Can I share with you one of my best kept conference attending secrets. I learned this one from some good friends of mine. When deciding on which breakout to attend, always pick the speaker over the breakout title. Well, unless what the speaker is talking about has no interest to you. It’s true though, sometimes a really great breakout crashed and burns because the speaker didn’t communicate it well enough. Stick with a strong ministry leader/communicator and you usually won’t be disappointed with the experience.

I’ve taken this little rule to hear when it comes to planning Illuminate Conference breakouts. If I pick the best speakers I can get my hands on, then it doesn’t matter what they talk about, it’s going to be great, right? Pretty much.

No, I’ve gone through the painstaking process of picking an incredible team of communicators and lining them up with the things they are most knowledgable and passionate about. You can know that when you bring your team to Illuminate, your volunteers are going to walk away with pages of notes because they’ve learned from some of the best.

Check out some of the breakouts we’re hosting in different cities this year:

Teens in Ministry: Never too young
Many kid’s ministries depend heavily on teenage volunteers to fill in the gaps and execute critical roles every Sunday. We’ve designed a breakout specifically for teenagers so that they can be equipped to serve for the long haul.

Capture Attention and Incite Wonder: Communicating with Kids
Dan Scott, a production/programming genius will share how to take communication to kids to the next level. Whether you’re speaking from the stage, leading a small group of kids or greeting kids in your environments, there are skills you can develop to capture attention and entice wonder. What would it look like if every volunteer had this skill?

Controlling the Chaos: Discipline in Kidmin
Discipline problems plague many kid’s ministries. Volunteers often feel like they’ve lost control and if things don’t get better, we’ll lose good volunteers. This breakout helps volunteers learn how to get control of the environment so they can lead well for a long time!

Five Things Every Leader Has to Get Right
Based on the super practical book, the Eric Trap, Jim Wideman shared with ministry staff and leaders the things that are essential to leading well. Ministry is filled with traps that hold us back from our full potential. Learning these five things could be a game-changer for your ministry.

Partnering with Public Schools
Every church is surrounded by public schools, yet the church’s presence is rarely felt within school walls… but it doesn’t have to be that way. This breakout will show how any church can have great influence in a local school by approaching the school with a heart to serve.

Seven Minutes Max
Although we get an hour or more with kids each weekend, there are about 7 minutes that are more critical than all the rest. How we handle these 7 minutes may determine the scope of our influence over a family for years to come.

Well, those are just a few of the amazing breakouts planned for this year. Yes, there are more than 30 breakouts planned for the five cities. It’s going to be epic. To read the descriptions of all the breakouts (to see what breakouts are in which city, choose the appropriate city under the breakout menu at the top of the page at, click here!

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