6th-8th Grade Summer Conference Philosophy
We do not see summer conference as a standalone event. It is one piece of our strategy to help middle schoolers develop a life-changing relationship with Jesus. It connects with our weekly services and other special events.
Whether a student has been invited by a friend and is a brand new guest with us or they have been in church since they were an infant, we want to help them get to know the people who make up our church, especially their peers and ministry leaders.
Small Group Leaders
In our ministry, we realize that what a Small Group Leader can do for a few has more potential than what we do for many.
So we build our ministry and all related programs and events around the philosophy of equipping Small Group Leaders who can invest strategically in the lives of a few to encourage authentic faith.
If you want to read more about the five big ideas we want every Small Group Leader to know and practice, you can find them in the book: Lead Small.
Small Groups at MIX and Beyond
With this in mind, small groups at MIX Summer Conference are about more than just these few days in the summer.
Our goal is for as many of these groups and students as possible to build relationships in these groups at MIX with a few students and leaders that continue when they participate in our weekend services and Middle School Ministry small groups back at church throughout the rest of the year.
Forming Small Groups
Therefore, when we form small groups at MIX, we have a bigger picture and vision in mind.
This leads us to a very focused and simple format for setting up groups.
Overall, students are in the same small group at MIX that they have been in during the school year.
If they have not been in a small group, then we either add them to existing groups or form new groups.
Here is how groups are set up.
Each group is made up of:
- 10-12 middle schoolers
- students of the same gender.
- students entering the same grade.
- 2 leaders (min. one who is 21yrs+)
We will be going through and verifying the grade of each camper to make sure they have been placed in the correct group and are qualified to be with the bunkmate they have requested.
Students who are not the same grade will be placed in a small group with others who are actually in the same grade they are.
Housing or cabin and bunk assignments will happen after the small groups have been formed.
When we set up housing in the dorms/cabins, we will keep small groups together.
Most cabins will have students of only the same grade, except when space issues make that not possible. Then, there will be a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in most cabins.
There are over 400 students at this event from a variety of churches. Sometimes our cabin is filled with MPCC students. Most of the time we share a cabin with students from at least one other church.