Camp Registration!!! Four never looked so good.

After the auditorium filled with staff members, Vanessa Zielinski, the Ignite marketing exec. came on the stage. Using enthusiastic cheerleading vocals and the help of media team member Michael Martin, they pumped up the crowd with a short skit describing why camper count is important. After a drawn out drum roll, the weekly camper count flashed across the screen, and the staff burst into cheers as the number showed four people had already signed up for Ignite 2019.

On February 19, camper registration for Ignineteen officially opened, reminding staff that retreat is only a short time away. While many future campers may not even have knowledge of Ignite Texas yet, staff have been praying for campers since last summer and are excited to meet them.

Staff works all year to ensure camp is successful and campers leave Ignite with community and assurance that they will find a church home and ministry on campus. Throughout the year, the Lord equips our staff to lead incoming students and welcome them into the body of Christ at UT through community and support. After a lot of preparation, staff is always eager to meet the people they have been learning to care for all semester.

The fact that four people have already signed up for retreat less than 24 hours since applications opened up is an incredible joy. Learning four people already know about registration and are eager to learn about Jesus and find community in Austin makes all the work worth it, even if those four were the only campers who signed up for retreat. Luke 15:7 says, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” All of the work and preparation for retreat, would be completely worth it if it meant we would see four people sprint toward God and live a life running after Christ.

BUT IT GETS BETTER!!!

Because we serve a powerful and mighty God, we can confidently say He will provide far more abundantly than we could ever imagine because He loves us and cares for us all so so much! Our staff knows this and experienced the overwhelming joy and satisfaction that comes with following Christ. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

HE DIED FOR US!?! WHY THOUGH?

It is this feeling of incomprehensible love that overflows to the love for our campers and eagerness for them to experience the same kind of love.

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Many of our staff have previously attended Ignite as a camper or worked at camp before and can testify how it changed their lives at college. Having a solid community of people to look to when first arriving on campus is really important. When students have people to lean on while adjusting to college life it makes students feel cared for and the first semester a lot more fun. Because of the people who intentionally poured into their hearts, many of our staff want campers to have the same experience.

Having a time where we can minister to incoming students, worship, learn and experience God’s presence is an amazing opportunity. The campers who sign up for Ignite bond our staff together. We all share a love for Jesus and want to share that love with incoming students. We cannot wait to watch the camper count grow each week and see God answer prayers as the number grows.

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To our campers — we cannot wait to meet you. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Ignite gets counselors: Anticipation for big things to come during “Ignineteen”

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Counselor Landry Allred welcomed by staff during Reveal Tuesday night.

Ignite fall leadership lined the walkway of Burdine 106 Tuesday night, jumping and cheering in excitement. With music playing in the background, co-chairs and prayer team members laughed and danced, waiting to welcome counselors into their new communities. Meanwhile, just outside the heavy, closed doors,139 counselors stood in the lobby dressed in an array of candies and holding boiled eggs, brooms and other obscure objects.

“As a counselor, your role and expectation is to take these incoming students, point them straight to the gospel and to the fact that God has a plan for their lives and show them they are incredibly loved,” said Sam Dunegan, director of Ignite 2019. “The overall big picture is to help these incoming students we are going to have in August find where God wants them to be on campus.”

Counselors form the majority of Ignite staff and hold a key role by directly serving and loving freshmen and acting as small group leaders in August. While co-chairs and prayer team spent the first semester training and building community in the fall, Ignite could not happen without counselors.

After praying and preparing all fall semester, Reveal was finally here. Following a full week of interviews and prospective counselors anxiously awaiting the news, it was finally time to welcome the most important addition to the “Igniteen” staff.

Senior co-chair Sydney Shin said she was “heck-a excited to have counselors.” In previous years, Shin served as a counselor in camp Taco Bell and NBA Jam.

“Experiencing the impact it made completely changed the way I viewed community and gave me people who would support me through everything,” Shin said. “I am looking forward to having another family because my past two camps did that so well for us.”

Standing in the foyer with a hard boiled egg in her hand, freshman Natalie Castiglioni described her enthusiasm about being a part of the Ignite family.  

“I applied because I wanted to experience more of God’s love,” Castiglioni said. “I am excited and expecting this semester to be a lot of fun.”

When asked what she thought the theme of “Ignineteen” was she replied with “candy.”

At 9:30 p.m., the auditorium doors opened and the sound of fall leadership chanting “We -We love – We love our counselors” flooded the foyer as new staff came in.

After a quirky game, counselors sat with their camps and answered a riddle together which scattered them throughout the building to find their core four. During this time, counselors were introduced to the theme of Ignite and the new family they will spend a lot of time with in the coming months.

