The Ignite Challenge: Faith in Action through Service-Learning

Students at Christian schools learn how to put their faith in action through World Vision's Ignite Challenge, a service-learning project that helps meaningful educational experiences come to life.
Meaningful educational experiences matter

Students today crave purpose. With the freedom, time, and support they need to pour their hearts and minds into a project that matters, it’s amazing what can transpire. Through service-learning, we enable students to put their faith in action to create positive, lasting change. But with so many responsibilities pulling Christian educators in different directions, how do we provide these opportunities? How do we incorporate more meaningful educational experiences to help shape the character of our students? The Ignite Challenge can help.

A partnership like no other

The Ignite Challenge engages students in researching — and solving — an issue of poverty or injustice in their own community. This experience is just one component of World Vision Ignite, a partnership created for schools that helps shape students into global leaders with a biblical worldview through cross-cultural relationships, challenging academics, and meaningful experiences.  Benefiting from World Vision’s 71 years of experience, Ignite partners with schools around the U.S. to empower young people to create lasting change, wherever they are.

“Feed my sheep”

We all know that God calls his followers to love one another in big ways, and to help those in need. In the Gospels, we see time and again the way Jesus cared for people that had been ignored or blatantly cast out. He saw the unseen. He valued the forgotten. And he gave love to the unloved, from the sick woman who touched Jesus’ garment, to the paralyzed man at the pool. He commanded his followers to do likewise, saying “Feed my sheep” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 25 tells us that anytime we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the sick or imprisoned, we’re doing these things for Jesus.

As Christians, we gain a sense of connectedness by serving as the hands and feet of Jesus. We feel a fulfilling of our purpose. This is true of all of us, no matter what age we are. As mentors and leaders in Christian education, we help young people come to understand the Bible. But we also need to give them opportunities to follow Jesus’ example and his commands, right where they are.

Empowering the next generation to serve here and now

World Vision Ignite comes alongside schools to help them transform students’ hearts and shape their spiritual character for life. Research has shown that this next generation has the desire to serve and the potential to make a lasting impact in the world. We need to provide them with service-learning opportunities that enable them to put their faith in action. They have fresh perspectives, creativity, and an eagerness we can sometimes lose as we get older. They shouldn’t have to wait to use them. Young Christians deserve the chance to live out God’s calling in their own communities. We need to provide them with service-learning experiences that help them use their gifts to create solutions. If we don’t, we miss out on what they can bring to the table. And we miss out on the opportunity to help them see God at work, through them, and the incredible effect this can have on their lifelong faith.

That’s what the World Vision Ignite Challenge is all about. It empowers students to put their faith into action as they discover an underlying cause behind a real-world problem — and it enables them to tackle it by putting their proposed solutions into action, here and now.

Students engage in service-learning project through World Vision Ignite, a partnership that helps Christian schools plan meaningful educational experiences and cross-cultural relationships into their curriculum.
Max Butler and other students at West-Mont Christian Academy in Alliance Christian School District carry “Buckets of Blessings,” an Ignite Challenge in which students collected hygiene items to help people experiencing homelessness in their community of Pottstown, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Margo Reed for World Vision)
The Ignite Challenge helps schools implement meaningful service-learning

Led by students and facilitated by teachers, the Ignite Challenge asks students to take a deep dive into a subject related to poverty or injustice in their own community. Throughout the process, the Ignite partnership team provides ample support and resources. Along with conducting research, students learn from subject experts and engage with people who are affected personally by the issue. In doing so, they begin to see the poor and vulnerable the way Jesus sees them. As they collaborate, students get to apply their own perspective, creativity, and insight. Together they address deep questions and explore different pathways for solving problems. Most importantly, they learn what it means to “love their neighbors,” as they find ways to help meet long-term needs.

Meaningful educational experiences like the Ignite Challenge can be transformative. By participating, students gain create real relational connections with people they might not know otherwise. They grow to be curious, empathetic partners in solving issues of injustice and poverty in the future. And they experience the blessing of putting their faith into action by following Jesus’ call.

Bring Ignite to your school and see what transpires

Watch what unfolds when you challenge students to explore their potential and live out their purpose intentionally. With the Ignite Challenge, your students will put their faith in action as they seek God’s direction to set and achieve big goals — engaging in service-learning and creating the kind of lasting change that’s only possible with God.