This is life or death

No really.

Fuel is required to survive. And as life comes at each of us 1,357 mph, we know our fuel supply quickly evaporates. We need more.

We must ReFuel. Or risk dying on the road.

And, at Ignition, we REALLY believe that middle school small group gatherings are absolutely life giving and death defeating.

Knowing Jesus personally and forming spiritual friendships allows each of us to be changed. Our small groups create an environment of acceptance, loving honesty and biblical truth. We focus on really diving into God’s word and learning how to explore and study on our own, believing that this prepares us for a long, healthy and authentic spiritual journey.

Our leadership team is rolling out an incredible curriculum from YouthMinistry360 called The Thread.

The Thread will completely change how your student sees the bible in two very specific ways.

First, your student will learn the big-picture story of Scripture. So many of us simply don’t have a grasp of the narrative of the Bible. Key characters. Key events. Few of us understand how these elements fit into the story of God and His people. The Thread aims to change this.
Second, your student will learn what the Gospel is, and how it literally courses through the narrative of the Bible. Not only will your student learn the story of the Bible, but they will see that it is a story of unfailing love, as God seeks from the beginning of Creation to draw humankind to Him through the grace of the Gospel.

In addition, this year, we will have three very specific types of groups:

Starting Point

Designed for our brand new 6th grade students. Each gender specific group has dedicated leaders, a flexible schedule and loads of interactive challenges.

Foundations

7th and 8th graders will find themselves challenged to go a little further and a little deeper in their gender specific groups.

Growth

This co-ed group is limited in size and is available by sign-up only. The curriculum is intensified; there will be homework and a devotional. Don’t worry – this isn’t AP Calculus. This group is designed to help students take personal responsibility for their spiritual health and maturity.

So, please be sure to sign up your student here and be sure to indicate whether or not they would like to consider the Growth group.

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Life is Uncontrollable

In life we often find ourselves blindsided by changes in our circumstances and life conditions. Death. Serious illness. Divorce. Relocation. Abuse. Tragic loss. And, as hard as it is for us as individuals to navigate those waters, as parents, we sometimes struggle to find the right words or actions to help our children through them.

If we are honest, much of what has shaped us have been events and circumstances beyond our control.

Dr. Wayne Evans, a professional counselor with incredible personal and professional experience in this realm, will be speaking on how to make it through events in a family’s life that are beyond our direct control, or the control of our children, yet affect  them in powerful ways for the rest of their lives.

Join us on Wednesday, April 22 from 7-9pm for a completely free event with Dr. Evans. It’s a great event to invite others to be a part of as well. We do ask that you take just a few moments to register so that we can plan appropriately. Just CLICK HERE to do that.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dating (**gasp**) in Middle School? NEW SERIES starts April 26

Relationships are a joy. But they can also be painful, devastating, all consuming and overwhelming. As parents, we know this all too well and some of us try to do everything we can to protect our children from the possible pain of breakups, emotional rollercoasters and those girls or guys we are certain are nothing but trouble. In fact, most of us joke that there’s no way our little girl/boy will date until they hit 30!

But the truth is, they will date eventually and this can be a good thing.

What isn’t a good thing is when our kids allow any one relationship to define who they are so much that when the relationship dissolves, they are left broken and feeling like they have lost a sense of who they are.

What isn’t a good thing is when our kids allow any one relationship to define who they are so much that when the relationship dissolves, they are left broken and feeling like they have lost a sense of who they are. Even worse is when they feel like a failure because of their relational mistakes. And sometimes we as parents do more to make them feel like their mistakes are insurmountable than we do to encourage them with forgiveness.

Let’s be honest. There are more than a few areas in life where a crash course would be helpful.

Relationships with the opposite sex is certainly one of those areas. For a lot of students, “dating” is something they just fall into—they think they are old enough to do it, so they do. And, whether we like it or not, whether we have prohibitions and age restrictions in place or not, often our kids talk about “dating” someone when all it amounts to is texting, saying hi in the halls, or sitting together at lunch.

Instead of pretending dating just doesn’t happen in Middle School, let’s be frank and make church a safe and appropriate place to talk about this stuff.

The Bible has a LOT to say and it’s important that we unpack this in a healthy way.

Just because they are in the thick of the most hormonal and relationally charged stage of life, doesn’t mean they have a CLUE about how to “date” well.

Just because they are in the thick of the most hormonal and relationally charged stage of life, doesn’t mean they have a CLUE about how to “date” well.They need to learn the basics. They need to understand the fundamentals. They need a crash course on relationships with the opposite sex (particularly when they “like like” someone), and we want to give it to them.

So the question we want to be answering these next couple of weeks is, if we could pick the top three things we want students to know as they prepare for this season of life where “dating”, or getting ready to date, plays such a huge role, what would those three things be?

  • What do we look for?
  • How do we know when it is time to end it—and then how do we go about ending it?
  • What do we do when we find ourselves with single status? (which, by the way, is EVERYONE’S status at 12 years old – just sayin’)

These are the basics. Our way of beginning at square one. And the hope is, with the right start, their time spent “dating” will set the course for their future relationships in the right direction.

Stay tuned as we keep more information coming your way each week on the above topics. Feel free to ask questions and even come on downstairs on a Sunday morning!

March ReFuel Series: Jesus in Tough Times

We are starting a new series tomorrow night called, “Jesus and the Tough Times.” We are spending our time really talking about where the Lord is when things go wrong. It was a great discussion about some hard things.

This week, the lesson is entitled “The God Who Listens” and it focuses on understanding that when we experience tough times, we can and should express their emotions to God in real, honest ways.

We will look at the following Scripture passages:
  • Matthew 26:36-46
  • Hebrews 5:7

This is the recounting of how Jesus talked to God in the Garden right before He was arrested. It’s a powerful example of how Jesus called, cried and was open with the Father about how He was feeling.

