The National Youth Gathering impacted not only my students but my adult chaperones and leaders. So often when we speak of the Church our students and even adults picture a building or a congregation of 200 or so individuals. To be part of 25,000 individuals expressing their love for God by worshiping, praising and glorifying Him it left a lasting impact and witness to my students and leaders. The National Youth Gathering allowed for my students to be challenged in their faith and vocational calling as the break out sessions helped to prepare students to think within the context of the Gospel and unpack practical action for sharing their faith and living joyfully in the Lord to be a witness to the world.
One particular evening as we were walking back to our hotel one of my boys (who is quiet and conversing with him is like pulling teeth) would not stop talking about the mass event specifically the speaker Jason Seaman. My student shared "I thought this week was going to be a boring time of never-ending sermons, but it's actually been fun" and he added "hearing about that football coach and teacher [Jason Seaman] share the story of God's presence and peace during the shooting makes me think there really is a God, I think I'm starting to realize that for myself."
Hearing this confirmation brought great joy and reveals God's power and presence amidst every part of the gathering. It's hard to describe the experience but for 2019 our Real. Present. God. Was working in the hearts of my own students.
What is the National Youth Gathering?
The LCMS National Youth Gathering (NYG or Gathering) is an event held every three years for the youth of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to spend time together in worship, God's Word, prayer, song, and service. The Gathering provides young people an opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and their Lutheran identity. This event, which is the single largest LCMS event, is organized by the LCMS Youth Ministry in St. Louis, Missouri.
English District All Youth Event:
All youth and leaders from the English District are invited to the district event during the National Youth Gathering. The English District has congregations in 20 states and 1 Canadian province. We invite all congregations within the district to come together for a district event. This involves a meal and fellowship time for our students and adult leaders to connect with one another and witness the vastness of the Church as it extends in the English District. Past events have included things like an indoor trampoline park, a riverboat cruise, and
At each Mass Event, ALL participants will gather at US Bank Stadium. Each Mass Event will focus on the theme of the gathering through Christ-centered presenters, music, videos, and group participation.
Morning Sessions dig deeper into the Biblical Text for the gathering theme. Morning Sessions also serve to communicate program updates and propel participants into Gathering program which happens throughout the day.
Breakout Sessions delve deeper into the theme and scripture.
Intensive Sessions are designed to challenge youth to explore topics at a deeper level. Leaders will teach advanced theological topics, approach difficult practical questions, and give participants tools for studying the topic beyond the Gathering.
Interactive Center/Convention Center Halls
The Interactive Center provides hands-on learning experiences, vendor booths, and activities among participants. One portion of the floor will focus on service opportunities such as canned food drives, collection of items for those in need, etc, another has games, lounging, inflatables, art activities, and go-cart races. The youth booth, exhibitors, free swag, and district booths are also part of this portion of the gathering.
Gathering servant events will take place both on-site at the gathering domes and convention center as well as deploy off-site away from the Gathering sites. Participants will have the opportunity to serve the host city in many different ways.
Late Night Options
Along with Mass Event Plus, other limited late-night (after Mass Event) programming will take place in Gathering hotels and other locations in the host city area. Opportunities will focus on community groups and prayer time.
The Gathering worship service takes place on the last day of the gathering. Holy Communion is celebrated along with full divine service and youth involvement in the Gathering Wind Symphony and Choir.
History of the Gathering:
1980 Ft. Collins, CO 4,000 Participants
1983 San Antonio, TX 10,000 Participants
1986 Washington DC 15,000 Participants
1989 Denver, CO 17,500 Participants
1992 New Orleans LA 22,500 Participants
1995 San Antonio, TX 28,000 Participants
1998 Atlanta, GA 30,000 Participants
2001 New Orleans LA 33,000 Participants
2004 Orlando, FL 33,000 Participants
2007 Orlando, FL 25,000 Participants
2010 New Orleans, LA 22,300 Participants
2013 San Antonio, TX 22,250 Participants
2016 New Orleans, LA 22,220 Participants
2019 Minneapolis, MN 20,800 Participants