Encounter Retreat: Fall 2015

Chosen. All throughout the story of God's pursuit of man, we see this truth occur again and again.

God chose Abraham to be the father of all nations. He chose Joseph to save Egypt and the Israelites from famine. He chose Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of slavery. He chose David to lead His people. He chose Jeremiah to encourage the Israelites in exile. He chose Nehemiah to rebuild a wall. He chose Mary & Joseph to parent the Messiah. He chose 12 disciples to lead His church. He chose Paul to be the world's greatest evangelist.

And He chose you.

Whether you believe it or not, you are chosen — chosen by God and for His purposes. He chose you from the beginning of creation and set you apart to fulfill His divine and powerful purposes.

During the Fall Encounter Retreat, you will learn what it means to be chosen by God — both in how He sees you and the purpose for which He created you.

Don't go another day believing you are less than who He created you to be. Discover your identity as a chosen child of God, and learn to walk in the purposes for which He created you at the Ignite Encounter Retreat.


The Encounter Retreat is unlike any other retreat you've been on. Held over a weekend (Friday night through Sunday afternoon), it's a time to get away from campus and truly connect with God. We plan the entire weekend around one goal: helping you have a genuine encounter with God. We do this through:

  • Teaching / Discussion Sessions, where we dive into scripture, talk about what God is speaking to us, and find His word coming to life
  • Worship Sessions, where we dim the lights and go all out in worship after God
  • Prayer, where staff members come around and pray for those who would like prayer
  • Free Time, where we play games, have fun, and get to know each other
  • Meals, where we eat amazing food and grow closer together over a meal
  • Individual Conversations, where you get to share your heart and struggles with others

The greatest part of an Encounter Retreat: You grow closer to God.

The following schedule is tentative and subject to change:

Friday, November 13

6:30pm Check-in Begins
7:00pm Welcome
7:30pm Large Group Session
8:30pm Worship / Prayer
9:30pm Free Time


Saturday, November 14

9:00am Breakfast
10:00am Worship
10:30am Morning Session
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Breakout Groups by Gender
2:30pm Free Time
5:00pm Dinner
7:30pm Evening Session
8:30pm Worship
9:30pm Free Time / Bonfire


Sunday, November 15

9:00am Breakfast
10:00am Worship
10:30am Morning Session: Discover Your Calling
11:45am Closing Devotion
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Clean / Pack Up
1:30pm Depart

Matt Hemmele

Technical Director, Northwoods Community Church
Matt is the Technical Director at Northwoods Community Church — a multi-site church located in Peoria, Illinois. He is a dynamic speaker and storytellers, making the stories found in scripture come alive and relevant to high school students and young adults. He is married to his best friend Claire, loves all things technical, is the proud father of two cats, and has an affinity for making amazing scenes with lights.

Jason Vana

Ignite Founder
Jason is the Founder and Visionary Leader of Ignite, overseeing ministry in the USA and Czech. He is a dynamic speaker, making complex issues of faith easy for people to understand. Jason has a great passion to see young people come to know Jesus and walk in the calling God has placed on them. He is an avid lover of coffee, a self-proclaimed Apple fan-boy, and sees himself as Superman in disguise.

Bill & Lara Robinson

Bill and Lara were married this summer and then moved immediately to Illinois from the rolling hills of Kentucky. Lara teaches English at Carl Sandburg College and Bill teaches mathematics at Monmouth College. They enjoy hiking and rock-climbing, traveling, reading, and preparing delicious food and drink. Recent adventures include honeymooning on the east coast of Canada, staying at a family cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin, and hiking up a mountain in the Rockies of Colorado. As a new couple, they are learning a lot about what it means to love each other with Christ's love through sacrifice.

More Bios Coming Soon!

  • Bedding (sheets, blanket, sleeping bag) for a TWIN size bed
  • Pillows
  • Clothes
  • Towel / Wash Cloth
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, deodorant)
  • Necessary medications (Ignite does not provide medications)
  • Shoes and Slippers/socks (Walking trails are muddy and outside shoes are not allowed beyond the entrance way)
  • Shoes for hiking
  • Shower Sandals
  • Coat / hat / gloves
  • Bible
  • Notebook or Journal
  • Pen or Pencil
  • iPod/MP3 Player
  • Favorite Games and/or Movies for Free Time

Ignite does not provide transportation to or from the Encounter Retreat. However, we will pass your information on to your student leader so you can arrange carpooling from your campus.

Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis. Ignite will do everything it can to provide a 1/2 scholarship to students in need. If you require a greater scholarship, email us and we will work out the details.

Recipients of scholarships will be asked to help fundraise their scholarship by sending out emails / letters to family and friends asking for donations. Failure to help fundraise will impact scholarship availability.