ryan nielson’s Q&A with me about the middle school ministry campference

ryan nielson of pastor2youth.com asked me questions about the middle school ministry campference:

1. What will make the Middle School Ministry Campference unique from other events?

Hopefully dozens of things. But the three big differences that jump to mind first are:

Middle School Focus. Other than some smaller “summits” and “forums”, I can’t think of another event I’ve heard of that was focused exclusively on ministry to young teens. Usually, we’re a sub-set (a minor one, at that) of larger youth ministry events. But, at the MSMC, it’s all about junior highers, baby!

Camp/Conference Combo Context. (Did you see how I alliterated that? Pretty cool, huh?) We’re trying to do something different by taking the best of a conference and mashing it up with the opportunities a great camp can offer. And we’re intentionally choosing this route, not merely to be different, but because we think it fits the vibe of middle school ministry (and the fine people who are called to it).

Life Together. Most youth ministry events have the participants, understandably, coming and leaving, going this way and that way. But with this event, we’re trying to create a shared experience. We’ll eat together and hang out together and play together and worship together and learn together. Even the invited speakers are all expected to stay for the entire event, as player/coaches.

2. Can you give us any quasi-revealing hints about special surprises at the MSMC?

here are some hints:
Attendee hosted playlists
They might not sound great, but they move our hearts
Coffee cart
Mail Call!
Middle School Ministry Fail Moments
Giant Lightbrite
Thief in the Night
Freebies!

3. What do you hope that participants at the MSMC would gain/take away from this event?

More than anything else, we hope they’ll leave feeling deeply encouraged; that they’ll have a renewed sense of passion and vision; that they’ll know God’s deep love for them and their calling. We hope they’ll feel like they’re a part of something special and unique, but not alone. We hope they develop dozens of new friendships that will sustain them long after the event is over. We hope they’ll have their thinking challenged. We hope they’ll leave with a metaphorical bucket of new ideas they can immediately apply. We hope they leave saying, “Yes! That was my tribe!”

the first-ever middle school ministry campference will take place at spring hill camp in evart, mi, october 14 – 16 of this year. check out the website for lots more info, or to register.

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