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Youth Ministry

For Middle & High School Youth


Integrating young people into the body and mission of Jesus Christ

Explore recommended faith formation resources and events for Youth in Grades 6-12

"Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

- 1 Timothy 4:12

Youth Ministry Resources

ELCA Partnerships: The ELCA also partners with a variety of organizations that publish youth ministry resources, including:

ELCA First Third of Life Faith Formation Resources for Youth: Visit ministrylinks.online to browse many more ministry and seasonal resources for youth! Some highlights include:

Faith LensWeekly Bible studies that engage youth and young adults in connecting world events with the Bible, faith, and everyday life.


Sticky Faith — Building lifelong faith

Peer Ministry Leadership — A ministry for all denominations based on Christian theology which flows from the Good Samaritan Story, with emphases on relational caring, welcoming and affirming skills.

Other Ministry Resources

Faith Formation with Adolescents — Vibrant Faith Resources for Faith Formation Innovation

Fuller Youth Institute — Research into resources. Helping the church become the best place for young people to grow.

Milestones Ministry — Recognizing God's presence in everyday moments

Ministry Architects — Free Tools and Resources for Youth Ministry

Practical Resources for Churches (PRC): Youth Ministry The NC Synod is excited to be a member of the PRC to offer you these resources for free! What is the PRC? Their mission is to provide faith communities time-effective, cost-efficient, and results-oriented programs and services to help your congregation fulfill your mission and ministry. Click the link above to have access to a plethora of webinars, materials, and other resources!

Book Recommendations

Growing With — Every Parent's Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in Their Faith, Family, and Future

Growing Young — 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church

Sustainable Youth Ministry — By Mark DeVries

Youth Faith Formation Events

Faith Alive Campfirmation Retreats

Four weekends – seven retreats covering each part of the small catechism + Luther/Reformation History.

Experiential learning leaves lasting lessons and builds relationships.

Creative worship, crafts, songs, games and a campfire create an experience long remembered.

Lutheridge staff provide supervision for campers, sharing their faithful witness. Come alone or with a group. Lessons are geared to middle school, but 5th graders and high school youth are welcome. Adults are encouraged, but not required to attend with their youth.

KAIROS Confirmation Camp

A weeklong faith formation experience set apart at Lutheridge!

For more information and to register, check out NovusWay’s website!

Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.

For more information, check out the ELCA’s website: elca.org/gathering

Update regarding the 2021 Gathering:

After much prayer and consideration, the decision was made to postpone the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about the postponement and the 2022 Gathering, please visit: elca.org/YouthGathering/COVID19.

2022 ELCA Youth Gathering: Boundless — God Beyond measure

The 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held July 24-28, 2022, in Minneapolis, with the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) and the tAble, scheduled for July 21-24, 2022.


The Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) of the North Carolina Synod is open to all youth in grades 6-12.

Youth are members by virtue of being a member of any NC Synod ELCA congregation.

Every year, Lutheran youth across North Carolina gather for an entire weekend in February, from Friday evening to Sunday morning.

At LYO Assembly, youth spend time with each other in small groups, singing with the band and growing in faith.

The strength of LYO in North Carolina comes from the youth themselves. The LYO Board (board members are grades 9-12) is always youth-planned and youth-led. Adult leaders work hard to create an environment that nurtures and grows faith and develops all youth as leaders.

For more information or questions about the LYO Board, please contact the LYO Board Advisers Cathryn Hewett and Kai Thurow.

LYO Assembly 2021 — Click for more details!

ELCA — Outdoor Ministry

We are a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith & life.

For many, outdoor ministry is a life-changing experience. In partnership with congregations, outdoor ministries strive to strengthen, support and lift up the body of Christ by encouraging spiritual growth in outdoor settings. There are 121 ELCA-affiliated camp, retreat and conference center sites in the United States and Puerto Rico.

NC Synod - Outdoor Ministry

As a synod, we are blessed to have two wonderful Lutheran Outdoor Ministry organizations right in our backyard!

Check them both out to learn more about the camps, retreats, and programs they offer:

Celebrate Camp Month in February to promote summer camp for children, youth, and families! Promotional resources can be requested from both ministries in advance. Inquire about scheduling a camp representative to come visit, too!

BYG-er: Agapé † Kure Beach Ministries’ wants to help you grow the bonds with the 6th-8th graders in your group even BYG-er as you play in the woods of Agapé middle-school style!

Experience all the fun of a BYG event and more! Groups may take longer hikes, camp at the Outpost, and try out the low-ropes course.

BYG-est: Would you like the opportunity to get to know your high school youth group kids a little better?

Agapé Kure Beach Ministries is proud to offer BYG-est, the high school version of our growing Building Youth Groups program. Bring your youth group to our Kure Beach facility and participate in games, team building activities, devotions, bible studies, discussions, and lots of beach fun. Our quality counselors will be in charge of the group, so you can enjoy getting to know your youth. 

While you are at BYG-er & BYG-est retreats, you & your campers will have:

  • Caring college age counselors who will work with group leaders and campers to facilitate relationship building experiences.
  • Time set aside for group leaders to be with their individual groups to plan, reflect, or simply be together.
  • A flexible schedule that allows us to modify activities as needed.

For more information and the current dates of BYG Retreats, check out Camp Agapé's BYG website or  email Program Director Christa Hassler..

LYO Board or NC Synod Band — Visit LYO Assembly to learn more about these opportunities.

Youth Core Leadership Team

Youth Leadership Summit — Visit elcayouthministry.com

YouthQuake — Consider inviting a middle schooler to “assist” with your 3rd-5th graders. It’s been a joy to watch them assume their new leadership role for those congregations who have tried this approach. Visit Children's Ministry to learn more about this event.

Additional Resources


Faith Lens

Weekly Bible studies for youth & young adults


NC Synod Pinterest

NC Synod Pinterest Boards


Safe Gatherings

Child Protection Training & Background Checks

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