“The speakers, workshops and resources made available at IGNITION Summit 2011 have inspired me to do even more ministry for GOD, reaching new generations,” shared Trey Sharp, a pastor from Burleson, Texas. “I am refreshed, energized, and ready to go! IGNITION was a huge blessing for me.”
Trey was among a great constellation of ministry professionals, lay leaders, educators, parents, and young adults who convened in Arlington, Texas, April 4-6, to receive training in young adult ministry at IGNITION Summit 2011. General sessions by Drs. Tim Elmore and Hyveth Williams, best practice workshops, Habitudes leadership training, and a service excursion to the North Texas Food Bank were among the array of experiences afforded the 120 attendees from across the North American Division and beyond. Registrants came from all over, including Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and internationally from Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
Dr. Tim Elmore, president of Growing Leaders, Inc., shared revealing insights about Generation iY, those born since 1990. Elmore also equipped attendees in the “habits and attitudes of leadership” based on the Habitudes curriculum he has developed.
“The thoughts and concepts Tim Elmore presented excited me about leading myself and helping others become leaders,” noted Kyle Martsching, an academic coach from Lincoln, Nebraska. “My vision and desire to lead in all aspects of my life were renewed at IGNITION. I was blessed.”
“IGNITION Summit has opened my eyes to the dire need for young adult leadership training,” asserted Pastor Isaac Heath, from Nacogdoches, Texas. “The Habitudes revealed to me the importance of training new generations in leadership now.”
Various young adult ministries, including Revive Street Ministry, Younger Generation Church, and T.R.U.T.H. [To Render Unconditionally to Him], offered best practice workshops. Sheri Denny, an administrative assistant from Alvarado, Texas, was delighted to attend a worship-leading workshop. She lauded, “It was extremely relevant to my current involvement and I found it very helpful and enjoyable. What an awesome team of young adults you have assembled, they have such a heart for God!”
Sponsorship by AdventSource, Faith For Today, North American Division Youth/Young Adult Ministries, Southwestern Adventist University, and Texas Conference Young Adult Ministries made provision for fellowship through meals and evenings at encounters café, affording attendees opportunities to build relationships and support each other.
Pastor Chris Jones, from Byram, Mississippi, said, “I was encouraged by meeting with others, and the fellowship fueled me to go back to my part of the vineyard and work for Jesus.”
“It was very inspiring to know there are young adult ministries around the world that share the same struggles, but also the same passion!” expressed Zamuel Gutierrez, a business communications consultant from Monterrey, Mexico. “Our team came from all over Mexico to IGNITION and found it inspiring and very useful.”
Dr. Hyveth Williams, professor of homiletics at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, highlighted the evening worships by sharing her encounter with GOD and it’s transformative impact on her life. Denny chimed, “Hyveth is a ball of energy and inspiration! Her testimony is beautiful.”
“The presentations fed my soul and spurred my personal need for GOD,” offered Desmond Smith, a psychology major from the Virgin Islands. “IGNITION strengthened my passion for young adult ministry and my faith to step out and reach them where they are.”
IGNITION points to young adult ministry training across the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. The next division-wide IGNITION training is slated to coincide with Just Claim It3, March 7-12, 2012, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Details to be released at www.adventistyouthministries.org
As for this year’s summit, IGNITION sparked a leadership revolution and faith revival for those who attended. Gutierrez raved, “We felt the Holy Spirit empowering us through you all. Thanks for everything!”
“This is my beginning of looking at young adult ministry in a different way,” revealed Pastor Jaime Mendez from Dallas, Texas, “It has ignited a fire in me to disciple new generations and strengthened my relationship with God.”
“IGNITION Summit 2011 has given me an opportunity to reflect on my ministry with young adults and how I might enhance that ministry,” echoed Professor John Matthews, from Andrews University. “More than that, it has been an opportunity to deepen my commitment to GOD and His mission for my life.”