On this rainy weekend, 11 of our youth went to the beach in Wildwood, NJ to attend IGNITE!

IGNITE is more than a conference. IGNITE is a movement with a purpose to IGNITE the faith of the next generation of followers of Jesus Christ through life-changing worship, relevant teachings and authentic community. From Sep. 30 – Oct. 2, 2016 more than 1,000 students from grades 6-12 from around the region will gather in Wildwood to learn about God’s calling on their lives and go deeper in their faith journey.14492379_1181198768593786_9078078623607743090_n

A letter to our church members about the youth’s experience and how we can continue to encourage them in their faith journey:
 
Saturday night was a monumental moment in the lives of many of our students. Hundreds of young people at IGNITE were moved by God’s spirit and responded to the call to follow Jesus in their lives. Whether publicly or privately, hearts and minds were forever changed.  
 
Youth from your congregation were a part of this powerful experience. After last night and the IGNITE weekend experience as a whole, the young people in your congregation may have many questions. Perhaps you might have some as well. So what happens next? How do we lead students in their next steps? Here are 5 important points to consider.

They are not alone

  • Invite the youth who attended IGNITE to share with you about their experience. Encourage them in their faith formation. Listen to their questions and help guide them in their discipleship.

This is just the beginning

  • As United Methodists, there are amazing resources available to young people to help them grow as disciples of Jesus. Check out these denomination resources: www.unitedmethodistyouthministry.org
  • Encourage them to follow up with IGNITE by getting on our mailing list. They should send an email to: [email protected]

Discipleship doesn’t happen in a vacuum

  • From the very earliest Christian communities, believers came together to hang out. Create space for your young people to hang out and share. We grow by reflecting on the Word of God, and where God is moving in our lives. Make a space where they are safe to fellowship, share, listen, lean, grow and have fun.

A life of following Jesus is marked by service to others

  • We grow spiritually when we put our faith into action. Engage your youth in service opportunities, organize a mission trips, or create opportunities at the local food pantry, nursing home, or through A Future With Hope.

Prayer is the most powerful gift

  • IGNITE 2016 was a transformational event. Pray that the young people who attended continue to experience God’s grace and love. Pray that they mature and grow in their faith and follow God’s calling. Pray that they may find fellowship, friends, unity, peace, and oneness in a church family. Pray that they might also serve and reach others.

Together in the journey,
Eric