“It was really successful last year and we just want to do it again,” Paige said, adding friend McKenzie Vance also has been integral in planning this year’s event, scheduled for July 20. “We’ve been planning it for a while; we knew really wanted to do it right after the first one.”
In January, the team responsible for IGNITE held another, similar, youth event which he said also was successful, with nearly 400 students attending. For IGNITE 2012, more than 450 students attended the event.
Paige said the inspiration to hold the first event came after attending a mission trip.
“I didn’t go on a mission trip this summer, but I still feel there is a higher calling on me and Drew,” Paige said. “... What we’re going to talk about this year is being fearless and being bold. I think we need Jesus in our culture more now than we ever have, so I think it’s really important to get behind a lot of teenagers and a lot of adults and be that driving force to get people out and to share their faith and talk to people.”
He said while the event is for students, parents who attend the event also will benefit from the message.
“It’s more geared to students all the more, so because they’re in school and we try to start it right before school so when people go back to school they’re kind of pumped and prepared to show [their faith],” Paige said. “The people they’re with at school are there for the entire school year, so we try to prepare them to share their faith and also with adults in the workplace.”
The format will be similar to last year’s event with free food starting at 5 p.m. and the doors to the sanctuary opening at 6 p.m.
“At 6:30 [p.m.] we’re going to start getting the ball rolling with the service,” Paige said, adding the service will include music, games and a message that will last about 30 to 40 minutes. “I’m really excited about this year.”
McKaig said last year’s event set the tone for the youth in Bartow County requesting another event.
“Last year we packed out [the church], ... and people kept telling us, ‘Hey, we want to do another thing like IGNITE,’” McKaig said. “But it doesn’t really matter how many people we have, it’s the people who do come that Christ really works in their lives and they start living for him and grow their relationship with him; that’s the most important thing to us. It’s about the lives that have changed for God.”
Paige said the planners of IGNITE will continue outreach for the event through social networking. He is an upcoming junior at Cartersville High School, and McKaig is a 2012 graduate of Cass High School.