IGNITE was conceived in 2016 with the prayers and blessings of Pastor Jacob Mathew (former General Secretary of ICPF) and several other key leaders as per the vision God gave to Dr. Jepsin Maliyil. It began as a simple webinar series and blossomed into a multifaceted ministry. During the 2017 AWAKE camp held in Dallas, TX, the ministry of IGNITE broke new ground as it implemented new ideas in how to reach middle school children through focused meetings. The responses were overwhelming. From that point on, IGNITE has caught like wildfire and is catching more and more leaders, students, parents and churches with every meeting.
IGNITE is primarily led by ICPF student leaders who have completed leadership training through EMPOWER and EQUIP under a strong pastoral leadership. EMPOWER is the discipleship training program for female young adults who have dedicated their lives for in land and foreign missions and have successfully embarked on overseas mission trips as part of the ICPF International missions to countries like Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Likewise, EQUIP is the counterpart of EMPOWER for male young adults to be part of the International Missions. The vision of IGNITE is to reach the children at a young age and ignite a fire in them.
We are living in the last days. As mentioned in the book of Daniel 12:4, knowledge is rapidly increasing alongside the exponential growth in technology. Generation “Z” or the current generation of teenagers possess amazingly great potentials, but are facing unimaginable challenges and pressures. The formative years of the young teens are bombarded with information from various sources including those from authentic institutions such as schools, which pollute their minds or the very least confuse them with the faith that their parents and churches profess with that of a commonly professed ‘New Gen’ faith.
Our churches have many programs and activities for children and college students, but young people between the ages of 11 through 16 go unnoticed. They fall in ‘no man’s land’ in the mainstream programming of the church and are often left out in the sermon planning on Sundays by Pastors. In addition, due to the fast paced world we live in, we are lacking deep meaningful relationships. These children are neglected at home and church settings unintentionally, due to the stresses of daily life, parental or interpersonal conflicts. Chronic stress due to the lifestyle we are in, and materialism has caused us to be depressed, withdrawn, segregated, and self-oriented.
Our kids are lonely andare craving for true friendships - people who would accept them and love them unconditionally. Often times, the friendships they at last obtain either through online gaming programs or through schools are not godly and hence direct them away from the faith that their parents and churches promote. If we fail to establish a close relationship with them before the age of 14, the window of opportunity to connect with them will be exponentially lower. They will begin to feel detached from us because they feel unloved, misunderstood, disconnected and side-lined even when we love them. One tactic of the enemy is to isolate our children and attack them from various directions, during the most important adolescent phase of life when their identity and character is being shaped.
This tactic of the enemy was very evident in the expression of the ‘issues’ by middle schoolers during the last two AWAKE camps, when they were given an opportunity to open up about their struggles. They were given post-its to write down the problems and challenges they were facing. As they brought forward their post-its and stuck them on the floor in front of the stage, what we read were startling -- pornography, suicidal ideations, sexual and digital media addictions, depression, anxiety etc. were just some of the many major issues the children brought forward. Here is a quick graphic ‘representation’ of the ‘issues’ that these young teens brought to the front:
Prayerfully, the ICPF International Missions Leadership developed a circle of solutions to address these issues with specific strategies and programs and the result was ‘IGNITE’.
We have programs and activities occurring year-round. What we hope to achieve through these events are to:
Ignite has developed a 6 Year Curriculum Which Rotates every 3 years. The topics covered are: