i’m a big fan of christ in youth’s touring event for middle schoolers, called JH Believe. i’ve spoken on it many times, and have a bunch of friends who take their middle school groups. it has grown over the years (yes, in size; but that’s not what i mean) to being so creative and so fantastically age-appropriate. johnny scott and his team seriously bring it.
so, i was pretty stoked to hear that the same creative team, under johnny’s leadership, was thinking about starting a 4 day summer conference. and now, it’s real. MIX: a 6-7-8 summer conference. here’s the bit from the website:
For more than 12 years, CIY has lead the way in providing age appropriate events for Junior High and Middle School students. MIX is a brand new four-day summer events, designed specifically for 6th, 7th and 8th grader students. MIX provides all of the tactile, interactive, small group faith-building experiences you have come to trust us for when hanging with your kids.
MIX is an event that understands that middle schoolers need their own experience. MIX is not designed for high-schoolers or preteens. MIX is specifically designed for a 6th, 7th and 8th grader’s and their special cognitive and developmental abilities. You’ll build relationships with your kids as they come to understand their own spiritual formation and grow as Kingdom workers through dynamic worship, engaging activities, off-the-chart recreation and small group interaction.
seriously, i don’t toss around my ‘endorsement’ very often. but i’ll easily offer it here. i like these guys; i trust them; and i’ve seen first-hand how good their events are.
time to let the cat at least partly out of the bag: i’m putting together an event this fall (october 14 – 16) for middle school youth workers. we’re calling it the “middle school ministry campference”, because it’s going to be at a camp (and we hope to take full advantage of the camp in making this a unique event).
i’ll be blogging much more about this events in the months to come. but i’m totally stoked about it. we’re hoping for a tribal gathering — a collection of junior high and middle school youth workers (paid and volunteer) who will worship, learn, dialogue, pray, play, eat and dream together. if you’re involved in junior high or middle school ministry in any way, i really hope you’ll consider joining us.
we don’t have a website with all kinds of info yet (which is why this cat is only partly out of the bag). first, we want your input. if you’re part of this tribe — if you work with junior highers or middle schoolers in a church or parachurch context, even if it’s only part of your responsibility) — we’d really like your input. we’ve put together a little questionnaire. it’s short, and should only take about 7 minutes to complete. but it will give us good direction as we dive into deeper planning (in fact, i will have the planning team meeting at my house for 2 days in early february).
as a tiny thank you for your time, one person who fills out the survey will receive a $75 best buy gift card (but, please don’t fill it out only for a chance to win; please fill it out if you’re actually a middle school ministry youth worker).
i’m a big fan of “believe“, the touring junior high event hosted by ciy each year. quite a few years ago, i consulted with them about how to make it more intentional for early adolescents, and the then-new leader of the event, johnny scott (who has since become a good friend), ran hard after making changes. those changes have resulted, i think, in a pretty amazing event that is pretty amazing for young teens.
then, a few years ago, i spoke at most of the believe events for a season, and got to know it more intimately. johnny and his team continue to improve the event every year; i’m always impressed by his insatiable desire to improve (and i don’t mean “to make it flashier”; but, rather, to make it more and more effective in what an event like this can provide for young teens and middle school ministries).
so i’m stoked to join the team of speakers this year (an amazing team that includes some of my best friends in middle school ministry: scott rubin, kurt johnston, and heather flies), even if for only one city (atlanta). believe is coming to 11 cities in 2011, and i’d highly encourage you to check it out. they just released their promo materials in a pdf version, which you can check out here. the website for next year’s event will go live later this month, so watch for that.
and, yes, that is a bobble-head of me. they had them made of all the speakers. too funny!
my life has been a bit of a blur in the last couple weeks, with two junior high winter retreats at forest home, a youth ministry event for the salvation army, and a couple days of consulting with the 30-hour famine team at world vision. yesterday, i spent the day in orange county at my coaching dealio with john townsend. and last night i packed for back-to-back trips to destin, FL, for a ciy youth ministry gathering, then on to haiti. now, i’m sitting in the houston airport, and can hardly believe this trip is upon me.
today and tomorrow i’ll be with youth workers in florida; then tomorrow night i fly from there to miami, where i’ll overnight with a few of the team before meeting up with the rest of the team on thursday to fly to the dominican republic. and on friday, we drive into haiti.
i hope to be able to get online tonite or tomorrow to post more about our actual plans (though i know our plans will likely shift when we get there!). but for now, two things:
1. please join our facebook group, and follow the posts from our team. consider signing up for prayer updates via email also. we’ll all be posting daily from haiti.
2. check out this video, put together by the organization we’re going with: adventures in missions.