Mission

The mission of Higher Things is to support the church in passing on the Faith by teaching the next generation the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that they are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, as revealed in Scripture alone.

Beliefs

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was crucified for your sins and raised for your forgiveness, and the forgiveness, life, and salvation He won for you on Good Friday and Easter are delivered right to you in His Holy-Spirit-filled Word and Sacraments. This is the heart and soul of our preaching, teaching, and worship because this is the full substance of the entire Christian Faith. Jesus died, Jesus rose, Jesus delivers FOR YOU.

Jesus’ salvation, won and delivered, is for all people of all nations, and Higher Things believes that this is regardless of age group as well. For the past 20 years we have been blessed by God to assist in delivering Jesus’ cross-won, empty-tomb-certain salvation to thousands of youth and young adults through our summer conferences, regional retreats, and our digital resources.
We are humbled to assist the local congregations, their pastors, parents, and youth leaders, as we deliver and do the exact same thing they do: delivering Jesus through His Word and Gifts.

By the Spirit’s working upon us, we rejoice wholeheartedly in the completely free salvation and forgiveness that Jesus won for us, delivers to us, and also delivers through us to others. By the Holy Spirit working upon us through Christ's Word and Gifts, He enlivens us to go about our work of passing on to the next generation what we believe, teach, and confess about Jesus and what He has done for each of us and for all.

Pastor Aaron Fenker
Dean of Theology

Growing Up Lutheran

In 1998, several LCMS pastors began planning a smaller, more regionally-minded, cost-effective conference for youth, designed to be uniquely Lutheran. A year later, those plans were unveiled for the Dying to Live National Lutheran Youth Conference, held in the summer of 2000 and sponsored by the Wyoming District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Over 700 youth and adults from 25 states attended what was, for all intents and purposes, the first Higher Things Conference. Based on the success of that first conference, more plans developed for what would become Higher Things.

The name for the emerging group was chosen just before the first conference, as it had become obvious by then that the event would serve as the impetus for something worth continuing and expanding. The new organization’s theme verse was: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:1-2).

Twenty years ago, Higher Things was started by a handful of pastors and laypeople who cared very deeply about the young people of the church. Today over 1700 LCMS congregations have been impacted by the mission of Higher Things.


Higher Things is a lot of things, all of which seek to keep young people focused on Christ and His gifts as they grow and mature in their faith. It is parents teaching their children the Catechism. It is youth workers and volunteers reinforcing what is preached from their congregation's pulpits and confessed in their pews. And it is pastors keeping their young sheep Lutheran as they grow up.

In two decades, we haven’t wavered in our mission to assist parents, pastors, and congregations in cultivating a distinctly Lutheran identity among their youth and young adults. We work to bring the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified to youth via our events, app, curriculum, reflections, videos, articles, VBS curriculum and more! Higher Things strives to be available to youth from their cell phones, computer screens all the way to their summer plans.

Our plan for the future? We will keep putting the Gospel in the ears of youth as long as the Lord allows!

Our New Look!

Higher Things is proud to introduce our brand new logo! You will see this logo used in various ways throughout our digital and print materials, and we’re excited to explain the meaning behind our new brand. 

Formerly, the Higher Things logo was simply a bolded, stand-alone text without an organization tagline, or any other markings. Over the years various images were added, and sometimes the tagline was present.  Unfortunately these images created confusion and created a lack of visual cohesiveness throughout our materials. With this new logo Higher Things has made our materials not only more consistent, but also more easily recognizable to our audience. Wherever you see the Higher Things logo we want you to know that you will get solid, gospel-filled teaching. 

The new Higher Things logo comprises two elements, the logotype and the “Dare to be Lutheran” tagline, together they create the Higher Things brand. Higher Things has created this new image in an effort to communicate the culture of our organization and show our commitment to our mission and the future.

Our name, Higher Things, now appears as a handwritten script, reminiscent of text you might see a teacher write on a whiteboard. Countless times in breakaway sessions in conferences and retreats pastors and teachers have explained the faith to youth with nothing but a white board and a marker. This aspect of the logo is intended as our homage to these simple catechetical roots while maintaining our commitment to teaching the faith.
The flowing letters are also meant to evoke feelings of movement and youthfulness. Our organization is only 20 years young, and we plan to continue moving forward into the future, striving to produce theologically sound resources that are accessible to current generations and generations to come. These handwritten letters are so versatile that they can be placed on a modern photo, sacred art, or next to a crucifix, all the while reminding you that we are an organization that exists to pass the faith on to the next generations.

Finally the fluid letters in the Higher Things portion of the logo is grounded by our tagline “Dare to be Lutheran”, in the same way that confessional Lutheran theology is the basis of our organization’s mission. We remain committed to our roots. Daring to be Lutheran means we dare youth to believe the Gospel! It means we help parents, pastors and youth leaders teach youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that they are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, as revealed in Scripture alone.

These two pieces, handwritten typeface and tagline, confess the story of what Higher Things is...and is about. As a youth ministry organization, our future is in reaching more youth --even youth who aren’t Lutheran yet--with gospelly content via digital touchpoints and events. While we push forward into the future we are always reminded that our Dare to be Lutheran is the foundation upon which we stand.

The text of the word “Higher Things” might have changed, but our purpose hasn’t. We continue to strive to teach the Gospel and dare youth to believe the Gospel is for them!