This past Saturday night, we got to be a part of something really awesome... our church put on our first ever Ignite Youth Rally. Over 700 teenagers (yes, that's a bunch of kids!) and few dozen adults gathered in the field behind our church and we had a church service, followed by a huge bonfire. Our speaker was T.C. Stallings, former pro football player who is now a Christian actor (you've seen him in the movie Courageous!). This night was the result of tons of hard work, headed up by our youth pastor Stephen. He and his wife did a fantastic job and I did not envy all the decisions they had to make (or hundreds of texts they had to answer leading up to Ignite. =) Anyway, it was such an awesome night and Jonathan and I had a blast helping out!
One of my sweet students from last year, Andrew, was there with his mom and dad and I got to hang out with him a little bit. It kills me how tall he's getting!
Chelsea is one of our sweet teenagers at church... and she has a special place in my heart because she was my first "friend" at church since we bonded my first week in New Bern at camp. =)
My dear friend Katelyn and her husband (??? it's so hard to believe we're all married now!) brought a group from their church. I love knowing that so many of my friends are serving the Lord!
Very yum. By the time the service ended, it was COLD.
The bonfire was awesome!
Unwrapping Hershey bars... it's a tough job, but someone had to do it. ("This piece is broken... better set it aside. A piece for the tray, a piece for me..." Maybe I wasn't the best person for the job. =)
Mrs. Kristie and I handed out marshamallows and coat hangers.
This is a terrifying picture of me, but that smore was sooo good!
The service was so awesome... the singing and preaching were great and it was really neat to see hundreds of teens locked in on a speaker who was spot-on with his message about playing on God's team. One of the things that impressed me the most was T.C.'s point about making changes in your life. So many times people use grace as a license to live however they want. As T.C. pointed out, works or outward changes do not save you, but they are a "thank you" for grace. I won't repreach his message =) but it was so good and something every teen (and adult) needed to hear. The Gospel was presented very clearly and many teens made the decision to "join God's team." I had the privilege to pray with several girls at the altar. That is such cool feeling!
What it's all about...
T.C. preached again in our Sunday morning service, and it was another excellent message. This guy is the real deal!
Ignite 2012 was a smashing success.... thanks in large part to the work of our church people but mainly because of God's working among us! Everything went smoothly, from the sound to the parking to the food. Obviously God had His hand on the night since there were over 700 teenagers and lots of fire and no one got hurt or burned anything. =) I was even pleasantly surprised at how polite and mannerly all the kids were... I probably talked to about 200 of them at my table and nearly every kid said thank you and was so nice. It was awesome! If you can come next year, definitely try to make it. I am so thankful I was able to be there and meet such a genuine servant of God. And a night that includes smores is always a good night. =) Happy Monday!