Near the end of the night, Dunegan formally welcomed spring leadership,speaking about why Ignite is important to him. Dunegan never attended Ignite Texas as a camper and when he entered UT, it was the first time he had been in an environment where  Christianity was viewed as an inconvenience.

Director of Ignite 2019, Sam Dunegan, sharing how important Ignite is to him.

“When I was coming into UT, I had no idea what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be as an individual and what the future held,” Dunegan said. “Then I applied (for counselor), and it was an amazing experience. I had a co-chair who poured a lot of spiritual wisdom into me and I found my friends. The friends that I live with right now I found in Ignite.”

Dunegan said he hopes this year’s staff has an even greater experience than he had as a counselor.

“I want each one of you to experience such fire for God that you have never felt before and continue to develop it throughout the semester,” he said. “These people — your friends — can point you toward God above everything else. Because if that’s not what we are here for, what is? It’s for God, above all else.”

Fall leadership’s winter break

Christmas, New Year and NO SCHOOL. As the fall semester finished up, staff members traveled back home for the break. However, just because school was on pause doesn’t mean growing relationships were. Despite being all over the map, staff members made an effort to make intentional plans to serve the Lord, build relationships and prepare for Ignite together.

 

 Session 2 co-chair Taylor Jerding and prayer team leader Caitlin Silvus attended Passion  Conference 2019 together. 

Passion is a 3-day Christian conference for 18-25 year olds. Each year there are speakers from all over the world to lift up the name of Jesus and encourage and teach the young adult generation. Featured speakers at Passion 2019 included Louie Giglio, pastor at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia and Matt Chandler, President of the Acts29 Network. Worship leaders this year included Hillsong, Crower and Kari Jobe. This year Passion was held January 2-4.

“It was such a wonderful way to start the new year,” Jerding said. “Caitlin and I decided to go to Passion together because she had gone the year before and really loved it. We actually didn’t have tickets and it was sold out, but we found super cheap tickets the week before and it worked out perfectly!”

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Post from Taylor’s Instagram about Passion 2019. 

“His name is a light that the shadows can’t deny. Passion’19 was so refreshing and it was wonderful to hear Jesus speak so clearly and beautifully!!! Also can’t wait to party with Jesus on NYE this year in Georgia #passion19 #andymineoSTAN” -@oneneatlady

Passion Conference was founded with the verse Isaiah 26:8 on their hearts, specifically the last phrase, “For your name and renown are the desire of our souls.” Passion Conference focuses on God’s glory and teaching that God is most glorified in us when we live lives that are fully satisfied in Him.

“Something I learned at Passion is that one of the best ways to glorify God is by being fully alive and not getting caught up in guilt, shame, and anxiety,” Jerding said. “This will help me in Ignite to not worry about failing in my position as co-Chair. Instead, I’m going to focus on being present and loving my counselors and campers to the fullest extent.”

“My favorite memory from Passion was definitely Andy Mineo’s performance. I didn’t know that I was such a big fan of Christian rap until I saw that man go off,” Jerding said. “It was really funny because I was jumping and dancing around and there was this older dude sitting next to me standing so awkwardly. Later during the lunch break he was like “Wow, you youngsters really like Andy Mineo!”. It was so funny.”

Prayer team leader Tanya Van Zante, co-chair leader JT Dahill and media team members Illiana Parker and Caroline Betik went to Canada to volunteer with Redfrogs.  

Red Frogs is an organization that originated in Australia in 1997 and soon spread to Canada and other countries around the world. According to the website, Red Frogs mission is to, “provide positive peer presence in alcohol-fueled environments where young people gather, educate them on safe partying behaviors, and promote and provide non-alcoholic and/or diversionary activities that engage them in these environments.” 

During the trip, the team of volunteers were assigned to attend 17 parties and spent most of their time in clubs surrounded by party goers serving water and granola bars and fostering relationships that revealed genuine care and concern for their wellbeing.

Session 2 co-chair, JT Dahill said one thing he learned from the trip was the importance of being spiritually rooted in Christ to be prepared to handle unpredictable circumstances and efficiently work and support each other in prayer at all times.

“Our team went to some very dark environments that are very troublesome places to be for Christians,” Dahill said. “Starting off spiritually rooted helped our team bond immediately and enabled us to be very cohesive from the start because of our shared identity in Christ.”   

Because Red Frogs come to serve, it often creates opportunity for questions, especially with a team from hundreds of miles away.

“You must not be having a lot of fun at these parties sober, huh?”

