Today is Wednesday and the Austin Illuminate begins in three days. I’m so excited!!! We have over 50 churches from all over the state of Texas (and even one from Oregon) gathering at my home church this Saturday. Although the registration are not exactly where I had initially hoped, we have experienced very healthy growth this year over last year and I think we’re going to have a great crowd with some dynamic energy for this little event. So, let me tell you why I’m so stoked about this weekend.
- Connecting with people who I love and respect – I’ll be perfectly honest. There is some selfish motivation behind me starting the Illuminate Conference. There are several people who lead in the local church that I have gotten very close to over the years. They’ve impacted my life and I can’t imagine doing ministry without them in my world. They’ve become dear friends and I’ve invited them to speak at this event for two reasons. First, because I believe that they’re some of the best of the best and I want these people speaking into my volunteers and the people who lead kidmin in my city and state. Secondly, I brought them here because I love any time I can get with these people!
- Building up the church – I believe that Illuminate has the potential to be a game-changer within the local church. Once a volunteer gets “fired up” there’s no telling what they’re going to do. There are precious few resources out there that exist to “fire up” volunteers. My hope is that volunteers will get a better glimpse of what they’ve been called to and as a result of this weekend, churches will never be the same.
- Equipping my volunteers – So this whole Illuminate thing came about over a year ago as a method to better equip our own volunteers. Even though it is super exciting that hundreds of kidmin staff and volunteers will come and grow, I’m most excited about the 75 volunteers and leaders that serve the kids at Gateway week in and week out. This has always been about them and I’m excited about what they’re going to get out of this event.
- Making new connections – If you read any of my posts from the last week or two, you’ll see that I’m passionate about connecting with others, especially those who serve kids locally. It wasn’t always this way, but I’m really on mission to find others who do what I do in my city. I’m excited because there are a lot of people coming to Illuminate that I’ve never met that serve right down the road from me. I hope that Saturday is the the beginning of many new relationships.
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