Why would 25,000 teenagers and their adult leaders willingly walk the streets of New Orleans in 90 degree heat with humidity that makes it feel like 101? Why would they walk over 10 miles a day and survive on little sleep for a week?
In New Orleans for the #NYG2016 this past week, I discovered the answers. Here are the top 10 reasons why we loved the New Orleans LCMS National Youth Gathering 2016.
Check out hashtag #NYG2016 on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat to see lots of photos of the Gathering taken by people from all over the United States and even the world.
Every 3 years, the Lutheran Church (LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) hosts a huge gathering for high school youth. The event is always amazing and often a life-changer for those who experience it.
Something of a rite of passage for many of us in our church body, I experienced my first Youth Gathering in Denver in 1989. (Many people who were part of this Gathering remember it as the Gathering where kids were caught in a storm at Red Rocks amphitheater, which even made national news.)
I attended my next Gathering in 1992 in New Orleans as a recent high school graduate, and in 1998 I was able to attend as a “Yellow Shirt” which is the huge team (1,500 people strong) of Gathering volunteers. At the time Kiersten was a newborn and Bekah was a toddler, so our daughters experienced their first NYG at a very young age! In 2013 Mike, Bekah, and Kiersten attended the Gathering in San Antonio.
Here is a link with previous National Youth Gathering Years and themes.
In 3 years the Gathering will be in Minneapolis, MN.
Why We Loved the New Orleans LCMS National Youth Gathering 2016
10. Connecting with our group.
9. New Orleans culture.
7. A good workout.
5. Never alone.
3. Skit Guys.
The top fun event for most of us was watching The Skit Guys during one of the Mass Events and at a post-Event concert. Check out their YouTube channel here. These guys are so hilarous and boy do they know how to work a crowd!
This isn’t one they did at the Gathering, but this is my favorite skit of all time. It’s called GRACE. Totally worth your 4 minutes to watch this:
2. Mass Events
1. Worship and Communion with 25,000 other youth and adults.
See lots more photos and videos here: LCMS Gathering Page
Were you at the New Orleans Youth Gathering or another NYG? What was the best part for you? Tell us about it in the comments below.