“What do you think about all this? You must be hard core judging us right now?”

“You’re from TEXAS? Why are you HERE? Are you getting credit for this or something?”

All of these questions provided an excellent way to share the gospel and show them how much the team and God cares for them.

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Post from JT’s Instagram about the trip 

“I can’t thank God enough for the opportunity to serve the people of Canada with this amazing team.” -jtdahill_98

“Over time, word got around to the students that we were from Texas and they wanted to know why we came all the up to serve and care for them,” Dahill said. “We told them we were there to share the love that Christ has for them and some of us even had the opportunity to share the gospel and keep up with them after the trip.”

Dahill said he can hone in many of the things he learned, including remaining rooted in Christ and sharing the gospel, to lead his camp in a God centered way that will help everyone become closer to Jesus and to each other.

 “It can be very scary and dangerous for a believer starting off at college to not have a spiritually rooted community to support them in their first semester,” Dahill said. “The Lord has given me the opportunity to lead a strong Christ centered camp within Ignite Texas and I look forward to supporting my camp with the lessons learned during our trip.” 

 

 

 

Hello 2019!!!!

WowWowWow! December seemed to go by in a flash and so did 2018! Happy New Year!!!

God did SO MUCH in 2018! Just think, we cannot even begin to list out half of the things God did for Ignite Texas last year, yet alone the entire country or world. His love and grace has no bounds and to be able to tangibly see His work in our life is a blessing.

Here is just a small portion of what God DID last year in Ignite Texas.

 

 

  • Countless eternal relationships were formed between staff members and campers
  • We welcomed a record 300+ campers to Ignite 2018
  • Over 100s of prayers were tallied answered in the prayer room over 8 days of camp
  • We began forming new community for Ignineteen by welcoming Fall Leadership

With all God did for our undeserving hearts in 2018,  it is time to welcome in a new year of learning about the Lord.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2nd Corinthians 5:17

Let us make 2019 a year worth living. A year filled with serving and worshiping the Lord and growing and eagerness to be more like Jesus. One filled with discipleships, repentance, community, grace and all the beatitudes. Let us make 2019 a year dedicated t getting to know Him more and telling others about his unending love for us.

We are so excited to continue to strive for these things in the new year with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and to watch God work in indescribable ways through our lives and through Ignite Texas this year.

Because God blessed us with a long winter break there are only a few VERY important dates to keep in mind.

Here’s whats happening in January 2019.

  • The start of the spring semester January 22
  • Counselor applications due January 25
  • Counselor Applications Due January 25
  • COUNSELOR APPLICATIONS DUE JANUARY 25

 YES YOU!

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APPLY!!

Link to apply: www.ignitetexas.org/apply

 

 

Top 4 Reasons to Apply to be an Ignite Counselor

With Ignite counselor application season approaching, we were curious: why is being an Ignite counselor so stinkin’ cool? So we went around and asked a bunch of previous staff members why they love Ignite so much, and here’s what they told us:

1. You can be silly…

…and you won’t be judged! In fact, silliness is encouraged. (Thank goodness, right?)

One of our first events is Camp Reveal, a wildly memorable adventure that places recently chosen counselors into their camps (if you don’t know what those are, don’t worry—we’ll get to that in a bit). Now imagine getting a call from a member of Ignite leadership who tells you to show up in a certain building on a certain day at a certain time because you’ve officially been chosen to be an Ignite counselor. When you do show up at that building on that day at that time, we could very well sit you and your 120 soon-to-be closest friends down in an auditorium and list off your names to separate you into these smaller camp groups—but would that be fun? Absolutely not! (You might even miss your own name because you fell asleep around the forty-second person.) No, instead, when you’re called, you’re also assigned a unique uniform, ranging from an eighty-year-old woman on her way to a birthday party to a Lego.

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From there, chaos ensues until you’ve officially been sorted into your camp for the year. (And by chaos, we really do mean chaos. Catherine Valadez, a former counselor, said of her experience, “I was really confused for it all, but it was fun! I just didn’t know what was happening.”) And good news: the craziness doesn’t end with Reveal—the fun times permeate throughout Ignite like joy on Christmas morning.

2. You will meet your new best friends

Remember that group of people you were just sorted into? That’s your camp! With a crazy name that fits into the larger Ignite theme for the year (hint: last year’s was fast food restaurants) and your four leadership members (aka your Core Four) to guide you, you’re all set to start building some sick friendships. But before you skip over to the next reason because you’re thinking, “Oh, yeah—community—duh,” hear this: the community that you will gain with Ignite will go deeper and farther than you could even imagine. A few months down the road, you’ll stop for a moment and reflect on your time with these fellow students who are pursuing Jesus with you and think, “Wow. These people were once strangers to me and now look at how Lord has used them to impact my life.” And let me tell you: it’s those kind of moments that will get real sappy, real fast.

