Upcoming Events

Being a Christian in an Adult World

A Higher Things® Youth Retreat

September 16-17, 2016

St. Paul talks about the differences in thinking between an adult and a child. Young people think young people thoughts, but as they get older, they start to act and think as adults. But this adult world that you are entering is not friendly to Christians, and it can be difficult to think like a Christian adult. Your identity is given to you by Jesus in your baptism, and He makes you righteous before God and others. You will learn about God's righteousness for you in baptism and what that looks like in the adult world around you as you live as the Christian God has made you.

Pastor Peter Ill is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, Illinois. He and his wife, Carrie, love to travel and enjoy plays and concerts. He is a Detroit Tigers fan and a recovering tuba player.

When: September 16-17, 2016
Where: St. John's Lutheran Church | 4265 W Keiser Rd. Columbia City, IN 46725
Cost: $25 per person
Contact: Vicar Adam McDowell | 260-244-3712 or vicar.john@gmail.com
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to download the retreat abstract.

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Youth Ministry 101

A Higher Things® Teaching Event

September 24, 2016

For the last 15 years, the mission of Higher Things® has been to assist pastors, parents, and congregations to cultivate a Lutheran identity among youth and young adults. But what does that look like day to day in our churches? How do we bridge the gap between generations and raise children who understand and appreciate the faith into which they were baptized so that they stay in the church as they grow up? Join us in Cincinnati for this Higher Things teaching event where Rev. George Borghardt and Crysten Sanchez will go over the theological and logistical nuts and bolts of what it means to have a successful youth ministry, and how to build one.

Rev. George Borghardt is the President of Higher Things and the Senior Pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church McHenry, IL. Crysten Sanchez is the Conference Coordinator for Higher Things.

When: September 24, 2016
Where: St. Paul Lutheran Church | 5433 Madison Road Cincinnati, OH 45227
Cost: $50 per person
Contact: Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to register for Youth Ministry 101

The Youth Are Not the Future of the Church

A Higher Things® Development Retreat

October 1-2, 2016

People often suggest that we need to focus on the youth because "the youth are the future of the church." But the youth are NOT the future of the church. They ARE the church. Right now. Jesus says, "Unless you become like little children, you cannot see the kingdom of God." That's a good reminder that we don't grow up into being part of the church. We are a part of the Body of Christ from the moment we are baptized. Join us as Pastor Mark Buetow teaches on the particular challenges that youth face today and how the church can support and uplift them as members of Christ's Body already. We'll first examine the challenges and struggles kids today face. Then we'll look at how a distinctly Lutheran way of worshiping keeps youth (and adults) in Christ. We'll discuss how theology never needs to be "dumbed down" for youth. Finally, we'll take a look at how fun and recreation fit into a youth program. We hope this mission fest will open up some fresh perspectives for those who attend and help us better care for the youth who are already the Church!

Pastor Mark Buetow serves as the Associate Pastor and School Administrator for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois. He served Higher Things for nine years as Internet Services Executive and then Media and Deputy Executive. He has taught and written extensively for Higher Things. Pastor Buetow is a graduate of Purdue University and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He is married and has three daughters. In his free time, Pastor Buetow enjoys tabletop (strategy, war, card) gaming.

When: October 1-2, 2016
Where: Calvary Lutheran Church | 540 Dexter St. Wray, CO 80758
Contact: Brent Adler | bjadler1971@yahoo.com
Or Erica Jacoby | Higher Things Development Executive | erica@higherthings.org
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to register.

The Sanctity of Life

A Higher Things® Youth Retreat

October 7-8, 2016

Christians value life differently than the world. This puts us at odds with a lot of people on issues like abortion, euthanasia, and even self-esteem. Sadly, this has caused us to develop a bad habit. The phrase "sanctity of life" has become a slogan used to explain why someone else is wrong. The sanctity of life is not an argument with winners and losers. It is an expression of God's love. It is a call to remember that our value does not come from what we can do, but from what was paid for us. We were purchased and won with the holy and precious blood and the innocent suffering and death of Jesus. Without the God who makes us holy, or sanctifies us, the sanctity of life turns into a measuring stick used to condemn instead of a gift. Jesus died that you might live. Life is a gift.

