I’m very pleased to announce the Illuminate Conference. You’re probably asking, “what is Illuminate, I haven’t seen or heard anything about it?” True, you probably haven’t seen or heard anything about it because my team at Gateway and I just created it a few months ago.

So, why start a conference, aren’t there a lot of great ones out there already?

Good question. Actually, this conference has two very specific audiences. Like many churches, the economy has tightened budgets. It costs me almost $1000 (per person) to go to a national conference after paying for lodging, air, registration and food. One of the first things I was asked to cut from my budget were conferences. That makes sense. On the other hand, haven’t you ever come home from a national conference and though, “I wish my volunteers could have heard that speaker?” As a result of asking those questions, we developed the idea for Illuminate. Although I and a few members of my team might hit a national conference, our biggest focus is to bring the national conference to our volunteers.

Last spring we booked Craig Jutila to come and speak to our volunteers. We played around with the idea of having him speak specifically to our leaders one night and then have him speak to all our volunteers the next day and we’d open it up to other churches as well. We’ve footed the bill to bring in Craig, but we’d charge a pretty low rate to other churches to help us cover the costs. We figured that if we got enough people to come, this could become totally self-sustainable and we would be able to bring in a handful of Kidmin’s best every year.

So, just a few weeks ago we decided to broaden the experience by booking Michael Chanley (Creator of CM Connect), Sam Luce (the most famous Kidmin blogger in NY) and Jonathan Cliff (the most outspoken blogger against puppets I know). I’m so excited, I can hardly believe all this is happening and in a few weeks, I get to hang out with some of my favorite people in ministry.

I’ll be blogging about Illuminate all week, describing how we plan to pull it off. If you live close to central Texas, you really just plan to join us. Even if it’s a bit of a drive, we’ve got some great rates on hotels! Here’s more information:

Illuminate Conference
Saturday, Novmeber 6th
9:00 AM – 3:15 PM
Two General Sessions with Craig Jutila
Two Breakout Sessions geared to volunteer specific needs
A Chipotle lunch
An experience your team wont soon forget

All this for just $25 a person. Pretty amazing, huh?