Frequently Asked Questions

General (3)

What is the LCMS Youth Gathering?

Held every 3 years since 1980, the LCMS Youth Gathering (Gathering) provides thousands of youth and adults the opportunity to come together as a community of God’s people to learn more about Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and their Lutheran identity.

During the five days of the Gathering, youth spend time together in God’s word, worship, service and fellowship with others from across the synod. This event is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry in Saint Louis, MO.

How do I retrieve a lost item from the Gathering?

Items of value were brought back from the Gathering to LCMS Youth Ministry in St. Louis, MO. If you have lost an item, please email, and we will do our best to match up items to owners.

When and where is the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering?

The next LCMS Youth Gathering will be July 11-15, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN

Program (2)

I’m trying to fill out the 2016 Gathering evaluation on the app but the page is blank. What do I do?

You must be logged into the Gathering app using your Facebook credentials in order for the overall evaluation to appear. If you choose not to do that, you can also fill out and submit the evaluation at Thank you for your feedback!

Are recordings of 2016 Gathering speakers available?

Yes! Dome Event speakers (the four Mass Events and the sermon from Worship) can be watched on the Gathering’s YouTube channel.

Many Interest Center speakers were recorded and are still being processed. They will be posted as podcasts at a later time.  We will provide updates through the Adult Leader Facebook Page, Gathering Updates and the Gathering website.

Registration (8)

What is the recommended youth-to-adult ratio for a group?

Recommended Youth-to-Adult Ratio

Recommended Youth-to-Adult Ratio

The Gathering values the involvement of parents and other significant adults in the faith life of young people and encourages their participation as Adult Leaders at the Gathering. The recommended youth-to-adult ratio ensures sufficient space for youth to attend the event.

It is strongly recommended that:

  • All groups have at least two adults
  • Congregations secure criminal background checks for its Adult Leaders:
  • The youth-to-adult ratio does not exceed one adult for every two youth for groups with more than six youth.

Congregations with only one youth attending the Gathering can be connected to other LCMS congregations by their District Coordinator. Find your District Coordinator here.

What are the age requirements for participants?

The LCMS Youth Gathering’s primary focus is for youth participants between the ages of 14 to 19. To register for the 2019 Gathering, youth participants must meet ONE of the two following eligibility requirements:
– Must be 14 years old at the time of the Gathering
– Entering his or her ninth grade year at the time of the Gathering.
While we do allow students from the ages of 14 to 20 to attend, please keep in mind that some of the program content may not be relevant to older youth participants.
We suggest that students who are 19 and older, one year out of high school, or have been to at least one previous Gathering apply to be a Young Adult Volunteer.

What is the age requirement to be an Adult Leader?

Participants who are 21 years or older by the time of the Gathering are able to attend the Gathering as a Primary Adult Leader (PAL) or Adult Leader. Those who are 19 -€“ 25 years old may also serve as a Young Adult Volunteer.

Why should young adults (aged 19-25) apply as a Young Adult Volunteer?

Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) have the unique opportunity to work “behind the scenes”€ and help the Gathering run smoothly. While their primary role is to serve the participants, they are also able to experience some elements of the Gathering along the youth and Adult Leaders.

The LCMS Youth Gathering is also the largest gathering for young adults in the entire LCMS! While they serve, YAVs will meet hundreds of other Lutheran young adults and form new friendships. A great amount of community is cultivated within this group of young people.

The LCMS Youth Gathering’s primary focus is for Youth Participants between the ages of 14 to 19. We suggest that students who are 19 and older, one year out of high school, and have been to at least one previous Gathering apply to be a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV). Find more information and how to apply to be a YAV here.

Why does the Gathering mandate that we stay in their contracted hotels?

Much thought and energy goes into selecting appropriate housing for the Gathering participants. Each of the Gathering hotels has been reviewed and selected based on its location, safety, comfort, accessibility, and affordability. If a hotel is on our list, be assured that it’s been purposefully chosen.

PROGRAM -Attending the LCMS Youth Gathering is a unique experience. Your group, regardless of how large or small, is part of the “whole”.€ The time your group spends at your hotel is part of the makeup of your overall Gathering experience. Planned activities such as community life activities take place at specific Gathering hotels. These are vital pieces of the Gathering experience that you don’t want to miss!

SAFETY – Beyond programming, the safety and security of all Gathering participants is extremely important. By having every registered participant in one of our contracted hotels, you are essentially “findable” by Gathering support volunteers. Over the past 30+ years of Gatherings, this has proven to be invaluable.

INFORMATION – Community Life Builders (CLB’s) are assigned to each of the Gathering properties. They have been specifically trained to conduct informational meetings there; provide pertinent Gathering information, updates, and schedule changes; and hear any issues or concerns that you may have. CLBs serve as your main informational contact while at the Gathering. If you are outside of our hotel block, you will not have access to this valuable resource.

COMMUNITY – The fun and fellowship of meeting new friends during your time in New Orleans takes place at the hotels. If you were to secure your own accommodations at a condo, time share or hotel outside of the Gathering’s room block, you would miss out on this important piece of your overall Gathering experience.

Can my group stay in our Gathering hotel before or after the event?

Yes. Groups may arrange to stay three days before or after the Gathering (July 11-15, 2019) in their assigned hotel rooms.

Can I bring my family (babies, younger children, pre-teens, additional adults like spouses, grandparents, etc.) to the Gathering?

While LCMS Youth Ministry understands the importance of family and values family experiences centered around God’s Word and Sacraments, the LCMS Youth Gathering is specifically intended for youth aged 14 -€“ 19 years old. Teenagers are at an important stage of life developmentally, socially and spiritually where values and beliefs are personally sought out and formed. Subject matter taught and discussed at the Gathering is intentionally and carefully created and presented for a teenage audience. We thank you for respecting this guideline and for prayerfully supporting your youth before, during, and after the Gathering.

LCMS Youth Ministry has provided a recommended youth-to-adult ratio to provide an appropriate number of spots for all youth who wish to attend. The ratio allows for a nurturing environment that respects the youth’s desire for individualism and autonomy.

# of Youth # of Adults
2-6 2-4
7-13 3-5
14-20 4-6
21-27 5-7
28-34 6-8
35-41 7-9
42-48 8-10



Can youth who are not members of the congregation attend?

Yes! The Gathering is a great event for youth to invite friends who are not members of their church but are longing to learn more about God’s love for them in Jesus. Be sure to include these friends and their parents in all pre-Gathering meetings and events. These meetings are ideal times to discuss Scripture; support faith development; and introduce congregational pastors, church workers and members.