When youth gathered at the five IGNITE Communities groups in early March to worship, talk, pray and share a meal together, no one could imagine that this would be one of the last large gatherings of its kind. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the physical distancing it is creating, will not stop Next Generation Ministries stretch their connection to youth as teams are already working to schedule online IGNITE Communities in early May.
“IGNITE Communities has been a great experience for so many, and now we get to continue that energy, healthy conversation and connection to God in a different way,” said Next Gen’s Executive Director Eric Drew. “We didn’t want our youth to lose that connection, especially now when they need support more than ever before.”
In early March, the five groups met at Trinity UMC In Hackettstown, Calvary Korean UMC In East Brunswick, First UMC of Toms River, Haddonfield UMC and the new location of Asbury UMC in Atlantic City. They shared stories in small groups, listened to sermons and engaged in activities specifically designed for each group.
Now those teens along with many others who are eager to connect will be able to re-ignite In early May when the Next Gen team hosts one IGNITE Communities via Facebook Live so that the cohesiveness of stories that makes the IGNITE program so special can continue. It’s the stories woven together that the teens bring with them, sometimes sharing with others, that give all that happens meaning and makes it all matter.
This is what IGNITE Communities online will bring.
These regular youth worship nights that stemmed from the original IGNITE conference bring churches and youth groups together for fun and spiritual growth.
For details and to access valuable coronavirus resources, visit gnjnextgen.org/ignite-communities/.