Back in October 2010 I was celebrating an important birthday in my life. It was ignite's 3rd birthday, the website I have been developing for SU Scotland for the past 4 1/2 years. And I was celebrating by writing a huge report - not a way I'd recommend celebrating just anyone's third birthday!
A Unique Community
It was a good time, however, to reflect upon ignite's first 3 years live and how well it was discipling S1 to S6 teens online. I was therefore really encouraged to find out (through a special birthday survey!) that a large percentage of our regular teenagers said their faith had grown as a consequence of using ignite, and that
ignite was helping them to engage with the Bible. Over half of them also said they were praying for and encouraging others more. This is almost certainly as a result of the high level of peer support that is visibly noticeable when I surf ignite. It is a real testament to the young people I am working with that they have kept ignite's community such a safe and friendly environment even after 3 years online.
My report also contained challenges for the future, the main one being encouraging young people to invest in another community when they are so engrossed in Facebook. I believe there's huge value in being part of both as ignite offers something unique to Facebook: a safe place to meet Christians the same age online who are passionate about pursuing Jesus and who want to discuss what following him means today. On average I see over 120 young people login each week, and my dream for the years ahead is to see this number double, not because numbers make me or SU Scotland look good, but because ignite is a unique online resource that could radically benefit so many more Christian teenagers. I want to see young people grow in their faith and I think ignite is a tremendous online catalyst to help enable this. I wish it had been around when I was a teenager - it would have done wonders for my faith as a Christian teenager!
Check out ignite at www.suignite.org.uk.