Believe conference

Believe, a conference for middle school students, will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, at the Kentucky International Convention Center

God the Father wants to connect with His children individually. 

The theme for Believe, the annual conference for middle school students hosted by Christ In Youth, is about how God wants to connect with all of us.

Brock O’Dell, Southeast Christian Church Blankenbaker Campus Middle School Ministry lead pastor, said each year at Believe God reaches students wherever they are in their walk with Christ.

“The reason we go is every single year we see either middle school students learn to take their faith more seriously for the first time or students come to faith for the first time,” O’Dell said.

Believe will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Registration closes Jan. 12.

At this overnight event, students engage in high-energy worship, listen to Biblically-based messages, participate in small group discussions and even have some time for fun activities.

“If your student is connected at Southeast and in MSM, they will get the most out of this event by inviting a friend,” O’Dell added. “If your student is not connected, it’s a great place to meet friends and get connected to a caring leader.”

O’Dell said Believe has ripple effects. He told the story of a student who invited his friend to Believe, and he came to faith and got baptized. The friend shared Christ with his family, and a couple of months later, his parents and sister got baptized.

Tony Semak, who has volunteered at Believe for about six years, said volunteer leaders also make lasting connections.

“You think about all the time with your students, but there’s a lot of time with other leaders,” Semak said. “There was one trip where I ended up staying up half the night with a high school student who was carrying a really heavy burden. In that time, he recommitted his life to Jesus. We were at a hotel, it was late, everyone was in bed, and that opportunity would have never happened had we not been at that event.”

This year’s main speaker will be Heather Flies, a junior high pastor at Wooddale Church in Minnesota. ISAAC worship band will lead music throughout the weekend.

Semak said Believe is his favorite middle school event of the year.

“It’s just a neat event because you get so much one-on-one time with the students you’re leading in small group,” Semak added. “We’re together all the time, and it’s amazing to me how quickly you can deepen the relationship with the students on a really personal level in such a short amount of time.”

The cost of Believe is $99 and covers accommodations, meals (except Saturday lunch), activities, conference fees and travel. Conference merchandise and snacks are considered additional costs.

To register or learn more visit