Ignite Students have an Encounter

This past weekend, Ignite Student Ministries had the privilege of hosting the bi-annual Encounter Retreat at Camp Summit in New Windsor, Illinois. These retreats are intended to give students the opportunity to get off campus, disconnect from homework and responsibilities and work and stresses from school, and focus on encountering God.

We had 21 students from 6 different schools attend, including Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL), Carl Sandburg College (Galesburg, IL), Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO), Illinois State University (Normal, IL), Ashford University (Clinton, IA), Galesburg High School (Galesburg, IL) and United High School (Monmouth, IL), along with three Ignite staff members.

Students were excited to take part in a number of sessions geared to growing their faith. These sessions included:

  • Be Prepared, on the importance of preparing yourself to encounter Christ;
  • Silence, where students spent an hour and a half in silence in order to hear God;
  • God of the Impossible, that nothing can limit God from fulfilling his promises to us;
  • Defending Your Faith, on how to use apologetics to defend your faith;
  • Discovering You, where students took a number of personality and leadership quizzes; and
  • The Butterfly Effect, on how a simple action can have a huge impact.

They also enjoyed times of worship and prayer, extended free and fellowship time, lots of food and a lot of of fun….and not one came back the same.

Tyler Fox, Ignite Sandburg Student Leader, had this to say about his time at the Encounter Retreat:

Over the past weekend, he [Ignite President and Visionary Leader, Jason Vana] spoke some words to me that hurt. Frankly, some of them were a slap to the face.
Were they true? Yes.
Did I need to hear them? Yes.
Am I grateful? More than I have been in a long time.
He explained that I’m in a time of change. And told me to get over what I’ve been feeling. To get over the pain, the hurt, everything, and move on. He said what I didn’t want to think.
Read more of the story on Tyler’s blog.

Hear more stories from the Ignite Encounter Retreat from the students who were there:

Watch more videos of Ignite Encounter Retreat stories on our Youtube page!

Ignite Monmouth Leader Preaches

Ignite is in the business of empowering students to be leaders in their schools, workplaces and churches. Everything we do, from starting community groups on local campuses to organizing mission trips around the world, is designed to help students grow closer to God and make an impact their world.

This past Sunday, September 18, we rejoiced when long time Ignite member and current student leader, Dan Asbell was asked to preach at his home church of 16 years, First Presbyterian Church of Elmwood about Overcoming the Devil’s Persecution.

Dan has been involved in the Ignite Monmouth group since its launch in April 2010, and has been on the leadership team since January of this year. He has faithfully led discussions, helped other students grow in their relationship with Christ and was even a member of the 2011 Ignite Czech mission trip.

But he wasn’t always as bold with his faith.

Dan recounts:

I recently had the opportunity to speak to my hometown church about my recent missions trip to the Czech Republic. Not only did I talk about the trip itself but I also gave the sermon for that Sunday’s worship service. This was a really scary task for me. Even though I’ve been going to this church my entire life, I had never done anything like this before. Usually, I just hide in the background and do whatever that needs to be done there.

After I finished preaching, people were really amazed at the growth they’ve seen in me in the past few years. People would say that I’m not the same boy that would sit quietly in the pews just a few years back. They told me how proud they were of what I’ve done and were very excited about the possibilities I had in my future. I give God all the credit for these things, but I know that they never would have happened without a group like Ignite. God used Ignite and the all the people in the group to help me grow and blossom into the person that I am today.

We proud of all God is doing within Dan’s life and how He has molded Dan into such an amazing leader.

To learn more about how Ignite is transforming the lives of students, visit the Student Stories playlist on our YouTube Channel.