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3. We’re uniting the Body of Christ at UT

“The vision of Ignite is to work towards uniting the Body of Christ together as we seek to glorify the Lord on the UT campus.” As formal as that vision statement may sound, there is a lot of truth behind those words. Ignite is a increasingly diverse student organization in that we seek to incorporate members from every other Christian student organization on campus so that we can give our campers a truly representative picture of the Christian community at UT.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”

Philippians 1:27

We work not towards a uniformity in which each member of our organization is exactly like the next, washing out any sense of individuality, but towards a unity in which each unique individual brings their gifts to form one stinkin’ cool coalition that strives in one spirit and one mind for a common purpose to ultimately glorify God.

4. Campers!!!

PSA: that common purpose is our campers! We aspire to glorify the Lord by serving incoming students as we show them their first glimpse of the Body of Christ at the University of Texas. As counselors, you become a huge part of your campers lives as they transition into their new college adventure, continuing their relationship with the Lord. Lauren Peters, a member of our 2018 leadership, said, “I remember being a camper and struggling with some really tough issues my freshman year. I returned as a counselor, and literally one year later, I was able to help my campers through some of the same issues that I dealt with a year before.” The really cool thing is that Lauren’s story was a common theme among conversations with other previous counselors that we talked to. We as an organization get to pour into these new students in the most servant-hearted way that models the love of Christ—and counselors are on the front end of that overflow. How cool is that?!

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Bonus Reason: Quali-T-Shirts (Haha, get it?)

Ask anyone who has been on staff before: you will receive at least three quality tees to sport around your daily life as a walking advertisement for Ignite—and, more importantly, for Christ! What more could you ask for?

In all seriousness, though, Ignite Leadership has been fervently praying for this year’s counselors for months now, and we absolutely can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for Ignite 2018. That being said, we’re searching for awesome counselors who are wanting to serve and love freshmen in their small groups in August and…

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WE WANT YOU TO APPLY!!!

Apply here by Friday, January 19th at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please feel free contact Matt Stone at director@ignitetexas.org.

7 Easy Steps for Smart Online Shopping

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Attention all holiday shoppers: the holiday shopping season is upon us! There is only one month (I repeat: ONE MONTH!!!) until Christmas day, and the pressure of getting the perfect presents to give all your loved ones is starting to set in.

To reduce the stress that is known to accompany this season, we’re here with a few pro-tips to make your online shopping a more valuable experience for everyone involved.

1. Open your web browser

Safari or Chrome, mobile or laptop—take your pick!

2. Visit AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

3. Sign into your Amazon account

Yes, you can use the same account on Amazon Smile as you do at Amazon.com. Everything is the same—your shopping cart, WishList, wedding or baby registry will all conveniently connect with no extra steps!

4. Select Ignite Texas

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Now, you can choose from nearly one million organizations to support. We know that’s a lot of possibilities, so we’ve made it easy by narrowing down your options. Search for and select Ignite Texas, and proceeds from your purchase will go towards making Ignite Texas 2018 the best yet and it’s NO EXTRA COST!

5. Go about your normal online shopping

Once you’ve completed steps 1-4, you’re ready to start shopping even smarter than you already were! YAY! (You’re welcome.)

6. Bookmark AmazonSmile on your computer or mobile device

Go ahead and add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com on your web browser to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Remember, this link is accessible all year round, and we would appreciate your donations on future non-holiday purchases, too!

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7. Spread the word

So now that you have all this knowledge on how to shop online with intelligence, you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Should I hoard this information, keeping it only to myself?” Hint: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Tell your friends, roommates, siblings, classmates, co-workers, pets, extended relatives—but most importantly, don’t forget to tell your mom. (She’s your biggest supporter, you know.) And if you’re not sure exactly how to spread the news, just start singing loud for all to hear! (Although, sharing this post on Facebook would probably be more effective.)

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If you’ve made it this far, let me be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You did it!!!

We’re so thankful for you and your financial support. If you have any questions about finances, please contact Erica Wheatley at financial@ignitetexas.org. In the meantime, here’s a bonus step.

Bonus step: Pray for us!

While you support us financially, don’t forget to spend time in prayer over our 2018 staff—that we would unite the Body of Christ and serve the incoming freshman class as we seek to glorify the Lord on the UT campus—and the campers—that He would prepare their hearts for the Christian community set before them as they transition into college next fall.

