Yesterday I announced our volunteer conference, Illuminate. However, the idea of this conference isn’t new by any means.

I’ve always struggled with volunteer training. No matter what you do, they often tend to be somewhat “forced.” They’re necessary, but for a long time I’ve felt the need for a revamping of the traditional training meeting. So, about 4 years ago while serving at Cross Timbers Church in Argyle, TX, I came up with a different idea for training our volunteers. We called it Gear Up.

Essentially, it was a conference style training specifically for volunteers. We had an early-bird breakfast, live worship, an opening keynote from our senior pastor, a closing session and two breakouts where volunteers could pick what they wanted to learn about. We included a new volunteer orientation for the newbies as well as session on discipline, communicating to kids, dealing with frustrated parents and four or five other topics. We had about 100 volunteers show up and it was definitely a success. Those who came really loved it, they learned a lot and most importantly, they felt appreciated.

Since Gear Up, I’ve been wanting to do it again. However, I knew that I wanted to bring in a headline speaker and open it up to other churches as well. So, Illuminate is definitely birthed out of the desire to have creative and innovative ways to inspire and equip our volunteers and while we’re at it, we’ll provide a stellar experience for any church who wants to participate. This probably won’t take shape this year, but I’m very interested in what happens when a bunch of churches in the same city get together and beging getting to know each other.

If you’re interested in attending Illuminate, click here!

* Dont’ get me wrong though. Illuminate is not just my brainchild. My incredible team hear at Gateway have been behind this and and have been developing Illuminate from day one.