Wednesday, September 22 – Registration and Kick Off

The Gathering officially starts in the evening at the Village Church of Gurnee which is a short drive from the suggested hotel. There will be limited shuttle service this year. You may want to plan on renting a car or coordinating rides on your own. We created a thread on the Message Board in the Affiliate Resource Center to help you coordinate. Not interested in receiving messages regarding carpooling? Remove yourself from the thread while continuing to receive information regarding other pertinent Message Board topics.

1:00 – 5:00 PM – Day Zero (optional): Trauma-Informed Care: Putting Humanity Back Into Human Services (see description below)

4:30 – 5:30 PM – Registration at Village Church of Gurnee

5:30 – 6:30 PM –  Taco Fiesta at Village Church of Gurnee

6:30 – 8:00 PM – Gathering Opening Session

Day Zero: Trauma-Informed Care: Putting Humanity Back Into Human Services

Even before COVID-19, trauma was widely prevalent in our society. The collective trauma we are all experiencing now as the result of this pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. Moreover, trauma has negatively affected organizations taxing already stressed systems of care and practitioner wellness. Trauma-informed care is an intervention and organizational approach that focuses on how trauma may affect an individual’s life and their response to services. This presentation will examine the adverse childhood experiences study and explore the many faces of trauma and its prevalence in society. We will discuss how the application of the six values of trauma-informed care drive connection and can be applied in multiple service settings. Never before has this topic been more relevant and needed to serve each other and those depending on us for help. 

Thursday, September 23

Roll out of bed, enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and then grab your notebook and pen before heading over to the Village Church of Gurnee for your Role Day Breakouts!

8:00 – 8:30 AM – Coffee bar and fellowship in the lobby of Village Church of Gurnee

8:30 – 9:30 AM – Praise & Worship and Plenary Session

9:30 – 9:45 AM – Break: Beverages and snacks available in the lobby

9:45 – 11:30 AM – Role Day Breakouts (see details below)

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch/Break

12:30 – 1:15 PM – Plenary Session

1:30 – 3:00 PM – Role Day Breakouts (see details below)

3:00 – 3:30 PM – Break: Beverages and snacks available in the lobby

3:30 – 5:00 PM – Role Day Breakouts (see details below)

5:00 PM – Free evening: Dinner on your own – list of recommended restaurants

Executive Directors

Transforming Communities: A Community Development Lens | Led by: Daniel Walker
Transforming communities requires addressing underlying systems, institutions, worldviews, and narratives. A community development lens can help Love INC affiliates identify and participate in efforts to bring about change. In this session, you’ll explore the key components of Christian community development in order to recognize and engage in community transforming initiatives.

Impact of COVID-19 | Led by Tyan Hayes
Explore the impact and lessons learned from COVID-19​.

Developing Your Staff’s Strengths | Led by: Jim Louwsma
An Executive Director’s responsibilities are endless. From everyday projects to overall performance, you’re the key to ensuring your organization meets its goals. Your most important job, though, is developing your people. Because when you go beyond being a boss and instead coach them to use their strengths, they help your team and the whole organization succeed. In this session, Executive Directors will learn how to apply the Strengthsfinder Assessment for personal and team development. The discussion will include a “strengths mapping” process to gain a deeper understanding of how the different strengths interact and more.

Resale Store Members

Resale Store Round Table | Led by: Resale Store Members
The topics for this session will be generated a month prior to the Gathering by those who have signed up. Collaborative input on the identified topics will drive the conversation.

Board Members

Redemptive Compassion | Led by: Lois Tupyi
I believe the Church has an unique call upon them to respond to need in ways other helping entities cannot do – by building healthy relationships and bringing the hope found only in Jesus Christ. Yet I believe most churches are challenged in how to meet need effectively in ways that lift people out of need, rather than sustaining them in their need. Dallas Willard says and I quote, “We cannot continue to keep trying to do Kingdom work, it is time for the Church to train to do Kingdom work. The philosophy of Redemptive Compassion helps equip people to meet need biblically and holistically, offering transformational opportunities that can change lives, a family’s future and ultimately the community they live in. Come explore together how I believe God has called us to offer biblical, wholistic help to those we serve.

Board Work | Led by: Jim Louwsma
In this session, we’ll discuss core principles that are foundational for effective, Biblically-based Board leadership.

Going Deeper for Boards: A Framework for Strategic Thinking | Led by: Joey Spiegel
This session will discuss how a healthy board requires healthy practices. We’ll take time to dig into the deeper responsibilities of your board while exploring a framework and principles that will help you think and act strategically and generatively.

Clearinghouse Gap

Get “Rejuvenized” | Led by: Denny Howard
In the Gospels, there are 11 account of Jesus’ involvement in the practice of self-care. So what is our problem? In this session, we will explore the things we do and ways we think that block us from self-care. You’ll discover your obstacles and how to remove them so you can possess the vitality essential for lifelong service to others.

