After a year break due to COVID-19 restrictions, California Southern Baptist youth assembled for Ignition, California Southern Baptist Convention’s annual state youth conference, at Magnolia Church in Riverside.
This year CSBC joined forces with Student Leadership University to bring the Lift Tour to the west coast. RJ McCauley, youth pastor at Magnolia Church and CSBC’s state youth liaison, has been revisioning the gathering away from an annual conference to “a youth movement,” challenging students to use their unique circumstances and skills for the Kingdom. “If you don’t have non-Christian friends, get some!” McCauley declared from the stage. “How else are they going to hear about Jesus?”
Worship during the Jan. 21-22 was led by For All Seasons and D.A. Horton and Jeff Wallace were the two main speakers.
Wallace and Horton led students through the story of Abraham in Genesis showing attendees the importance of listening to God, trusting God, and following Him even when circumstances don’t make sense. Students were encouraged to trust and celebrate God’s provision in Christ.
In the final sessions, students were faced with the paradigm shift from what once seemed impossible to possible through God’s great redemption story. As a result, students flooded the alter in faith to accept God’s call on their lives.
On day two, in between the main sessions, students were invited to attend breakout sessions hitting relevant issues for today’s youth such as: identity, anxiety, biblical truth in an LGBTQ world, evangelism and more.
Jason Blankenship, CSBC evangelism team leader called the event “A success in every way we can measure.” While it is believed that COVID-19 kept a few churches from attending, CSBC celebrated the 518 students who were on site, the 100 plus who watched online and the 50 students who made professions of faith over the two-day event, two of which who were online decisions.
CSBC is planning to host Ignition at two locations in 2023 to accommodate churches throughout the state. More details will be available in the months ahead.