Rev. Harrison Goodman serves as pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Carroll, Nebraska.

When: October 7-8, 2016
Where: First Lutheran Church, Holyoke, MA | Hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church, Manchester, NH in conjunction with the LCMS New England District Youth Commission
Cost: $50 per person
Contact: Christine Moser | 603-899-9499 or cmoser0404@myfairpoint.net
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

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Accident or On Purpose?

A Higher Things® Junior Youth Retreat

October 21-22, 2016

You are not an accident! Yes, that's right, I said it! God made you. Amazing! How He does it is just as incredible. He makes male and female. He institutes husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, etc. He creates human beings. See how He did all this in the beginning and how it all was very good. There's even more! We'll see just how giving God is. He is God FOR YOU in your creation. He is also God FOR YOU in your redemption through a second and last Adam, His Son Jesus Christ. Good-Friday-On-The-Cross-And-Easter-Sunday-Risen- From-The-Tomb-Jesus does His very good redemption and restoration of you the sinner so you can be a human being just like it was in the beginning with Adam and Eve. And that is not an accident either by the way. What joy! Come check it out!

Pastor Brent Kuhlman is the Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Murdock, Nebraska. Pastor Kuhlman and his wife, Robin, have three children, Allison, Jake, and Carlie.

When: October 21-22, 2016
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church | 1001 E. 9th Street, Gillette, WY 82717
Cost: $45 per person
Contact: Rev. Jared Tucher | 307-682-4886 or revtucher@gmail.com
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to register.

Confession and Absolution

A Higher Things® Junior Youth Retreat

November 4-5, 2016

God knows that you have sins that weigh down upon your heart. He knows that the devil and the world are eager accomplices for your own sinful nature. He knows that the only way for you to be free from your sin is the absolution that has been won by his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is that absolution that God wants spoken into your ears to your troubled heart. He gives you a pastor to speak the medicine of immortality in the midst of sorrow and pain. It all comes by the speaking of Gospel freedom. Where the Law strikes us dead, Jesus and his Gospel raise us to life. Join us as we study the 5th chief part of our faith: Confession and Absolution.

Pastor Steven Cholak and his wife Stephanie live in Roswell, New Mexico where Pastor Cholak serves Immanuel Lutheran Church and School as Associate Pastor and 5th/ 6th grade teacher. He's passionate about Gospel predominated, Cross focused, Christ centered preaching.

When: November 4-5, 2016
Where: Faith Lutheran Church | 1701 E Park Boulevard, Plano, TX 75074
Cost: $45 per person
Contact: Rev. Steve Kieser | 972-423-7448 or skieser@flsplano.org
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Register by Friday October 28th to receive a Retreat T-Shirt.

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to register.

I Believe That I Cannot Believe

A Higher Things® Youth Retreat

November 18-19, 2016

Why doesn't everyone believe in Jesus? How do I talk to my atheist friends about Jesus? How do I get them to believe what I believe? We can't argue our unbelieving friends into faith in Jesus as Savior. In fact, our job as Christians isn't to convert anyone to Christianity. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, Who calls people through the Gospel, and enlightens them with His gifts. He keeps us with Jesus in the one true faith. Even conversion is a gift! Join pastor Donavon Riley as he teaches on the Third Article of the Creed, sharing his own experience of being converted from atheism into the Christian faith, as he explains the reasons for unbelief, conversion, and Christian faith.

Pastor Riley serves St. John Lutheran Church in Webster, Minnesota and is the Online Content Manager for Higher Things.

When: November 18-19, 2016
Where: Zion Lutheran Church | 4206 West Elm Street, McHenry, IL
Cost: $50 per person
Contact: Rev. Mark Buetow | 618-318-3680 or buetowmt@gmail.com
Or Patrick Sturdivant | Higher Things Retreat Coordinator | retreats@higherthings.org | (888) 482-6630

Click here to download the registration packet.

Click here to register.