Tag Archives: youth ministry events

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

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.

the middle school ministry campference website is live, and reg is open!

the web minions have been busy beavers, getting ready for this day; and now it’s here:

the 2011 middle school ministry campference website is now live, and registration is officially open!


i’m so pumped about this thing. here’s the copy from the home page of the site:

It’s camp for junior high youth workers!

Let’s be honest about this: it’s not every adult who wakes up thinking, “How can I spend some time with 13 year-olds today, and influence them for Jesus?”

That calling, that wiring, is extremely unique and wonderful. And our wise and wonderful God, who cares so passionately about the young teens in your church, chose YOU! You are truly one of the few, one of the unique; and you are God’s plan for showing love to middle schoolers.

But this ministry is difficult, and sometimes lonely. You need to be surrounded by others who understand you, who share your calling. That’s why we created the Middle School Ministry Campference.

We’ve blended the best of a conference with the experience of a camp for youth workers who care about young teens. Whether veteran or rookie, known or unknown, we’ll all be on this adventure together.

This is not a traditional conference, but a tribal gathering and growth event, with an opt-in mix of learning, worship, community, dialogue and play.

Bring a team if you can; but even if you come alone, you won’t be alone for long!

click here for the website, or here to go straight to registration!

my summer availability (and the rest of the year too!)

an odd thing (or at least surprising to me) is happening on my calendar as i continue to book speaking engagements for this year and next. i’m getting a good deal of stuff in the short term (through may), and i’m getting a couple things per month for the fall (though i certainly still have space there). but my summer is surprisingly open. and, while i’m trying to develop both my consulting and coaching work, speaking engagements are my primary source of income (plus, i love doing them!).

so, if you’re still looking for a speaker in june, july, or august, i might be your guy!

here’s my current speaking schedule from now ’til the end of the year, with comments about availabity:

17/18 – youth event in new braunfels, tx
21 – parent event in dayton, oh
22/23 – youth ministry event in canton, oh

9 – 11 – youth ministry event in guatemala city, guatemala
16 – 18 – junior high event in joppa, md

*april is more full than it looks, as i have my first YMCP meeting, a spring break family trip to yosemite, and 4 days with a guys group i meet with every year.

april 30 – may 1 – youth ministry event in ft myers, fl
3/4 – youth ministry event in orlando, fl
5/6 – pastors and youth workers events in midland, mi
7 – youth ministry event in holland, mi

*sunday, may 2, is open and i’ll be in florida with my airfare already covered. i’m finished in ft myers saturday evening, and am due in orlando monday morning. would love to find something for that sunday. the rest of the month is currently open, but i’m working on another trip to haiti in that span.

9/10 – youth event in jackson, ms

*i would love to get at least one more opportunity in june.

*nothin’. seriously. there are tumbleweeds blowing through my july calendar.

14 – 17 – youth camp, oak island, nc
20 – 22 – youth camp, oak island, nc

*i’d love to get something on the calendar for early august.

24 – 26 – junior high event in kitchener, ontario

*would love to add 1 or 2 things in sept

1 – 4 – nywc in san diego, ca
15 – 17, junior high event in carlinville, il

*have room for 1 more thing in oct

19 – 22 – nywc in nashville, tn

*would really love to add a couple things in november

*nuttin’. once again: tumbleweeds.

i’m also booking speaking engagements for 2011 now, and have a few on my calendar.

if you’d like to consider having me join you for your event, please shoot me an email ([email protected]), or email my booking dude, tim grable ([email protected]).