than being in God’s presence at the encounters café,” shared 28-year-old, Adrian Riojas from Arlington, Texas. “The simple and elegant worship was so uplifting.”

Kris Bryant, a 24-year-old from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma shared, “The encounters café allowed me to re-center and re-focus my spiritual walk with Jesus.” 

After times of collective worship, all were encouraged to stay by and chat.  I was personally blessed by the opportunity to connect with other young adults.  Eclectic discussions went late into the night. Whether musing about the Sabbath or sharing our heartaches for those far from God, I relished the conversations and the candor—I learned a lot.

“I enjoyed hanging out with the other young adults,” felt Kris Eckenroth, a 32-year-old from Reading, Pennsylvania. “The discussions were meaningful and at the same time included lots of laughter.”

An important element of this year’s IGNITION experience was mentorship and discipleship training led by Dr. Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. Author of the Habitudes series, Dr. Elmore offered proven relational skills for fostering leadership in new generations. He was very personable and interactive in his presentation style, pausing for questions and comments as he spoke.  Sharing “images that form leadership habits and attitudes [aka habitudes],” Elmore demonstrated how we could be more effective mentors/leaders with young adults.

Richard Castillo, who founded Rewind, a young adult ministry in Oklahoma City, shared, “I had the opportunity to be inspired by others who have the same passions for young adult ministry as I do and gained new inspiration to press forward.”

“I’m still digesting all the notes and knowledge that came from being a part of IGNITION! There was a ton of useful and inspiring information via speakers and available resources,” raved Brittnie Clark, a 26-year-old from Silver Spring, Maryland. “For me, the most meaningful part of the experience was meeting other young adult leaders and realizing that we share some of the same challenges.

Just before leaving IGNITION, the North American Division Young Adult Ministry Advisory [YAMA] was held Sunday morning, affording ministry leaders one more opportunity to share experiences, resources, prayer, and vision.

“It was refreshing to connect with other young adult leaders who are doing great things in their communities,” lauded Kris Bryant.

Brittnie Clark added, “We all share a passion for young adult ministry! I’m leaving IGNITION with support, direction, and a network of friends.”

For me as well, the best part of IGNITION was making new friendships.  I returned home encouraged by the fellowship, energized by the worship, ready to try out new ideas for ministry.  I came away from IGNITION on fire with the courage to shine radiantly in my part of the world.

Beyond the event, IGNITION encourages you to deepen the process of discipling via our website, http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com

by Joynene Neal

Joynene Neal is an MDiv graduate student at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, giving emphasis to chaplaincy ministry.
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