The Gathering

 The vision for The Gathering is to create a high-energy weekend conference for Mississippi students in grades 6th – 12th to gather together to celebrate Christ and grow in Him. Our commitment is to create a first-class experience featuring the best worship teams and communicators for this generation. The Gathering strives to be a highlight of your year!


Big AL

DJ Blaha

Phil Joel

Rev. Frank Haynes

The Gathering Schedule

Friday, February 24

7:00 p.m.          Check In/Late Registration/Pre-party                                           Outdoor Courtyard

8:30 p.m.          Worship Session                                                                              Sanctuary

10:30 p.m.        Leave for the night

11:00 p.m.        Church group time (guide provided)                      Church group time

Saturday, February 25

10:00 a.m.         Worship Session                                                                    Sanctuary

12:00 p.m.        Lunch                                                                                                  Fellowship Hall

Chick-fil-A sandwich, chips and a bottle of water. Youth leaders are asked to take care of the students with dietary restrictions.)

1:00 p.m.          Todd Smith illusionist.                                                             Sanctuary

2:15 p.m.          Youth Leader Training led by Weston Blaha                         84

2:15 p.m.          Student Breakout 1

                         Todd Smith hand magic.                                                      235

                         Frank Haynes (Q&A)                                                              Fellowship Hall

                         Phil Joel (Q&A)                                                             Youth Worship Room

                         Big Al Worship Party                                                              Sanctuary

2:55 p.m.          Student Breakout 2

                         Todd Smith hand magic.                                                      235

                         Frank Haynes (Q&A)                                                              Fellowship Hall

                         Phil Joel (Q&A)                                                             Youth Worship Room

                         Big Al Worship Party                                                              Sanctuary

3:30 p.m.          Free time                                                                     onsite or on your own

5:00p.m.         Campus closed/Dinner                                              offsite on your own

7:30 p.m.          Worship Session                                                         Sanctuary

9:30 p.m.        Dismiss

Session 1 Small Group :: Prodigal Son :: Luke 15:11-24

  1. When Frank was talking about the different stages of the journey of the Prodigal Son, which stage do you think you fit in?  Are you in the Turn Stage, Run and Fun Stage, Continuing and Confused Stage, or Lost and Empty Stage?  Why do you think you are there?
  2. Frank mentioned that we all have a Jesus shaped void in our hearts, that can only be filled by Jesus.  Yet we try to fill it with so many things in this world.  Of the examples Frank used which ones do you try to fill that void with most often?
  3. What was your biggest takeaway tonight?  What do you think Jesus is saying to you?

Small Group leaders, I would read your group well and if it is needed, I would encourage you to ask if any still need to return home that did not do it during the response time. Let them know, they can do that right now in the group. They don’t have to do it in the Sanctuary. You can always come home.

Session 2 Small Group :: Calming the Storm :: Mark 4:35-41

  1. What are some life storms you’ve faced recently or are facing now?
  2. When you face a storm do you tend to try to fight or flight?
  3. Why is faith and going to Jesus, the calmer of storms, often a last resort and instead of first reaction?
  4. What was you biggest takeaway this morning?  What do you think Jesus is saying to you?

Session 3 Small Group :: Rich Young Ruler :: Mark 10:17-31

  1. How would you define your purpose in life?  What do you think Jesus would say your purpose in life is?
  2. Acts 17:28 says that it is in Jesus that we live, move, and find our being.  What do you think that means for you? 
  3. Coming into the weekend, what would you say sits on the throne of your heart?  If Jesus were telling you to let go of something like money for the Rich Young Ruler, what do you think that would be for you?
  4. How is your life different when Jesus sits on the throne of your heart?
  5. What was your biggest takeaway tonight?  What do you think Jesus is saying to you?

The Gathering FAQs


            Students in Grades 6-12 and their leaders


           The vision behind The Gathering is to create a high energy weekend conference for students to gather from all over the state to celebrate our Lord and Savior. Our commitment is to create a weekend event that is as first-class quality as you could find anywhere else in the country, with the best worship teams and communicators.

What time does it start?

          Pre party begins at 6:30pm Friday February 24,2023


            Christ United Methodist Church, 6000 Old Canton Road, Jackson, Mississippi

Please park behind Christ UMC. There will be flags to guide you. We would like all the students to enter through the courtyard for the atmosphere of this event.

How Much? 

            Large group registration: $60 (20 or more must be registered by February 13, 2023 if registered by February 13,2023

            Regular: $70 (if registered & paid by end of February 16, 2017)

            Late: $80 (after February 13, 2017)

            Partial scholarships (limited availability): Contact Mike Howington  or 601.354.0515

            Pay online with credit card when you register or you may mail a check to:

            Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church

            320-C Briarwood Drive

            Jackson, MS 39206

How do I register? 

            Click here to register.


             Each church plans there own lodging.

What to bring?

             Completed consent/health/release form for each minor

             Spending money

What do we need spending money for?

             Gathering T-Shirts, $15

             Old gathering T-Shirts, $10

             Concession stand, (drinks, chips, candy, etc.) $1

             Phil Joel Merchandise

             Big Al Merchandise

             Any extra needed for free time

Exhibitor Space Available

    Price: $100

What all does it include:

      -6ft table in lobby at 

      -2 day event access

      -We will introduce you and your ministry during the event

       -power available

Please contact Mike Howington at

Upon Arrival:

          Check-in is located on the second floor. Leave your students in the courtyard at the pre-party and check in at the registration tables. Please have this adult bring to check-in: completed consent/health/release form for each minor, amount due if you have a balance. We will give this adult an event packet. Packets include: name badges, printed schedules and maps of the Christ UMC campus. Packets will also include a copy of the Church Group Time guide.

What if the number of students changes after registration? 

          Number changes are welcomed and expected. If you have a new head count before February 20, please contact Mike Howington at  After February 20, if it is a significant change please call Mike Howington at 601.354.0515 or email Otherwise we can handle them at the door.

What is Church Group Time?

          A moment each evening that youth groups can get together and unpack the highlights that God revealed that day. The guide will have discussion to help stimulate conversation. This also serves as a deeper response time to follow up with anything God is pouring in the kids’ hearts.

What is the Pre-party?

          This outdoor pre-party is a great time for the students to leave the school week behind and enter an atmosphere built just for this weekend. The pre-party includes: Laser tag, basketball, DJ, inflatables, candy/coke concessions, photo 360 booth, 9 square, octoball and other games.



Facebook: MS Conference Youth and Families


320 Briarwood Drive
Jackson, MS 39206
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