After ignite had to be postponed last week due to the crazy weather, I was rather excited to experience my first ever ignite event. I had heard many positive things about it, and now I could see what all the hype was about.
I arrived early and waited upstairs in the cafe whilst the ignite team where praying and finishing their final few bits, afterwards they came upstairs to welcome the youth groups that were arriving. It was now 7:30pm, the countdown was on for us to take our seats. Their was a real buzz around the place as the guy leading worship welcomed us and introduced us to our first carol.
Carols aren't usually my thing, yet this youth band made them modern and catchy, all week I have found myself singing "joy to the world." After carols we ended the worship time with the bands re-make of Stormzy's song "Blinded by your grace." Teenagers around the room lifted their hands and sung passionately about their God whose grace has saved them. I now could see what all the hype was about, as youth groups joined together to life up the name of Jesus.
The worship time was finishing with some prayer and the event now moved onto the 'Christmas jumper competition' after that Luke got up and spoke about some new things for 2018 and then he introduced Tim Rowlands, the Pastor of Festival Church, who was going to preach.
Tim preached from Luke 2 (the story of the shepherds). I had have heard the nativity story preached in Church since i was a little kid, and yet I found myself thinking about it all in a fresh way thanks to his preach. His title was Go Big or Go Home, focusing on giving our all to God, trusting God and never being ashamed to tell our friends about God.
He had 4 points, all around the idea of BIG, they were: BIG questions, BIG risk, BIG vision and BIG sound.
The event ended with a final carol and then everybody went back upstairs to the cafe and started to hang out together. I looked around to see young people praying together, laughing together and socialising together. I realised this event was more than hype but instead a real encouragement to 100's of people, a place for friendship and for their faith to grow and to flourish.