Throughout my years of teaching, I have attended various conferences. A majority of the time I walk away thinking of different things I could have spent my time on that would have been more beneficial. When I walked into my first Ignite conference four years ago, I expected the same outcome. Boy, was I wrong!

A main purpose of any conference is to hear great speakers and attend meaningful workshops. Ignite’s keynote speakers are top names in ministry. They are relevant to today’s world and offer practical strategies for any size church. Ignite’s workshops are also practical and a lot of fun because the presenters are real people doing real ministry and are not just trying to sell you something.

Beyond the speakers and the workshops, though, Ignite offers something that many children’s leaders miss—the opportunity for worship. As a children’s pastor, I seldom have the chance to really worship without thinking through my upcoming lesson or having the nursery attendant call me out of the service for an issue. Having the time that Ignite offers me to really focus on God and my own personal walk is a true gift.

Ignite offers something that many children’s leaders miss—the opportunity for worship

There is no doubt that Ignite is a conference designed specifically for those in children’s ministry. While there are great praise and worship opportunities and amazing workshops and general sessions, there is also plenty of time carved out for merriment. Whether it is making huge, giant bubbles or competing in crazy bowling or running around a shopping mall on a photo scavenger hunt—Ignite participants always have a great time!

But the thing that makes Ignite unique lies in the friendships and relationships that are formed there. It can be easy to feel alone in ministry. Many times we feel that others in our lives just don’t understand the struggles we face. Additionally for those of us in children’s ministry, our congregations typically see the times when we are playing, having fun, and being silly. They don’t know the frustration of that Saturday night phone call or the pain we feel when we pray with or for a hurting child. They don’t see the hours put in behind the scenes prepping and planning and organizing. But those around your table at Ignite do understand. They’ve been there.

I have made lifelong friends, found amazing mentors, and been inspired from my experiences at Ignite. We have laughed together, cried together, celebrated together, and prayed together. I am looking forward to October this year. I can’t wait to be energized, inspired, and renewed. I can’t wait for my passion of children’s ministry to be ignited and burn even brighter. I hope to see you there!

Angie Hancock
District Children’s Ministry Leader
Children’s Pastor
Corona, California

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