2016 Youth rally impacts teens

More than 2,500 WELS teens and their adult leaders from across the country gathered at Colorado State University–Fort Collins, Colo., June 28–July 1 to worship, study, have fun, and celebrate the One who has washed away every sin.

The 2016 WELS International Youth Rally, organized by WELS Commission on Youth and Family Ministry, featured worship, two keynote speakers and several educational workshops focused around the theme “Our God Reigns,” based on Isaiah 52.

“The whole rally experience is designed to meet the kids where they are at today,” says John Boggs, chairman of the Commission on Youth and Family Ministry. “It is designed for them to have fun, to be edified, and to understand and cherish the truth that they are not alone, that they have brothers and sisters throughout this country who are involved in the struggle with them, who know Jesus, and who share the truth and joy that they have in him.”

The rally’s mission is to provide teens and adult youth leaders with Bible-focused worship, education, and fellowship opportunities that deepen their commitment to Christ and the church. Here is what some rally-goers said about their experiences . . .

Duke Backhaus, 18, from St. Paul’s, Tomah, Wis., was impressed by the presentations offered. “The workshops were amazing; I really loved them. They all pointed me toward Christ and taught me a lot. I know now I’m going to be a pastor.”

Emily Gage, 18, from Good Shepherd, Woodlands, Tex., explains what it is like to worship daily with more than 2,500 other teens: “It was awesome to praise God with so many fellow Christians my age and to know that everyone is here for the same reason.”

Grant Kloosterman, 16, from Living Word, Gray, Tenn., sums up his thoughts on his first rally: “WELS really is like a big family. It seems everyone knows someone and nobody here at the rally feels like a stranger. We all love each other. It was great to end each day with evening reflection time. It was a time to relax, discuss, learn, and listen with your youth leaders and friends on the incredible day we all experienced.”

Boggs says, “The young people of our synod are not just the future of our synod; they are the here and now of our synod. They need to be in worship and Bible study, and they need our prayers, support and attention now.”

The next WELS International Youth Rally will be held in 2018.

To watch video presentations from the rally, go to wels.net/youth-family.


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Volume 103, Number 9
Issue: September 2016

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