Ministry Update | August 2018

Ministry Update | August 2018

Dear Igniting Hope Family,

We would like to give a warm welcome to those of you who are new to our Igniting Hope family and newsletter.

As I pray for you today, I am hearing this reminder:  Many of the things we think are true are not true. This was the case for Elijah in I Kings 19. He believed and spoke that he was “the only one left.” God told him the truth, “I have 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” What he thought was true was not true. Any conclusion we make that does not have hope attached to it is under the influence of lie, and that lie is usually a bigger problem than the problem. We here at Igniting Hope are committed to helping you believe truth like never before. Thank you for standing with us in our assignment to eradicate pessimism and victim mindsets in God’s people, and to see them launched like never before.  

Here’s what’s new and happening in the world of Igniting Hope:

Igniting Hope Team Update

We have had lots of changes this last month in our staff:

  • We said good-bye to two incredible Igniting Hope employees: Megan Cotton and Sarah Gerber. Megan has worked with us for three years and has done an incredible job taking Igniting Hope to another level as our Project Manager. She is moving on to an exciting opportunity in Seattle, WA. Sarah Gerber, who has served as Steve’s Global Legacy Assistant for two years, has been hired as a Revival Group Pastor with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. We are so thrilled for both of these ladies as they step into the new and exciting things that God has for them.
  • Connie Jones, who has been with us as our Travel Assistant for the last year, has transitioned to take over from Sarah Gerber as Assistant to Steve Backlund for Global Legacy. We are delighted to have her grow into new and exciting things.
  • We also welcome to our team Michelle Watson, Michelle Moon and Ash Lumley. They are all three Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry graduates and are now staff members of Igniting Hope. Michelle Watson is our new Project Manager, Michelle Moon is serving as Special Projects Assistant, while Ash is our Travel Coordinator and Wendy’s PA.  Their bios are at the bottom of this newsletter.

Personal Updates

  • We took a lot of time off in July and did a staycation in Redding. It was good to relax and recharge.
  • We have had some good family time (especially with our grandchildren).
  • We have been doing some remodeling of our home. Wendy loves interior decorating and design, so she is very happy with this.
  • Steve has golfed a lot again this summer. It has been therapeutic.
  • Duncan, our dog, has enjoyed being in so many 60 second hope injections. He has asked for greater compensation for these appearances. We are in negotiations with him concerning these matters. 🙂

Ministry Updates

  • New Igniting Hope Website – We are incredibly excited to announce a brand new website and updated branding! Discover our new website here. We have online beliefs assessments, podcasts, articles, declarations and more to resource you to a transformed mind and life!
  • Upcoming Travel – Wendy will be in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Santa Rosa, CA, and Round Rock, TX. Steve will be in Marietta, GA, Conyers, GA, Montgomery AL, Round Rock TX, Cincinnati OH, and Tipp City OH. To read more, find our itinerary here.
  • Traveling Less Together – We used to travel together about 75%, but that has decreased dramatically because Wendy wants to travel less and is getting more of her own invitations. Thank you for praying for us as we adapt to this new season.

Upcoming Opportunities and Resources

  • Our online events will be available year-around. We are working on making Feasting on the Spirit, Declarations Experiment, and Negativity Fast Positivity Feast accessible year-around. Watch for announcements concerning this.
  • Conference with Wendy and Steve in April 2019 in Redding. We will be hosting our first ever 2,5 day conference in Redding, CA on April 25-27th. This might be a great time for you to travel to Redding to visit Bethel Church and attend this great event. Save the date. More info coming.
  • Thriving Church Leadership Class – This three-month class with Steve Backlund offers practical tools to thrive as a church leader! You will explore core values from Steve’s book, Help I’m a Pastor. This course will help everyone serving in church leadership to become a healthy, powerful, naturally supernatural leader and get an infusion of Bethel’s leadership DNA. To find out more or to register for this class click here.
  • Steve will speaking at Bethel Leaders Conference on November 2nd. Join us via live stream on BethelTV (Not a member yet? Sign-up here).
  • Empowerment Assessment – We have developed an improved version of this tool. Take this assessment to learn how empowering you are in leading in your family, your church, business, or in other areas, as well as practical ways you can begin empowering those around you in greater ways. Take assessment here.
  • Abounding Hope and Joy Curriculum – We are working on a fill in the blank worksheet for this great six part DVD and audio series. This addition to the curriculum can be used to summarize, absorb and renew your mind with this message. Use it in small groups or in your own study time.

Did You Know?

  • You can order books, clickers and other products at bulk prices by emailing ash.lumley@team.bethel.com.
  • Most of the Backlunds’ books are on Kindle.
  • Igniting Faith in 40 Days is available as an audiobook.
  • Steve releases a weekly podcast message (8 to 15 minutes) that will ignite hope, joy, and increase your influence. Listen here.

New Staff Bios

Michelle Watson – Project Manager

Michelle is 27 years old and originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Her dad is from Texas, so she happily considers herself as having two homes in two nations.  She recently completed third year at BSSM with Ruth & Steve Moore, the Directors of the Alumni Department. She is delighted to now be Igniting Hope’s Project Manager. As one who radically believes in people she is passionate about connection and family (especially when these happen over a cup of coffee or good food).  She often dreams of travel, loves hugs, dresses and believes bright lipstick cheers up any day.

Ash Lumley – Travel Coordinator and Wendy’s PA

Ash is 22 years old and originally from Missouri. She has lived in Redding for about 4 years. After three years of BSSM and interning for Dave Ward in her third year she is now Steve and Wendy’s Travel Coordinator and Wendy’s Personal Assistant. She is passionate about music, communication, organization, and intentionality. She likes coffee and autumn candles/lotions. Her top two love languages are words of affirmation and quality time. A fun fact is that she takes a really long time to put on chapstick and usually gets really weird looks.

Michelle Moon – Special Projects Assistant

Michelle just completed 3 years at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) which included being a third year with the Backlund team. Michelle’s parents immigrated from South Korea to America in the 1970s and Michelle was born and raised in Los Angeles. Michelle is passionate about building missional communities that display the gospel through kingdom family and seeing God in the smallest of details and unusual places. She loves spicy food, bright colors, and playing games.

Connie Jones – Steve’s Global Legacy Personal Assistant

Connie Jones is a joy-filled believer, preacher, teacher, worshipper, and writer. Her desire is to see the Body of Christ walking in her redemptive identity, authority, and destiny. She uses authenticity and humor to declare Jesus Christ and His finished work to empower, encourage, and strengthen the church. She and her husband Aaron have pastored together for several years here in Redding, along with her three beautiful sons: Joran, Braden, and Jesse. She is a graduate of Rhema Bible College and BSSM and has been on staff with Igniting Hope Ministries this past year. Her favorite place is the beach. She likes to scuba dive, ski, and be on the lake. She loves cappuccinos, Italian food, and great Korean Barbeque. She loves to laugh, a lot:)

Thank you so much for you love and support to us.


Steve and Wendy


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.