We concluded our first ever giving campaign as a church this past year and it could not have gone any better!
We called the campaign and associated sermon series Count On It, because God has promises regarding finances we can count on. He promises peace and provision – more than enough provision. But the reality is a lot of Christians are not experiencing either of these promises in their finances. Why not??
We have participation trophies for tee-ball, preschool graduations (you know you love them), not to mention Hollywood’s 55 awards shows a year that draw millions of viewers. Well, we think, why not take time to celebrate the thing that Jesus celebrates: The local church?!
Nothing against the Grammy’s. We hope Drake brings one home this year too. But the thing is, it won’t matter in 5 years who won a Grammy. However, it will still matter in 5000 years, what Jesus does in the lives of people through His church. And Jesus is doing a lot in Ignition Church which means we have a lot to celebrate!
“It’s not what you do that matters, it’s who you are.”
Ever heard that before?
It’s a nice idea. A great pacifier to what seems to be a destructive pattern of the world: Perform at the expense of who you are. Or to use an old turn of phrase, “Sell your soul to the company store.”
But what if it’s not true? What if what you do actually does matter? What if what you do is actually a part of who you are?
It’s summertime, which means it’s graduation season at Ignition Church!
Some of you have never heard of graduation at Ignition, so let me explain: every year we have kids “graduate” from iKidz – our children’s ministry at Ignition. iKidz runs concurrently with our main worship experience on Sundays, and includes kids from 6 weeks all the way up to and through 5th grade. The summer before they enter middle school, they “graduate” from iKidz, and the Class of 2018 will graduate later this summer! It’s an exciting time when we get to celebrate them and what Jesus has done in their life.
Now, it’s at this age that traditionally the church labels them as “youth” and sticks them in the basement and gives them pizza until they smell better. But that’s not how we do it at Ignition. We believe they can and should participate in the life of the larger church body.
Sun is out. Weather is warm. That means it’s time for baptisms at Ignition Church! I hope you’ll make plans to join us this weekend as we celebrate the new thing Jesus is doing in His church! Even if you don’t know the people being baptized, I still want you to be there. Hearing their stories is always so encouraging…
It can remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. It can lift your perspective to see that God is still alive and active today. It’s the good news of the Gospel in living color – and we all enjoy receiving some good news!
We go all out in celebrating baptisms at Ignition because it doesn’t get any bigger than this.
I’ve had several conversations sparked by the same question a handful of times over the past several years of our church plant.
The question is not one asked by those who are on mission with us. It’s not asked by those who are being reached through our community. It’s a question asked by Christians who remain on the fringes. Typically, I’m not interested in answering questions like this because I have no interest in convincing the already convinced or winning someone over to “my style” for the sake of attendance numbers. However, I know that many of you have friends who you want to reach because you see them stuck in religion, and this seems to be a sticking point for them.
The question goes something along the lines of, “Why don’t you teach more classroom-style so I can learn something new?” or “Why don’t you teach more practical points so I learn what to do?”
On Sunday we had the privilege of baptizing 15 people – wow! Celebrate, church!!
Among the 15 that were baptized, 2 of them were children! These baptisms deserve some notice – not because they were special or sweet or sentimental, but because they were profound.
However, when I need to spend an entire sermon unpacking what baptismis and isn’t, and then staff our lobby with baptism counselors to help people understand the step they are taking, one can’t help but ask the question: how can a child possibly be ready to take that step?
I think almost every single person in our church desires to see our community grow. We want to see our friends and family experience the love and freedom we are experiencing, and this desire is stronger than ever – a beautiful sign of the work of God in our lives. Also, I am more and more certain that Jesus wants to see our community grow, and that He wants to touch the lives of our friends and family just like He has touched ours.
In light of this is, a tension arises: If we all want it, and Jesus wants it, then what is the key to seeing His will for His Church come to pass?
I grew up in Knoxville, but when I moved away for college I had no intention of returning. In fact, I told myself I wouldn’t. To me, moving back here would mean I failed. But all those things changed when God changed my perspective.