Warning: Shameless Plug. But at least it’s for somebody else!
If you’ve never heard of the amazing people at CIY (Christ In Youth), it’s time to get acquainted with this amazing ministry located in Joplin, MO.
CIY has been around for more than 40 years with a single purpose in mind: “To amplify the call on student’s lives to become kingdom workers.” To that end they create some incredible trips, events and resources. And I’ve become one of their biggest fans.
Here are three reasons I think CIY has something to offer your ministry:
1) They love Jesus And His Kingdom. Plainly put; I’ve not been around too many organizations with such a passion for Jesus and a desire to nudge teenagers toward making a Kingdom impact. This stuff bleeds out of them….from the President to the guys setting up sound equipment at an event (and we all know the guys setting up sound equipment hardly ever love Jesus).
2) They Love The Local Church. So often when a church uses an outside organization, things seem to be all about the outside organization…they become the heroes. Not so with CIY. At every CIY event I’ve been to (which is a lot), they consistently position the local church as the hero….as whom they are there to serve. To often, the church and the para-church world feel at odds, in some sort of unhealthy competition. CIY is a faithful partner and cheerleader of the church.
3) They Create Incredibly High Quality Events. We use CIY primarily for three things: We take our junior highers to Believe. We take our high schoolers to Move. And we take a JH/HS combo trip to Engage. I’m going to share a secret with you: Mega-churches can be fairly arrogant, and it’s tough for us to admit that anybody would be able to create anything as awesome as what we can create ourselves. And this posture kept us from attending CIY for far too long (at one point, I even traveled to a Believe event, studied it for a weekend and went home to create my own version for churches in our area: The result? We started attending Believe shortly thereafter!). The level of quality at a CIY event is shockingly high. The music, the “lights, camera, action”, the content, the way they love on church leaders, and the list could go on and on.
Here is a partial list of CIY’s offerings:
– Believe: A two day Junior High event (think weekend retreat but in a hotel setting with tons of awesome)
– MIX: A four-day Junior High summer camp.
– MOVE: A week-long High School summer camp.
– Engage: A four-day (I think) urban work camp.
Here is a promo video for Believe that will give you a peek into a CIY event: