2023 Gathering Q&A with Mike Howington


The Gathering 2023 will be an Out of This World experience for youth and youth leaders. This year’s event takes place February 24-26 at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson.

Mississippi Conference youth and family ministry coordinator, Mike Howington, left, and Big Al, right.
Below are questions and answers from Mississippi Conference youth and family ministry coordinator, Mike Howington about The Gathering and the exciting and Christ-centered events that are in store. Click here, for more information on The Gathering and to register.

Q: What number Gathering is this? How many years has it been?
A: This year is the ninth Gathering student conference. We would be celebrating year 10, but we didn’t have it in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Q: Explain the theme of The Gathering 2023. What is the significance of Out of This World?
A: The idea behind this theme is that God is bigger than what our simple minds can understand. Students go through life today thinking they have to face it all alone. They struggle to find the answers to what the world is throwing at them. Our hope is that we can show them that our God is huge and can do all things. We can't even understand how amazing he is, and if we tried to put it in earthly terms it would be out of this world.
Q: What are some of the events you have planned for this year?
A: The main thing that always happens at The Gathering is our focus on worship. That is no different this year. Phil Joel will be leading worship and Rev. Frank Haynes will bring the message, but we also have Gathering legends Big Al and DJ Blaha back as well. During our breakout time, all of those people will be leading session and we also have illusionist, Todd Smith who will do his show, and a pre-party, with inflatables, laser tag, DJ parties and more.
Q: Are their any health and safety protocols youth groups and leaders should prepare for?
A: At this moment we are going forward with the basic conference safety guidelines for local churches. If we see a need to change as we get closer we will update everyone.
Q: What are the details about registration?
A: We do registration and late registration. Click here to register and to see registration information.
Q: In closing, what would you like to add about The Gathering and what you’re looking forward to?
A: My heart is praying that students will come to The Gathering this year and find an encounter with the Living God that will change their lives. Their hearts will be open to the impactful worship and chaos of energy the Spirit always brings. If you are looking to light a fire under your students walk with God then you want to bring them to The Gathering 2023.

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