"Given" is a word that means something is a gift. What is "given" is not taken. What is "given" is not gotten by something we've done. Something that is "given" is given to us by the Lord. The Law teaches us that we must give to God: our hearts, soul, mind and strength. The Law teaches us to give to our neighbor. But when sin came into the world, we stopped giving anything to God. So God gives to us. He gives His Son into death. Jesus gives His life for our sins. He gives us His body and blood and His Word and gifts. These are given by Jesus and save us. The Word "given" isn't a one time word, either. What is "given" is ours forever, because it is given by Jesus. His givens don't expire, run out or go bad. They are always ours and there is always more to be given.

Use these studies to get your Youth Groups thinking about the "Given" theme and how they have been given to by Jesus.

Download the first in a series of Bible studies on the theme for this summer's conference, "Given" and a leader's guide below.
[ Download Bible Study, Part 1] [ Download Leader's Guide, Part 1]

[ Download Bible Study & Leader's Guide, Part 2 ]

Plenary Speakers

The Rev. David Kind

Pastor David Kind is the campus pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis, a campus ministry congregation serving the University of Minnesota. He is 1992 graduate of the University of Minnesota and a 1996 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has been involved with leading and coordinating conference worship at Higher Things for the past 5 years and serves on the HT Board of Directors.

Pastor Kind has long held an interest in the study of the liturgy; and authored the book About Our Liturgy to help teach people the history and meaning of the liturgy of the Lutheran Church. His sermons have been featured in the journals "Concordia Pulpit Resources" and "Logia". He is has also been featured a few times on the Issues Etc. Radio show and on HT-Radio show.

Happily married for 14 years, he and his wife, Dana, have one son, Andrew, who is 8 years old. Rev. Kind enjoys making fine furniture, listening to classic jazz, and spending time with his family. Despite living in Minnesota for so many years among horn-helmeted, blonde-pig-tailed, Vikings fans, Kind remains a die-hard Green Bay Packer backer.

The Rev. Mark Sell

Pastor Mark Sell was raised in the Detroit area and educated in Lutheran elementary and high schools in that area. Pastor Sell has served congregations in Utah, Michigan, and Missouri. He has also served as a Senior Editor of Academic, Professional, and Consumer Books for Concordia Publishing House. Pastor Sell has been a Hospice chaplain, a high school teacher, and taught Greek in college and at the seminaries. He attributes his desire to be a pastor to the influence of his grade school teachers.

Pastor Sell is currently the Executive Director of The Friends of Mercy, an organization closely related to LCMS World Relief. With the Friends of Mercy he works abroad with AIDS orphanages in Kenya and sanctuary homes for women fleeing genital cutting (mutilation and circumcision). His work also includes the Lutheran Cancer and Hospice Society here at home.

Pastor Sell resides just outside St. Louis, MO with his wife Donna and his two children. He also  serves as an assistant pastor at Immanuel Lutheran in Wentzville, MO.