Frequently Asked Questions
Applications will be accepted from January 2020-February 14, 2020.
Most teams will be formed from February 1, 2020-July 15, 2020. There may be a few exceptions based on planning needs.
There is roughly 200 planning positions that need to be filled.
We encourage you to be at least 23 years old to apply to be a part of this team. If you are 18-25 years of age we encourage you to apply to be one of our Young Adult Volunteers (application for this role will be released Summer of 2021)
Portions of the application are marked as required and must be completed. Some sections and questions are marked optional and you do not need to provide information or complete them. The on-line application will guide you to complete the required sections and questions.
If you are selected to serve on one of our teams you will be contacted by LCMS Youth Ministry or one of our Tier One Leaders. You will receive an email that outlines the team you have been selected for and the commitment and expectations we have for your role on that team. We will encourage you to spend some time in prayer before signing that commitment sheet and joining that team. Once we have filled our full team (goal is by July 2020) we will send out an email to anyone not selected that the team is full. However, we will hang on to the remaining applications in case we have to replace someone on one of our teams.
We are anticipating that we will have far more applications than we have spots to fill. If for some reason you are not selected to be on this team or if you determine you don’t have the commitment capacity over the next two years we would encourage you apply to serve only at the Gathering. Starting in the Summer of 2020, there will be an application process for those who would like to volunteer and serve at the Gathering. We have three different serving opportunities (CLB’s, YAV’s, On-site Volunteer) that are focused on serving at the Gathering. The application for Community Life Builders (CLB) and On-Site Volunteers will open Summer of 2020, and is primarily for those over 25 years of age. The application for Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) will open Summer of 2021 and is designed for those aged 19-25. There will be more information released next year on these three possibilities.
We require all those invited on to a planning team to go through a background check. We understand that we have all made choices in our lives that we regret and if something shows up on your report it doesn’t necessarily disqualify you. However, as we work on a Gathering that is focused on minors, we have a safety obligation to conduct a background check to access any possible risks to the minors we serve. There is a space on the application that is optional for you to explain or give context to anything that may show up.
With each planning team we have noted specific gifts that each team needs to complete their tasks. It will be a high priority for us to form teams around skills that are needed. The more specific you can be on your application about your strengths the better picture we can get on where you might fit best. LCMS Youth Ministry will look at your full application and references and prayerfully consider who we believe God is leading to that position. Another key focus in forming our team is a diverse range of Gathering experience, ethnicity, gender and vocational experience.
Read the descriptions and mark down the three teams that seem to match your gifts. We will use this section along with the gift section to try and match you with the best team. If you have a strong preference for a team mark that in priority of choice. Note that some teams will have more interest than others. Please note on the application if you only want to be considered for a specific team.
We rely on our planners to be leaders who have the capacity, skills and commitment to follow through and get things done. We would like three other voices in your life that can speak on your leadership and help us get a better picture of who you are and how you lead. These references have the freedom to reply with anonymity and honesty and will not be shared with the applicant.
We understand that in all our lives we face uncertainty of the future. We anticipate that we will have planners who change jobs, face key transitions, have a child, and encounter health challenges. When planners encounter unforeseen situations, we will have a conversation together if that change impacts your capacity to follow through on your commitment and to reach a decision together whether to continue or step down from the team. However, if you know that in the next two years there is a significant commitment that will affect your capacity of planning excellence (Pursuing school degree, key role in major campaign, serving on another Synod or District team) it would be best for you to wait until that commitment is done and apply for the next Gathering cycle.
Being on the planning team is a volunteer position and does not receive financial compensation for your time. However, as a planner your travel, meals and housing will be covered for any planning meeting you are asked to be at including the Gathering. Your flights will be booked through our Gathering office and you will be housed with another Gathering planner in a double/double occupancy room. You will receive a meal per diem for your travel and meeting dates and you have the option of submitting a reimbursement form within 60 days of the end of the meeting to be reimbursed.
All 200 Planners and 800 plus volunteers are focused fully on implementing excellence in all planning areas at the Gathering. As a planner you will not have the capacity during the Gathering to lead your group in anyway. There may be moments in the Gathering where you will be able to connect with them but the expectation is that your full focus is on providing leadership for the Gathering. You will also be housed in a different hotel than your group. It is important for the leaders of your youth group to understand that your focus needs to be on the role you have committed to.
Please email our Gathering Office at: Youth.Ministry@LCMS.org with any questions you may have. Please allow a week for a response to your question(s).