Last year my team and I created a new volunteer conference called Illuminate. You can read about what we did here, here and here. Essentially, the idea was to create an incredible experience for our volunteers at Gateway. Many times I’ve walked out of an incredible breakout at a national conference and said, “Wow! I wish all my volunteers had experienced that!” Unfortunately, most churches can’t provide a “national conference” experience for all the volunteers… unless that church brought the national conference to their volunteers. That’s what Illuminate is.

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, Gateway Church in Austin, TX will host Illuminate for the second time. I’m expecting 600-800 kidmin volunteers/staff for this incredible experience. The breakout and speaker lineup is amazing!

But wait… there’s more!

Last year when doing Illuminate in Austin, I had a thought. Illuminate is a huge blessing for kidmin volunteers in Central Texas. Why limit it to just Central Texas? Once all the content and program is developed, doing it again in a new location isn’t really that much work, right?

So on Saturday, August 27, 2011, Westwood Church in Birmingham, AL will host the first Illuminate Conference outside the great state of Texas. How exciting is that? We’ll pack in the same great stuff that made Illuminate successful in Texas, but serve it up Southern Style.

But wait… there’s even more!

Last year I recorded every session and breakout of Illuminate. I intend to record every session and breakout from Birmingham and Austin in 2011 as well. So, what am I going to do with all this great video content? You guessed it. Illuminate is going online. I don’t have specific dates and details yet, but plans are underway and concrete dates will be set this summer. I truly believe in what is happening with Illuminate. I don’t know of any other experience of this magnitude focused at equipping volunteers. Not everyone can get to Austin or Birmingham… but this video content can help anyone, regardless of where they’re coming from.

This year for Illuminate, I’ve gathered some of the greatest minds in Kidmin: Jim Wideman, Sam Luce, Jonathan Cliff, Gina McClain, Dan Scott, Matt McKee, Amy Fenton Lee, Michael Chanley and more to be announced. That’s a Kidmin Powerhouse!

So, whether you live in Texas or Alabama (or within a couple ours of the locations) or whether you have a computer with high speed internet, plan to connect with Illuminate this Fall. It could be exactly what you’re volunteers need most. Stay tuned for more details soon.

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