Here’s a sample of some of the stories already coming out of the summer of 2018:
Logan Glendening, Randall Marcum and Will Scherzinger (from Olathe KS Baptist Church) were in some heated dodgeball games at MIX. The proud members of the Space Pandas team tried to think of just one thing they loved about MIX.
“The ice cream!”
“Everything! It brings people to Christ.”
“The three of us barely knew each other,” Glendening said. “We were on the bus for five hours and now we’re best friends.”
“I love it (MIX)! I came last year and it was not what I expected at all. So this year when I found out that I was coming I was PUMPED. I was like, ‘I can’t wait!’ I love everything about it – when I come here, I have a lot of friends here and I see a lot of friendly people – it just makes me happy.”
– Joey Seigel, 7th grade, First Baptist Church of Platt City, KS
Kaylee Triplett and Jenna Shipley, from Christ’s Church of Oronogo (MO), were two from their youth group who made public decisions to follow Christ during a praise and worship session at MIX.
“I want to get baptized,” Triplett said. “I’ve been thinking about it a long time and I think at MIX the speaker said a lot of stuff that was really cool. It was life changing.”
The girls said the moment when they went forward was awesome.
“It was relieving,” Shipley said. “We basically said we were giving ourselves to God – our time, everything. I filled up with joy when I hit the button. Our whole group went. Sometimes some of us are scared to go up by ourselves. It was awesome we all went together.”
• Craig Matthews is an intern with Crossings Community Church from Oklahoma City who said God has shown him amazing things through his small group.
“At the beginning of the week, I was questioning myself thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ ‘Is this what I should be doing?’ I was about to pull a ‘problem kid’ out of the group because he was being so distracting, but I didn’t because something was telling me to wait. So later in the week we got to small group, and they were all crying. The problem kid was saying, ‘I didn’t know I still had a chance.’ (The speaker) proved to that kid there’s still hope for him to find Jesus. My leader didn’t find Jesus till he was 17 also, and he’s been trying to tell this kid that but it never hit. But when the kid heard the speaker say it, I don’t know, it just changed everything. It was just really awesome. He’s still contemplating – he doesn’t want to talk yet. But the first wall has been broken down. I’m excited. Student ministry is a rollercoaster – just like our faith.”
• Zach Crowley is a student minister with Taylorville Christian Church out of Illinois. He said he’s brought students to MIX the past several years because the experiences are irreplaceable.
“I’ve always said the summer camps are the most important thing we do in student ministry all year long because of the relationships the students build with each other and with the adult leaders. It’s a year’s worth of relationship in one week. When they disconnect with the world, they connect with God. We had some decisions made and some next steps in faith with Jesus. We have a young group, so we’re going to pray our group gets connected with our student ministry back home and they come each week. Our church is actually building a new addition for our student ministry. There’s a lot of excitement in our ministry – a lot of kids are ready to open those doors and get going. It’s going to be really cool.”
• John Halverson is a volunteer with Evangel Church in Kansas City, and said MIX offers something unique to middle school audiences.
“We’re having a good time! I love especially that they change up the service. It’s not just somebody speaking for an hour-and-a-half – they do the music and acting.”
• Chris Smith is the head youth pastor of Wildwood Christian Church from Omaha, Nebraska. He is one of many youth leaders who enjoys the full-circle perspective of the CIY ministry.
“I went to high school MOVE my senior year, and then a couple years after that I interned with CIY,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been back in the ministry, it’s an event I can get students to. It’s been great. We love CIY. This is our second time at MIX, and this is probably my 22nd CIY event. I’m pretty committed.”
Wildwood’s Jr. high director Corinne Bortner said this was her first time at MIX.
“I’m loving it,” she said. “I love the middle school focus and different learning styles they cater to. Hopping from a video, to worship, to a speaker to games – it keeps them so focused and interacting with what’s going on and already talking about where we go from here. This doesn’t stop at this conference, they talk about plans to go forward in their walk with Christ – and I just love that.”