We Are the Church: Philip Starkey

I’m Phil, and I serve at Ignite Church in NW Oklahoma. Ignite started about five years ago with eight people gathered in a family’s living room. It was essentially a small group that just kept growing! 

As we grew, we began gathering in meeting rooms at the hospital, a senior center, a conference center, and even a theater. We have used the free resources from Life.Church Open Network from day one.

For me, church is definitely a family affair. My father-in-law plays drums in the worship band, my mother-in-law leads the greeters, my brother-in-law runs the tech booth, and my wife works with the kids. When my wife and I got married it wasn’t a question of if I would serve, but where. I started out volunteering with some of our church’s social media promotions, but I’m actually the Life Group director now. I didn’t necessarily set out to have a career in ministry, but I was really struck by the idea of being a spiritual contributor versus a spiritual consumer. My family takes that to heart, and I see it all around us in our church community.

Being part of a budding church has its challenges, but it has also been unfathomably and amazingly worth it. We actually just bought our first building! It was a huge leap of faith to purchase the building, but I was blown away by the way volunteers quickly got to work. People literally showed up to demo ceilings and plaster walls; it was incredible! We were able to move in just before Christmas, which was really special. 

Throughout all these transitions in our church we have used the resources God has provided through Open Network. The children’s curriculum is especially important to us, and I personally am a fan of the invite promos.

I’m inspired by the people around me who walk the walk. From our insanely genuine and generous Campus Pastor to the recently baptized in our community, it’s clear that the Holy Spirit is moving here at Ignite. We have folks who have loved Jesus for a long time (some of whom are getting plugged in for the first time!), as well as new believers who are all in. I’m so overwhelmed by God’s grace and my gratitude towards Him.


Share your story

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Phil! We love hearing how God is moving in your church and how your church is introducing people to Jesus and living out your unique calling in your community. 

 If you were inspired by Phil’s story, consider sharing on social media so we can share that collectively we are the Church! 

Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear what God is doing in your church. Visit here to share your story.

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