Next Steps . . .

Here are some of the questions you may want to be processing for the rest of the week..

  • Do you feel like that it is easy or hard for you to be honest with God about what you’re feeling?
  • Do you feel like hearing more about the way Jesus was honest with God might be helpful? Why or why not?
  • What are you going to do in trying to be more honest with God about the way you are feeling about life?
By asking questions and looking more closely at the things that we are maybe a little afraid of – or that make us a little uncomfortable, we can begin to develop a faith that lasts for our entire lifetime and a relationship with Jesus that is unshakable.

February series: Judgement Call

When was the last time you had to make a tough call?

Was it when deciding what to eat for lunch? To drink Coke or Pepsi? Go to the gym or skip it? The truth is, we make judgment calls all day long, from what we watch on TV or who we hang out with to more complicated decisions like whether to attend a party or stick with a tough friendship. And, in every decision, we’re forced to ask the question, “Which option is better?”

The problem is, our natural tendency to judge leaks into places it shouldn’t—like our relationships.

We start thinking of people as options and deciding which ones are better or worse. Many of us are even tempted to make those judgments about ourselves. Unfortunately, most of the time, we make decisions about people without all the facts. We don’t know someone’s whole story, their whole situation, or their whole potential. We miss the big picture. Maybe that’s why, in the Bible, God makes it super clear:

Judgment is His call. Not ours.

In this series, we’ll be taking a closer look at three individuals in the Bible and how they faced judgement. The nameless woman caught in a compromising situation (um, adultery), Rahab and Paul all wrestled with judgement in one form or another: judgement by the holier-than-thous, by a reputation, and by their own personal standards of perfection.

Their stories speak to the heart of why it’s so easy to judge, and so dangerous.

So, join us starting February 1st as we work through this nasty mess of judgement.

It could be the most freeing thing you hear all year!

What about the Darker Side?

Important Parent Opportunity

Parenting a student, Middle or High School, is definitely not easy. There is a darker side to life as a student in today’s culture that threatens to eclipse even the happiest and healthiest parent-teen relationships.

Depression, self-harm and suicide is undeniably rampant in the world of our students.

They are surrounded by the voices of pain, hurt, confusion and self-loathing. And, more often than not, we don’t know how to respond to our own child’s inner wounds, hoping and praying that they do not develop in to outer ones.

Sometimes, we wrestle with what to do all alone – never reaching out to those around us who are available, qualified and willing to walk along side us as we parent our depressed and hurting student.

We’d like to help. In part two of our Parent Symposium series, we will walk into that darker world with the help of a trained professional. Bill Wheelhouse has a Masters from Regent University in Human Services Counseling, and has been involved in youth ministry for over 24 years. His many certifications include Member of the American Association of Christian Counselors since 2012, Certificate in Spiritual Care in Crisis Management from the International Critical Incident Foundation, Ministry Director Celebrate Recovery Cedarbrook Community Church, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Teen Factor and Crisis Chaplin for Montgomery County Emergency Preparedness Collation.

Plan to join us on Wednesday, January 28 at 7pm for a Symposium on A Darker Side. The event is totally free, a casual, conversational environment and there will be light refreshments.

Please take just a few moments to register right here.

We so value your partnership and look forward to sharing this special opportunity with you.

Jonathan Der and Heather Nicholson, Seneca Creek Student Ministry

HOOP it up!

It’s officially ignition Basketball Season!

Many of you already know I am a big time college hoops fan (ok – big time Hoyas fan). But even THAT doesn’t compare to the basketball season in ignition! I love seeing the students encourage each other in practice and in the games. I love getting to hang out with parents and families, seeing the way you all love on and build up your own, and cheer for and embrace the other students.

It’s like one gigantic 3 month long “Hug-Five”!

So, if you have never come out for a middle school basketball game, you may think I am a teense bit crazy. You may think that anyway. But trust me on this one…

From January-March, there are VERY few better places to be than courtside for one of these games.

Below, you’ll find the schedule. We have two teams this year, both amazing, and four amazing adults involved in the skill support and spiritual development of each of these students. I would like to ask for your help in one specific area in addition to coming out to the games.

1/10/15
6:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. Cedarbrook                 Rocky Hill MS
7:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. DRCC                         Rocky Hill MS
1/17/15
7:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. Greenridge                Rocky Hill MS
8:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. DRCC                           Rocky Hill MS
 1/24/15
8:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. Redeemer Lutheran     Rocky Hill MS
8:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. Redland Baptist         Greenridge Baptist Church
1/31/15
6:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. Greenridge Baptist     Rocky Hill MS
7:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. Cedarbrook                Rocky Hill MS
2/7/15
5:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs Cedarbrook                  Greenridge Baptist Church
6:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. DUMC                       Rocky Hill MS
8:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. DUMC                          Rocky Hill MS
8:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. DRCC                         Greenridge Baptist Church
2/14/15
7:00PM          SC3Ignition White vs. Redeemer Lutheran            Rocky Hill MS
8:00PM          SC3Ignition Blue vs. Redland Baptist                      Rocky Hill MS
2/21/15
6:00PM          SC3Igntion Blue vs. SC3Ignition White       Rocky Hill MS

As we get ready for this coming Saturday’s debut games, and as the season continues,

Would you please be praying for us?

Not for victory (although we’ll welcome that as it comes) but for our students and leaders to be transformed in to being more like Jesus through this season. For safety, security and community. For an opportunity to share with others this experience and God’s hand in our lives in this process.

Maybe, just maybe, you can’t make the game this week. Ok. I get that. You’ve got a lot of other weeks to choose from! So, I hope to see you in the bleachers at least once this winter!

In the meantime, be sure to check out our slideshow from recent practices!

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