With school, society, student organizations and work, most BJU students have packed schedules. It becomes increasingly more difficult to take time out of the week and be in community with other people around God’s Word.
Ignite is the perfect opportunity for students to disconnect from the past week and join in community.
Scheduled on select Fridays nights each semester, Ignite lets the student body play sports, eat s’mores and share testimonies outside of their usually planned day.
Vice president for student development and discipleship Alan Benson and student leadership coordinator Matthew Weathers saw the need for a space where worn-out students could blow off some steam.
“Bob Jones University is a very, very, very, very, very busy place,” said Weathers. “Often times we’re so busy with school or other responsibilities that our time in the Word and our time with other people gets cut short.”
One of Benson’s focuses when he started his position was creating an aspect of the student experience that was “fairly unstructured but purposely intentional.” He wanted to bring people together not only for recreation, but around God’s Word. During a meeting between Benson, Weathers and Student Leadership Council event coordinator Natalie Larsen, the idea of Ignite sparked.
The name of the event came to Weathers during that meeting. Scripture often compares God’s Word to a light in our lives (Matt. 5:16 and Ps. 119:105). Jesus shone light on his disciples, who spread the fire to the rest of the world.
“My dad used to say ‘one tree can make a million matches, but one match can burn a million trees,’ ” said Weathers.
The flame of Jesus’ ministry is alive and touching millions around the world. Weathers knows that “if our little effort with this event can help students grow in their relationship with Christ and their love for one another, there’s no limit to how God can use us around the world, to make disciples and fulfill His Great Commission.”
Past versions of the event have already started a fire in the student body. At the first Ignite, a freshman student got saved. Larsen, who coordinates the event, said “[the SLC] didn’t plan for it to be evangelistic in nature.” But God used the powerful testimonies shared that night to touch that student. Larsen said that was enough. “Even if we never did an Ignite again, this was worth it.”
The bar was set high that night, but students still show up, pray with each other and openly praise the Lord. “I love to sit on the side and watch people get to worship and have fun,” said Larsen. “This is college. People should have fun.”
The next Ignite, which is scheduled during Bruins Daze, is bigger than ever. Larsen invites students to “come out and be willing to be the difference in someone’s life. You never know how God is going to use you.”
From 10 p.m. to midnight March 8, the Activity Center will be ignited.