Let’s be honest, high schools are some of the darkest places in the entire world, and the ONLY person that can turn darkness into light is Jesus. Our goal is to let Jesus shine within high schools everywhere. Ignite is a student-led organization that brings other students into a welcoming environment to make lasting friendships, engage in worship, and grow in their relationship with Jesus. The “student-led” aspect of Ignite is so attractive to students who are apprehensive about growing in their faith because they are able to connect with other students in different ways than they connect with older pastors or youth group leaders. Students can relate to other students, and truly understand what it means to be in love with Jesus. We want to show our peers how great our God truly is. We want students to encounter their Father. We want God to ignite a flame in the hearts of students everywhere. 1 Timothy 4:12
To Ignite a flame in the hearts of students and to inspire them to change the atmosphere of their communities with the love of Jesus.
Growing up I was expected to be the "perfect" child out of 3. My two older brothers were either having sex or dealing drugs. I saw how that affected their relationships with our parents, family members, and how much it affected their relationships. It put a bad taste in my mouth when I thought about their salvation. They went to church, but not voluntarily...
From the age of 5 to 14, I was a regular church attender. I didn’t know too much about God himself, just His promises. Sure I followed the rules and what my parents said to do, but I still struggled with secret sin.
My mom was the only one who pushed me to go to church every Sunday, otherwise my dad decided to sleep in. My parents divorced when I was 7 and this was a struggle for me week to week. Sin struggles such as masturbation, pornography, and hiding were a huge part of my daily temptations. I was shown pornography at a young age from a family member and didn’t quite understand its’ weight until I turned 10. As I continued to watch it I began to feel dirty as if I should hide while doing it so I would lock my door. I can remember one time when I was honest with my mom about my struggles and I received the opposite advice I needed to hear. Instead of feeding me truth, I was fed the devil’s opinion on masturbation and sin. I heard, "It’s ok to explore your body." I was 10. It is not okay for a child to "explore" their body to the point that they’re crying to their parents ashamed to tell them what they’ve been hiding. The truth is, boys aren’t the only ones who struggle with this. And it took me a good 6 years to figure that out.
6 years later I was a freshman in high school. I began to learn the truth of all sin. Little did I know that the sin I was currently in was about to get a whole lot darker. I opened up about my struggles and temptations with the guy I liked which put him in the wrong position. First off because he was a guy my age and couldn’t give me the necessary advice I needed, but second off because instead of doing things to myself, we began to dig the hole of sexual temptation ourselves. No longer did I watch pornography or masturbate by myself, but I began to find that very thing in an actual person; outside my body.
Consistent struggling and fighting occurred due to this sin. 2 years later, we ended it. No longer could we live saying we were Christians and leaders at our school, but just to go back to the bedroom or car ride and do actions proving the opposite. I was done living that lie. That’s when I began to open up to my dad and stepmom. Although they were disappointed, they were proud of me for wanting to end the situation and kill the sin. Rather than getting grounded for months on end, I had more rules piled onto my daily lifestyle. No longer could I go to lunch freely with a friend from school, my parents had to meet them first. You want to stay out past 10? Too bad, you have to be home by 8:45. It killed me at the time and made me want to distance myself from them, but now as I look back I couldn’t be more thankful for their guidance. My dad and stepmom then began to join me at church which was a huge step for my family considering we had never been a church going family. It was just me going with my mom during her week. After the end of the sinful relationship I was in with a boy, I fell back into the hole by myself and then complete strangers. My thoughts when meeting someone new weren’t, "I wonder what music they listen to" or "I wonder what church they attend." Instead I thought, "Do I think they’re attractive?" "Would I date them?" These thoughts would haunt me. It seemed as if I couldn’t get them out of my head. I knew what I was to be searching for, but yet I kept turning my head. That something was and still is God, no matter what my status is. After "talking" with a guy shortly after my breakup, I ended things because I just couldn’t commit. I couldn’t do this to God nor my ex. I wanted to focus on the daughter I am in Christ and it killed me to think that I was living the opposite. I felt as if I didn’t know who I was. I am a hopeless sinner who NEEDS a fresh breath of God every day. Throughout all of the lying and hiding, shaming and dying, God was and is still right by my side crying and saying, "My child, why won’t you come?"
I am now 17 years old and I’m about to enter college. I’d like to think I know who I am and what I aspire to be, but I could die tomorrow and never become what it is I think I want. Music and film have always played a huge part throughout my story. From filming my littlest pet shops in fourth grade to being on stage with my best friends creating music. Ignite has been a part of my life for over a year now. I use to feel alone in my faith at Arlington High School, but then Ignite formed.
These hallways look bland and lonely, full of posters with digny tape. Up and down you see, "Vote for me!" "Buy a yearbook!" but where do you see, "You are loved" "You matter!" Where do you see the Spirit in your school? Maybe it’s not on the walls, maybe it’s posted in the hearts of those who walk down the halls next to you. One thing I can promise you is this, you're not alone. Ignite, the leaders, and the attenders have all shown me that. I believe God has, is, and will continue to bless this ministry. I’m all in.
Ignite has impacted me so much in my life but Christ has impacted me much more. On July 20, 2016 I surrendered my life to Christ at a student conference called Gateway Student Conference. It was one of the best days ever in my life. After being so in loved with getting to know Christ I was finding ways to get to know him more.
I got invited to Ignite was it first started and it has grown so much. Ignite just gives me a chance to worship God outside of church or Dallas Baptist University. Seeing the community all coming together to worship God is the best thing ever.
Ignite has truly changed my life; I will never forget when I got that text from Michael and Jess back in May, inviting me to this small gathering called "Ignite." I was extremely hesitant to go at first but every time I went it got better and better. The moment that hooked me though was one of Jess's testimonies about acceptance...
God definitely wanted me to hear what he had to say because from then on my life began to change. I have met so many fantastic people and grow closer to amazing people I've known since 6th grade: I definitely have Ignite to thank for many aspects present in my life today.
Fear & doubt seem like the biggest things in the world. And if you aren't careful, they can turn your life around. I've always believed in God. I grew up in church, both of my parents are pastors, but like always, Satan likes to creep in and try to turn you against God or make you forget who God REALLY is. I had trouble believing I was loved and i was afraid that I was alone.
There were times where I would be extremely sad and I would think negatively about myself. You know those lies "You're not good enough" , "No one wants to be your friend or love you" yeah those were daily occurrences. I began to believe it, but God, who is greater than anything changed my way of thinking. I was reading my bible one day and the scripture I came across was Joshua 1:9 which says, " Have no I commanded thee? Be strong and if a good courage; be not afraid, neither be though dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." To tell you this scripture saved my life is an understatement. I've heard that scripture so many times but that time, it was like receiving a HUGE embrace from Jesus. That scripture to me seems like God is saying, "Hey, didn't i tell you to be strong and trust in me?! I'm with you ALWAYS because I love you!" It has taught me that I am NEVER alone and to never doubt that I am loved because God loves me unconditionally, he literally sent his son to die on the cross for MY SINS so that I may have a second chance. That's love.
So, long story short, Satan is the BIGGEST liar, God is my friend and my heart and He loves me and I love him. And He has also given me a family and a group of friends who love me just as a cherry on top. I'm blessed to have been created by God and to be accepted and loved by him and most of all to be called His friend!