Finally, from our Ignite Texas family to you, we wish you a very merry Christmas season that celebrates the birth of our Savior above all else.

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Don’t Take Our Word—Take Theirs

A little over a month ago, we gave you the Top 4 Reasons to Apply to be an Ignite Counselor. In case you missed it, the application closes this Friday, and with the deadline so quickly approaching, you may still be wondering: why is being an Ignite counselor so stinkin’ cool? Well, you’re in luck because we recently went insta-snooping on the Ignite Community to read about their #ignitetexas2017 experience. Here’s what they said:

Hannah & Kylie: “Blessed”

 

“How blessed am I that God gave me a camp that was so lit that you can see the tots flaming from across the world!!!!! God has moved in such obvious ways this week alone in these beautiful humans and I can’t wait to see what He does in their freshman year. #ignitetexas2017 #campsonic” –@h_ongg

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“I have never loved a group of people more in my life. And I can honestly say that love comes from the love of Christ. He has blessed me with the most amazing camp & the best girls for my small group. God answered so many prayers this week by putting y’all in my life and building relationships over the last week that I didn’t think would be possible. #Royalty #BurgerKing #IgniteTexas2017” –@kylie_joe22

Melanie: “I’d like to thank not only God but Jesus”

“I’d like to thank not only God but Jesus (and Ignite) for putting these galpals into my life!!! they radiate Christ’s love and they always point me back to Jesus – what more could a girl ask for? so glad we have the rest of eternity together :’) #actualeternity #becauseofJesus” –@melanie_looper

 

“y’all. these are my girls. they are such an answered prayer. what a blessing it was to lead them in this small group. Ignite, thanks for being incredible and letting me see a glimpse of Christ’s love through these two sweet girls!!! (ft. me modeling the 1 hour and 20 mins of sleep look) #IgniteTexas2017” –@melanie_looper

Jared: MIND BLOWN

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“Update: THEY SURPASSED ALL EXPECTATIONS AND THEY BLOW MY MIND AT HOW INCREDIBLE THEY ARE.” –@jared_standefear_me

Michael: “WOW”

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“WOW what an incredible week. Just as I thought camp Jack in the Box was as tight as it could possibly be, our campers showed up and showed us there’s no limit. Loved getting to spend the week with these incredible people and see God answer all 5,000 of my prayers this week. Lord you are so good. SIGN UP FOR IGNITE #rushbox #jackjackturnup #jitb #thatsthecampyouwannabe #cheddarcheeseallonmyface” –@michael.h.m

Bethany: “T H E S E. P E O P L E.”

 

“T H E S E . P E O P L E .
words cheapen the things that were done at Ignite this year. how many times did I fall apart and these people picked me up? how many times did our campers blow us away with their faith? a simple answer: countless. our hashtag local brand of a camp is beyond ready to do life together this fall in the name of Jesus” –@bethany_goad

Laney: God is GOOD

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“I cannot stress how GOOD my God is!!! Still amazed that he picked me to serve our new freshmen alongside these wonderful people!!” –@cone_cones

Jacob: “It was a privilege”

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“WE ARE CAMP WHATA!!! I’m a tad late, but I had a great last week with an amazing staff, campers, and an even more amazing God. It was a privilege to come serve you guys! Thanks for all the fun and laughs! #TRICHITILIDIE #IgniteTexas” –@jacobgarza3

Morgan: “What a joy”

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“God’s faithfulness and love never cease to amaze me! What a joy it has been to be surrounded by such amazing followers of Christ.” –@morgan_mill

Kate: “PTL 4 IGNITE AMIRITE??”

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“these people guys!!!! they allow me to rest in who I am and whose I am, always. whether I’m being spunky & crazy kate & ~lovingly~ bossing everyone around or sharing the depths & hurts of my heart, this group ALWAYS shows me that I am not “too much” & that I am enough!!! you are all gems!!! PTL 4 IGNITE AMIRITE??” –@sippin_on_k8terade

You’re so right, Kate: Praise the Lord for Ignite because He has faithfully used this ministry for His glory through our staff time after time. He has continually done far more abundantly than we could ever imagine—any past staff member will attest to that with stories that will blow your mind and relationships that cannot be described in words.

Make one of the best decisions with your time at UT and APPLY TO BE A COUNSELOR!!! We cross our hearts you won’t regret it.

Applications are live through this Friday, January 19th at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please feel free contact Matt Stone at director@ignitetexas.org.

P.S. Want to see more sick posts about Ignite? Search our hashtags: #Applyforignite #IgniteTexas #IgniteTexas2018