What makes Higher Things® unique among youth ministry organizations?

Higher Things® is unique because its primary goal is to deliver the Gospel to Lutheran young people without either “dumbing down” our doctrine and theology or relying heavily on entertainment to keep their attention. Higher Things® doesn’t seek to manufacture a “wow” factor. Our goal is simply to deliver Christ and Him crucified to young people, emphasizing the Theology of the Cross as opposed to a Theology of Glory. Higher Things® believes sincerely that Lutheran youth actually want to be Lutheran. Therefore, we are intentionally catechetical in nature and unashamedly committed to centering our activities around Christ Jesus as He comes to us in His Word and Sacrament.

With whom is Higher Things® affiliated?

Higher Things® is a Recognized Service Organization of the Synod. All those in leadership positions with Higher Things are members or pastors in good standing in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. All speakers at our annual Higher Things conferences are LCMS pastors or laity in good standing of LCMS congregations. We use the hymnals of the LCMS for our worship.

So what exactly is 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 seeking to teach their youth the catechism. It is youth workers and volunteers seeking to reinforce that which is preached from their congregation’s pulpits and confessed in their pews. It is pastors wanting to keep their Lutheran sheep Lutheran as they grow up.

As the first LCMS President, Dr. C.F.W. Walther said, “The preacher should care in a heartfelt way for the confirmed youth in his congregation; be serious about this group of Christ’s sheep, who stand in special danger; and keep a watchful eye on them.”

What do we mean when we say “Dare to be Lutheran®”?

It means we dare you to believe the Gospel is for you! That 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!

How did Higher Things® get its name?

The name for Higher Things® was chosen before the first conference in Laramie, Wyoming. Higher Things was formerly the name of the campus ministry newsletter at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and Campus Center in Laramie, Wyoming, and was based on the new organization’s theme verse, “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, NKJV).

What happens at Higher Things® events?

Three distinct things: worship, work, and play. Higher Things® events have a very strong emphasis on worship—normally holding three services each day from the daily prayer offices (Matins, Vespers, Evening Prayer, Compline, etc.). A lot of time at events is also devoted to solid biblical teaching in both plenary and breakaway sessions on topics of catechetical interest to youth by speakers skilled at connecting with them. And there is always a healthy mix of fun fellowship activity for teens, too. Each locale provides unique opportunities for youth to engage in a variety of fun and recreational activities together and during free time. Higher Things® hosts on-site and virtual conferences, regional retreats, and confirmation camp.

What type of worship can I expect at a Higher Things® event?

Higher Things® cherishes the liturgy that the Church has received. We believe that the continuity of the liturgy best delivers the Gospel of Jesus, and provides truly Christocentric worship both at home and at our conferences. Higher Things® believes that worship away from home should make one feel like they are still at home. And for the majority of Lutheran congregations this means a traditional liturgy from one of our hymnals. Thus, Higher Things® only uses liturgy and hymnody that can be found in the treasury of our Lutheran hymnals.

What makes Higher Things® content unique?

You can find a lot of Christian resources out there that are geared for youth, and you can even find a lot of publications that address different matters from a foundation of confessional, sacramental Lutheran theology. All Higher Things® videos, columns, Bible Studies, podcasts, and Reflections are unique because they put the two together, treating all sorts of relevant topics for youth from a Lutheran, Law/Gospel foundation.

Where can I find Higher Things® content?

You can access Higher Things® free content right here on our website or you can download our HT app on your mobile device from all major app stores. There is new content everyday and there is something for everyone; youth, young adults, parents, pastors, anyone!

What can I do to support Higher Things®?

We greatly appreciate your prayers, support, and volunteer service. Your donation could send a youth to a conference, help a congregation pay a retreat deposit, push a content project toward completion, or maybe even purchase toner for a printer!

We also love our volunteers. There are many ways to volunteer which could include anything from being an on-site staff helper at an event to writing a website article. If you have time and a talent you’d like to share with us, send us an email at development@higherthings.org.

What if I have more questions about Higher Things®?

Please email info@higherthings.org and your question will be forwarded to the person best able to answer your question. Or click here to send us a quick message.