National Lutheran Youth Workers Conference


Due to strong registration numbers, we have currently CLOSED registration in order to confirm safe capacities and procedures at the Hyatt Regency in Houston.  We thank you for your patience as we plan this event in unusual times.   

We are so excited by the response to the desire to gather together, learn from God’s Word and each other, and prepare for the 2022 LCMS Youth Gathering.  If you are interested in attending the event, please register and you will be added to a “waitlist”.  You will not be charged until a spot is secured for you.  Final decisions on capacity will be made no later than June 18, 2021. 

About the Conference

The National Lutheran Youth Workers Conference (#NATIONAL21) is a standalone Youth Ministry practitioner conference, but also provides a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the 2022 LCMS Youth Gathering. 

  • Are you planning to take a group to Houston in 2022 and want to familiarize yourself with area hotels, facilities, and restaurants? 
  • Are you a first-time adult leader and desire to connect with other new and seasoned adult leaders? 
  • Are you looking for training and networks which support your service as a youth ministry practitioner?
  • Are young (high school) leaders in your congregation looking for an opportunity to sharpen their skills and meet other LCMS young leaders? 

Next year’s conference will be held July 11-14, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Houston and we hope to see you there!

(Each #NATIONAL21 adult registration and guest room reservation at the Hyatt Regency provides for a complimentary adult leader registration for the 2022 LCMS Youth Gathering.)

This event is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry in Saint Louis, MO. For additional ways to connect to LCMS Youth Ministry, please visit

Conference Specifics


Dates: July 11 – 14, 2021

Location: Houston, TX

Conference Location: Hyatt Regency Houston

Cost: Youth and Student ($250) / Adult ($375)

Conference Session Tracks

Sessions will take place throughout the NATIONAL schedule. Some sessions will be “open” on a variety of topics. Others will be “tracked” together around a specific focus. By giving your feedback on your preferred track at time of registration, this will help us assign sessions to meeting rooms and determine the number of occurrences of a session topic.     

NATIONAL21 General Schedule

7 Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry
LCMS Youth Ministry has spent significant time in the last five to ten years listening, reading data, conducting research and digging into Scripture around what is key for healthy congregational youth ministry. Whether you are a parent, pastor, commissioned minister, church staff, or volunteer, we hope learning more about these practices and applying them will benefit your ministry to young people.   

Youth Gathering Focus
This track will dive deeper into preparing for the 2022 Gathering and may especially benefit first time primary adult leaders. This track will also look at the 7 Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry, in the context of preparing for the LCMS Youth Gathering. (Note: Standalone, informational sessions about the Gathering will be available throughout the event, without signing up for this track.) 

Hot Topics
Youth, parents, and youth workers are often on the front line of encountering challenging issues and philosophies (gender identity, race, existence of truth, etc.). Being equipped to understand these topics can bolster your confidence in communicating God’s promises to those under your care. Sessions will provide conversation and practical application of these topics.

YouthLead (High School Students)
This track is designed for high school student attendees looking to mature in their faith, become leaders in their congregations, and reach out to their peers with the love of Christ. Teens will stay with YouthLead leadership throughout the conference days and all sessions will take place in a single room. During main sessions, youth will sit together at designated tables. View the YouthLead track schedule.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification (July 14 only, 9 am – 4 pm)
Similar to CPR, mental health first aid teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health challenges, particularly in the areas of youth behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This course is trauma-informed and you will learn more about responding to youth and families around: anxiety and depression, cultural and identity challenges, suicide and self-harm, crisis and non-crisis mental health situations, offering support and finding resources available for help. (Note: This training costs $25 for books and supplies; currently sold out, waitlist available.)


We give thanks to God for the opportunity to gather together in Houston for the National ’21.  We wait with anticipation to be in-person with you all and celebrate God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  We give thanks for the caring staff of Hyatt Regency who continue to keep us appraised of safety guidelines of Harris County (TX) and the City of Houston.   

We are prepared for safety precautions to change in the coming months, but we wanted to start communicating expectations for our time together in July.  We will continue to update this information as things change in Houston and our nation. The Hyatt has provided their current heath practices and information about parking at the property.  In addition to information from the hotel, we also provide these additional insights for components of the conference: 

We will prepare a process for daily health check-ins and screenings.  Expect for your temperature to be checked and a short on-line health form to be completed.  Thank you for your patient with our process.   

  • As stated in the Hyatt information, face coverings are currently required in the Hyatt’s health plan.  Regardless of the guidelines in July, these will be suggested and always be welcomed by those who prefer to wear them around others. 
  • In our plenary session, we will social distance at our seats at either round tables, or spaced-out, theater-style seating.  This could happen in a variety of ways, such as: 
    • We value the opportunity to network during the plenaries, but this may look different than past conferences.  Seating at tables or chairs will be assigned.  We expect participants from the same congregation will sit together at the same table or same area. 
    • No more than 6 people per round table, that normally holds 12.  We will keep the numbers at a table as low as 4.   
    • Expect staggered entrance and exit times. 
  • In our smaller meeting rooms, chairs will be distanced and at this time rooms would be no more than 50% of standard capacity.    
  • We will plan with hotel staff to safely provided any meals and food breaks.     
  • Please be prepared for entry into the plenary sessions and other areas to take additional time.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the National Lutheran Youth Workers Conference (NATIONAL21)?

The dates for the conference are July 11-14, 2021. Registration will open Sunday afternoon and we plan for sessions to begin at 3:00 pm. Sessions will end by noon on Wednesday.

Where is the Conference Being Held?

The NATIONAL21 conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Houston hotel in sunny Houston, TX. The Hyatt Regency is located in downtown Houston within a 15-minute walk of major attractions and facilities. The hotel is newly remodeled, and the staff look forward to serving you and participants of the 2022 LCMS Youth Gathering!

Hyatt Regency Houston
1200 Louisiana Street
Houston, TX 77002
Ph: 713-654-1234
Hotel Website

How Much Does the Conference Cost?

The cost to attend the conference is $250 for youth and student (25 and under) attendees and $375 for adults. Each adult registrant receives a complimentary registration to the 2022 LCMS Youth Gathering. To be eligible for the complimentary registration, participants must stay at the Hyatt Regency Houston.

What is the Conference Hotel Rate?

The hotel conference rate is $139.99 (plus tax, around 17%). Reservations can be made using this link.