I have had the opportunity to go to the Ignite conference with my church for the past two years. I have gone to a lot of Christian youth conferences, including Ignite, with great teachers and speakers, but something that made the Ignite conferences stand out was the applicability and relevancy of the messages. There were so many different topics covered, so I could choose workshops that interested me, or that addressed things I was struggling with at the time.
During the first year I went, my most memorable workshop was “Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam.” Before then, I really didn’t know anything about Islam. I have had religion teachers from public schools, but learning about it from a Christian perspective gave me a whole new view. A few months later I was able to put that knowledge to use when a man questioned my faith, asking me why I believe in Christianity rather than Islam. I was able to answer his questions with confidence, and tell him exactly why Jesus is the way to heaven. This is just one example of how I was able to share the gospel, using what I learned at the Ignite conference.
The next year I went to Ignite I learned about my true identity in Christ. One of the main speakers, Phil Vischer, spoke about personal dreams and waiting on God. I am currently in my senior year of high school, and things are really hectic. It is hard not to stress out about the future. Phil Vischer reminded me that I need to find my joy and contentment in the Lord, not in trying to fulfill my dreams. As I hold tightly onto my dreams, I might miss out on what God has in store for me. If I am not waiting or listening to God, I cannot hear or follow Him. Another speaker, Dr. Joe Stowell of Cornerstone University, spoke about being a follower of Christ. He said, “As long as [the disciples] were holding onto their nets, they could not follow Jesus. Anything that prohibits you from following Christ is your ‘net’.” During that time, God revealed things that I was holding onto that I needed to drop in order to follow Christ completely.
Taking time out of a busy schedule to spend an entire weekend distraction-free, learning and worshiping with other believers is so rewarding. Ignite equips you to pour into other students in your church, learn about your relationship with the Lord, and witness to your friends.