The mission of Higher Things is to make the gifts of Christ Jesus known to youth and young adults.

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. For over 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 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’s 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.


“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.” (Colossians 3:1-2)


Dare to be Lutheran - Higher Things Conference 2005

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.” (Colossians. 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 congregations’ 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, confirmation 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!

Board of directors

executive team