“Come” was the theme for the Ignite Conference 2017 held last September 21-24 in Brisbane. This topic was drawn out in morning praise music, the main talks and the night rally sessions as well. It encompassed the idea of coming to God in all brokenness, fragility, and hardship, especially as youth facing the ever-changing world and society today. We were also really inspired to place our trust in God, even when the outcome cannot always be seen.
I enjoyed going to the different keynote and workshop sessions. There was such a variety of relevant and faith building topics presented to the participants. All the speakers expressed to everyone their passion and knowledge and were all open to answering questions and chatting after the session. Their openness and availability provided a fantastic way for people to further understand the topic, with someone who had studied or had experience.
During my time running the Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelisation stall at the Ignite Expo, I had the opportunity to speak to many different people, most of them being young people. From these chats, I could see that Ignite was a place for them to learn about faith, youth ministry, vocations, or discover places for them to study faith further and meet like-minded people. It was an opportunity for them to grow and develop their faith, and receive answers to many difficult questions that related to faith, in a safe and accepting environment. It took me a little while to get used to the whole conference with it being a new experience. The more I focussed on the opportunity rather than on what I thought of what was going on; I could see past my perceptions and allow myself to be more open to the conference.
Even though I had a different opinion on certain aspects of the conference, I learnt that we had to be open and take it to prayer and continue to learn and develop that knowledge. It is only then that we can share that experience with other young people so they can have the same opportunity to encounter God and form a relationship with Him.
The Ignite team worked hard to offer a place for young people to gather in a faith-filled environment. Reflecting on the theme “Come”, the conference gave us a chance us to let go and let God enter into our lives, as one of the speakers had pointed out. Not only did this experience allow me to learn more about my faith, but to meet other young people who are searching for a relationship with God. Then I realised that this opportunity should be open to more young people so they too can have a chance to discover themselves and their faith. An experience to understand the importance of faith and spiritual development in their lives through God.
By Stephanie Burns
Stephanie is a full-time student at Acts 2 College of Mission and Evangelisation, studying Certificate IV in Catholic Youth Ministry. She actively volunteers as a youth leader with 24:7 Youth Ministry. In her spare time, she loves going for walks, spending time with her family and friends. Movies, books and music are three of her favourite things.