Tag Archives: johnny scott

MIX: a 6-7-8 Summer Conference

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.

2-sentence book reviews, part 4 (youth ministry, fiction, and ‘other’)

back in the day, i used to post a full review in an individual blog post for every book i read. after rebooting my blog in the late fall of 2009, i changed that practice to posting 3 or 4 “mini reviews” at a time — one paragraph each.

but in 2011, i’ve gotten behind, and haven’t posted any reviews. i kept meaning to, but just didn’t get around to it. so, i’m catching up. and i’ve decided to do it in a different way, since i have 27 to post.


for each review, i only allowed myself two sentences. in each, the first sentence is a summary of the book, and the second sentence is my opinion of the book. i’m still giving 1 – 5 stars (5 means “excellent”, 4 means “worth reading”, 3 means “ah, take it or leave it”, 2 means “take a pass on this one”, and 1 means “do NOT buy or read this book – it sucked, imho).

up first was 7 young adult fiction books, and second was memoirs and graphic novels. the third collection covered leadership/marketing and theology/christian living.

this last installment (for now!) has five reviews over three categories, including youth ministry, fiction, and ‘other’:

Youth Ministry

Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset and Values of 18-25 Year Olds, by Chuck Bomar
5 stars
(Breaking from my 2-sentence pattern, here’s the endorsement I wrote)
We — the church — haven’t had a clue how to connect with college-age students for a long time. Peek inside an average church and it shows; 20somethings are the missing decade in otherwise robust and healthy churches. Before we race off to construct lame programs and structures that miss the mark, we could all benefit from increased understanding. Thankfully, Chuck Bomar has arrived with this book that offers just that.
(note: this book releases on august 30, 2011)

Redefining The Win For Jr High Small Groups: Strategies, Tips, and Encouragement for Leaders and Volunteers, by Johnny Scott
4 stars
A quick and encouraging overview of what middle school small groups can really be like. The perfect book to give out to all your middle school small group leaders (it even fits in your back pocket!).


Lullaby, by Chuck Palahniuk
5 stars
A poem that can kill, merely by its recitation, wreaks havoc on the lives of the few who know it. My favorite Palahniuk read so far.

Jesus Boy, by Preston Allen
2 stars
A hyper-conservative Christian teenage boy falls into a decade-long affair with the middle-aged widow of his mentor, and struggles to live a double life. With potential for so much more, this story is, in the end, just depressing – not cautionary, just depressing.


Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, by Chuck Klosterman
3.5 stars
A collection of essays on modern culture, filled with wit and occasional insight. Some interesting thoughts, but the book had been so built up to me that I was actually a little disappointed.

junior high believe

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!