Lutheran Youth Representatives (LYR)
The Kansas District Lutheran Youth Representatives (LYR) program gives young people an opportunity to grow in faith and strengthen their leadership skills as they share the love of Christ with other youth. The representatives attend meetings of the District Youth Ministry Team, help at events such as the Kansas District Youth Gathering, and visit churches, where they worship with the congregation and present Bible studies.
If you’re interested in joining the team, complete the application below. Please note applicants will need a sponsor. (To learn more about the role of a representative and a sponsor, please see the “Expectations” document below.) Applications are accepted throughout the year but are only reviewed prior to District Youth Ministry Team meetings held twice a year in January or February and August or September.
Meet the LYR Team (2019-20)
Fun fact: Has a YouTube channel with almost 2,000 subscribers
Favorite Bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11. I tend to stress out about many things in my life and this verse reminds me that God is in control. He knows what he’s doing, and I just need to trust in him.
Why LYR? I wanted to be a part of LYR because I wanted to be more involved in my faith life. I go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, but I knew being part of LYR would make me take a closer look at my walk with Christ. I also wanted to be a positive representative for Lutheran youth. Through being a Lutheran Youth Representative, I’ve gained a different perspective on the workings of the Kansas District. For example, the other representatives and I hosted a sectional at the District Youth Gathering. It was nerve-wracking and pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed the experience.
Bethany, Overland Park
Fun fact: I play three different instruments. My main instrument is the clarinet, which I use in my high school band. I taught myself the ukulele and tenor saxophone in my free time.
Favorite Bible verse: Exodus 14:14. This verse reminds me when I’m going through things that I’m not alone. When I can’t God can.
Why LYR? I love meeting new people and growing in my faith. My sister encouraged me to apply, and I’m glad I did. There are many benefits from the LYR program. I’ll grow in faith, become a better public speaker, and make great connections around the state.
Trinity, Garden City
Fun fact: I am part of my school’s cross country and track team. I also play three instruments for our marching band and youth praise band.
Favorite Bible verse: 1 John 3:16. This verse reminds me of what Jesus did for me on the cross and reminds me to spread God’s word.
Why LYR? I wanted to be a part of LYR because I love meeting other youth. I have been blessed to be able to go to the National Youth Gathering, our District Youth Gathering, and many other camps. I always get so much from these retreats and would like to help contribute to them. I am also very excited to be able to spread God’s word to anyone I can.
Risen Savior, Wichita
Fun fact: I am the oldest of eight brothers and love to play guitar.
Favorite Bible verse: Matthew 4:19. As Jesus called His disciples to “fish for men,” I see myself called to fish for men as well.
Why LYR? As a Lutheran Youth Representative I hope to be able to grow in my faith as a Christian. Going to the different youth programs, whether Lutheran Valley Retreat (LVR) or the Kansas District Youth Gathering (KDYG), was a huge blessing in my life, and I want to be able to help with those events and give input to benefit others who may attend. Meeting and working with new people is always exciting for me, so to join with many across the U.S. all working toward a higher calling is more than I could think of ever doing!
Fun fact: Volunteers at Shiloh Ranch Ministries and helps run the sound system at church
Favorite Bible verse: Micah 6:8 – “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously” (MSG).
Why LYR? I’m excited to be a new member of LYR, because my faith has had a huge impact on my life, and I want to help share that faith with the youth of the Church. I would also like to help the youth understand the important role they play in the Church.
Christ, Overland Park
Fun fact: Plays on the varsity tennis team
Favorite Bible verse: Deut. 4:19
Why LYR? I enjoy being a Lutheran Youth Representative because I have grown as a Christian and established a stronger faith in the years I have been a part of this team. I get to practice sharing the Word and what I believe with my peers around the state of Kansas.
Risen Savior, Wichita
Fun fact: Plays tennis at school
Favorite Bible verse: Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for human masters,” because it reminds me to do my best and to keep God at the center of it all.
Why LYR? LYR has helped me branch out, and my communication and organizational skills have greatly improved. I’ve also helped out more at church and in my community. I think it’s easy for us all to turn down an opportunity to help out, thinking of all of the reasons why we shouldn’t do it, but I learned that it’s refreshing to step out and be the one to say, “I can help,” which also inspires others to do the same. LYR has allowed me to grow in my faith, step out of my box, and try new things.
Charity and Jesse Smith
St. Luke’s, Manhattan
Jesse Smith, originally from Superior, Nebraska, works as a quality control expert at the ATEAM on Ft. Riley. His favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which sums up his goal for his family as the leader of his home.
Charity Smith has worked as a director of Christian education (DCE) at St. Luke’s since November 2012. She graduated from Concordia University Chicago and is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Charity’s favorite Bible verse is Titus 2:7-8, which sums up her desire for how she wishes to conduct herself in ministry.
In May 2019, the Smiths welcomed their first child, daughter Magdalene.
Jesse and Charity decided to volunteer with the LYR program because they value youth ministry. They’re excited that they get to work with some phenomenal youth from across the Kansas District and help develop their leadership skills.
We’ve been very grateful for this chance for our daughter to use her leadership skills for the benefit of students in our synod. She uses them at school and work, but through LYR she can make an eternal difference.