Get to Texas if you can

I love going to conferences because I love growing. I love learning from others. I love seeing my leaders grow. Of all the conferences out there the thing that makes Illuminate special is you get a national conference experience for $30.00. Why so cheap? Great question. My friend Kenny has a passion for building the local church and he wants to not only build his team and his church but he wants to build “the” church.

Being from the North East we never get Christian events like this anywhere near us so it is with jealousness I give you the 6 reasons you need to bring your team to Austin in 10 days.

1. Local Church based – It’s hosted in a local church by a kids pastor. I am a huge believer in the local church. Para-church organizations have their place, but I love the church.
2. Most of the speakers are currently pastors – There is something about hearing from someone who is serving in a church working with volunteers week in and week out. When I go to a conference I want to hear a pastor because they have skin in the game. In my experience a pastor has a much different take than a ministry consultant.
3. Amy’s Ice Cream– I hate junk food my one weakness is ice cream and Amy’s has to be some of the best ice cream I have had in my life.
4. Brother Jim Brother Jim is a living legend, he’s the Godfather of Kidmin but more than that he loves people. If you live within 3 hours of Austin and for $30 bucks a person you would be nuts not to bring your whole team  to hear Brother Jim’s heart.
5. Kenny Conley Is the biggest most influential blogger out there. Why because he builds the church. You need to meet Kenny and his team they are amazing. Plus I heard he will name his baby that is due within days of Illuminate after 401st registrant.
6. I would love to meet you –  Make sure you find me I would love to meet you.

I don’t care how you get there just get there if you can. Register Here

A conference created for Volunteers

My good friend Kenny invited me out to Austin Texas to be part of a training event for his volunteers and over the course of the next few weeks he decided to open it up to other churches as well. The result was a God idea. Kenny created an amazing opportunty for churches to take their volunteers to hear people you would normally have to fly to Orange or Kidmin Conference to hear. How cool would it be to take your volunteers to sit under Craig Jutila, Jim Wideman, Gina McClain, Jonathan Cliff, Matt Mckee, Amy Fenton Lee, Michael Chanley or Dan Scott.
The feedback Kenny got was sudden and overwhelming You can read about what he did herehere andhere. Essentially, the idea was to create an incredible experience for his volunteers at Gateway. How many times have you 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!

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 Kenny recorded every session and breakout of Illuminate. He intends 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, Kenny’s 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.

I am super excited about this. I really think that Kenny is on to something bringing the national conference experience to the local church. Can’t wait for August and November! I hope to see y’all there.

Don’t hesitate. Click here to visit the illuminateconference.tv

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I Love My Yankees!



So I have been inundated by well wishers from Texas asking about my mental state. Thanks for your concern…

1. I am just fine
2. I have recently become aware that the Rangers have more than 3 fans. Twitter is crazy awesome right.
3. Most texas fans don’t realize but for any true Yankee fan getting to world series is great don’t get me wrong but seeing the Red Sox not even make the playoffs brings us as much or more joy as a trip to the World series. I know that is hard for you to wrap your mind around but it’s true. I think Ranger fans underestimate the hate we have for the Redsox. For example I asked my son what team he loves he said “The Yankees” I asked him what team he hates “The Red Sox” I asked him what about the Rangers he said “Who are they”
4. Lastly I thought I would make a little chart to show you that I am just fine.

Congratulations Texas you deserve to advance it’s not officially over yet but so far you have been the better team “This week.”  Best of luck, Redsox suck.