Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

There seems to be a controversy among many Christian sects when it comes to Halloween. Some are fine with the holiday, as long as congregants don’t get too out of hand. Some change the holiday name and opt instead to host Harvest Parties or Fall Festivals. Others denounce the holiday all together as worship of the devil.

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Encounter Retreat Donations

In order to keep the cost of the Encounter Retreats affordable to all students, Ignite relies upon donations to cover food, booklet, and scholarship costs for the weekend. The student fee only covers the cost of the retreat center rental. All other expenses related to the retreats are covered through generous supporters like yourself.

Many students are unable to cover the cost of the retreat. A tax-deductible donation of $40 provides the way for a student to have a powerful encounter with Christ.

There are two ways you can help provide for an Encounter Retreat:

Financial Donation

Visit our Give page and make an online donation to the General Fund or make your check out to Ignite and mail it to:

Ignite Student Ministries
1007 E. Boston Ave
Monmouth, IL 61462

Food Donation

We’ve made donating food easy!

    1. Click the Food List button below to see all the items we need to purchase.
    2. Type your name into the field next to the item you would like to donate, so we don’t have duplicate donations.
    3. Purchase or bake/cook your items
    4. Send Jason an email to arrange pickup or delivery.
All donations need to be made by NOON on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2.

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Thank you for your generosity in helping to keep the cost of our Encounter Retreats affordable for our students.

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Be the Change

Photo Credit: Matthew Fern (Creative Commons)

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:27

It can be easy at times to point out the flaws in our church or ministry group.
It’s not too difficult to realize something is broken.

Attend a single church for long enough, be a part of a small group or college ministry, and you’re bound to find areas that need improvement.

Worship isn’t as passionate as it could be.
The discussions aren’t as lively.
The preaching isn’t as powerful.
The community isn’t as welcoming.
Offering could be done differently.
Followup with new believers could be better.
Inviting others to come could be built up more.
Prayer isn’t as powerful, outreach not working, and the giving – the giving is never where it could be.

All of us could easily point out something we’d like to see changed.
But most of us don’t want to do anything about it.

We each have a role to play in the body of Christ.
A responsibility to see God’s move happen.

When the worship isn’t passionate, when the prayer isn’t powerful, when attendance is down, outreach isn’t affective, giving is down, volunteering isn’t happening, followup and inviting is non-exsitent, we all have a responsibility to bring change.

We all are held accountable to God.
Not just the leaders.

God has given each of us a gift. A heart passion.
When we see something in the body of Christ that isn’t functioning the way it should, it’s our responsibility to bring change.

Not just point out the problem.

The body of Christ is built up and made better when we offer solutions instead of criticism, assistance instead of problems, and change instead of grumbling.

After all, Christ holds us all responsible for how well the body operates.

And so, my brothers and sisters, as you find notice areas in your church or college group that need improvement, may you hear the call to be the change. May you offer solutions instead of criticisms. And may you, as you step out to make the body better, begin to see God do amazing things in and through you and the body you find yourself in.

How can you make the body of believers you find yourself in even better?

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Delighting in the Word

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2

Reading the bible can sometimes seem like a chore.

We have to carve out time from our busy schedules to read a book that isn’t always easy to understand (Read Leviticus sometime), can be pretty dull (hello the list of begats in Chronicles), and just utterly confusing (every read Revelation?).

It can be hard to get into.
Difficult to concentrate on.
Near impossible to stick with.
And sometimes it doesn’t even seem to help.

We’ve all felt that way.
We’ve all had difficulty staying in God’s word.
We’ve all been overwhelmed with where to start.

It’s not easy to read the word.
Let alone meditate on it.

But the Psalmist understood the value of God’s word. He knew the power that comes when we not only read God’s word, but continually meditate on it, asking ourselves how to apply it in our daily lives.

Delighting in God’s word brings blessing.

It’s only through reading and meditating on God’s word that we learn who He is.
It’s only when we dig into scripture that we are able to distinguish the voice of God from our own thoughts.
It’s only in God’s word that we find His character, promises, and learn how we should live.

And knowing Him is a blessing.

So, my brothers and sisters, when your day fills up and you question whether you have time to read your bible, may you remember the blessing scripture brings in our lives. May you place a high importance on getting to know God. And may you, as you make time to be in the Word, encounter a deeper level of God’s presence in your life.

[info]We have put together a few tools to help you grow in your love for and your understanding of God’s word. Check out our Personal Growth resource page for free resources![/info]

How can you grow in your love for God’s word?

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Growing in Faith

“I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
1 John 2:14

We’re all in different places in our relationship with Christ.

Some are considered children, having recently come to faith in Christ and growing in their knowledge of the Father. These believers are making their move out of the world, learning to renew their minds and change behaviors to match their new faith. They don’t necessarily feel like new creations, overcomes, or victorious, but they are stumbling closer to Him.

Others are considered young men, having developed the strength to say “no” to sin and yes to God. These believers have made strides in their relationship with Christ, portraying a level of discipline in prayer, reading scripture, worship, and meditation. They have taken strides to protect themselves from temptation, learn who God created them to be, and are determined to change the world.

Still others are called fathers, having developed a level of maturity and wisdom to see God’s fingerprints throughout their lives and calling others to a deeper faith. These believers have moved beyond an individual faith and expend their energies in mentoring and discipling others. They place an importance on helping others, digging deeper in their own faith, and portray a passion fueled through wisdom.

There are different levels in our relationship with Christ.
Different maturities in our faith.

No matter where we find ourselves, there is always room to grow.
Room to change.
Room to see a new aspect of who He really is.

We should never be satisfied in our relationship with Christ.

Our desire for Him should push us to grow from one level of maturity to another – overcoming our sin, studying scripture, growing strong in our faith, and helping others develop a deeper faith in Him.

And it starts with a practical step to change.

So, my brothers and sisters, as you journey with Christ, may you be burdened with a desire to grow. May you never be satisfied with your current relationship with Christ. And may you, as you take practical steps to grow, develop a bigger perspective of Christ.

What can you do today to develop a deeper faith with Christ?

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