The Nuts & Bolts…and Heart of Gap Ministry | Led by: Vicki Conn
Let’s bring into focus the purpose and plan of Gap Ministry. No matter where your affiliate is on your Gap Ministry journey, you are invited to take time to consider each important piece along the way. We will paint a clear picture of the process from the first nudge of identifying a need, to the steps of discerning and planning with a local church on launching a Gap Ministry, to effectively implementing, nurturing and sustaining each one. Gap Ministry is a beautiful way to effectively mobilize the Church to serve in meaningful ways.

Impact of COVID-19 | Led by: TBD
Explore the impact and lessons learned from COVID-19​.

Transformational Ministry

Impact and Lessons Learned by COVID-19 | Led by Hilary Ford

Seeking Shalom: Fostering Peace and Wellbeing in Transformational Ministry | Led by: Daniel Walker
How do we journey with others to help them experience God’s full shalom—that is, His ongoing peace, wellbeing, health, and wholeness? This biblical framework for seeking the peace and welfare of our communities gives insight into both the hindrances and helps in building shalom. In this session, we’ll explore these dynamics and identify tangible ways to foster peace and wellbeing in our Transformational Ministries.

Be “Transformational” | Led by: Denny Howard
High capacity people who care are not immune to challenging relationships. We all have people who pose a challenge for us. In this session, you’ll discover how to navigate challenging relationships while increasing your capacity to “Be Transformational”.


Brand Strategy Basics | Led by: Catherine Vlieger
Why do organizations spend so much time thinking about, talking about, and documenting their brand? One answer—If you don’t define the brand (or true identity) of your organization—it’s likely that someone else will. And chances are, they won’t get it right because they don’t have the whole picture. It’s incorrect to think the brand is all about our logo, fonts, and how we use them. That’s only part of branding. In this session, we’ll talk about our brand and how enhancing your brand experience can help you better achieve your goals.

Round Table | Led by: Pat Schwartz and Laurie Mueller Comilla
In this session, participants will share ideas and interact on topics selected from a pre-Gathering survey of registrants. This means you will get to help set the agenda! Begin thinking about what you do well, lessons you’ve learned, or topics you’d like to hear more about from other affiliates.

The Art & Science of Fund Raising: Strategies for Success | Led by: Linda Cates
This workshop will present the key elements of comprehensive planning for fund development. You will have an opportunity to create, assess, and/or update your plan for fundraising to engage all target groups—staff, board members, volunteers, church partners, community collaborators, businesses, and individuals. Various planning tools proven to increase results will be provided to participants.

Full Conference Tracks

Regardless of your role, you may choose to participate in one of the following Full Conference Tracks. Please note the adjusted schedule for each of these tracks.

Pebbles and Stones

Led by: Kathleen Trock
Using an intergenerational approach, Pebbles and Stones brings the gospel to children and adults through biblical storytelling followed by listening to God’s voice, journaling, sharing, and praying. In this two day track, participants will grow in their relationship with God as they learn to hear His voice. They’ll also build relationships by listening to each other, talking about their journal page, and praying for one another. God’s love becomes profoundly tangible as participants seek God to hear how physical, emotional, and spiritual needs can be met.

*This track will take place all day Thursday and Friday, so if you choose it, you will not be placed in a Role Day Breakout, nor will you choose Friday sessions.

Affirming Potential

Led by: Love INC of Treasure Valley
This track will prepare your affiliate to provide Affirming Potential as a Transformational Ministry Class. Together, we’ll explore the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual areas of a person’s life from a biblical perspective. Then, using the Affirming Potential Dream Tool, you’ll learn how to guide participants in setting and achieving goals, as well as creating action steps for reaching their full potential. A unique offering of Love INC of Treasure Valley, Affirming Potential is endorsed by Love INC National.

*Prerequisite: Vision & Reality Training
**Affirming Potential participants will need to arrive Tuesday afternoon, as the first session will begin at 6:30pm. The track will continue all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with the exception of Praise and Worship/Plenary Session when participants will join the larger group.
*** Track participants will pay the regular Gathering Registration price/participant in addition to the $200/affiliate cost for the Affirming Potential toolkit (toolkit will be invoiced by Love INC of Treasure Valley).

Friday, September 24

By Friday morning, you’ll have been completely immersed in your Role Day Breakouts and have made great relational connections with people from across the Love INC Movement! Once again, we will meet at Village Church of Gurnee, but this time for our Friday Sessions. We’ll have the coffee on!

8:00 – 8:30 AM – Coffee bar and fellowship in the lobby of Village Church of Gurnee

8:30 – 9:30 AM – Praise & Worship, and Plenary Session

9:30 – 9:45 AM – Break: beverages and snacks available in the lobby

9:45 – 11:45 AM – Workshop Session #1 (see options below)

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch/Break

12:30 – 1:15 PM – Plenary Session

1:30 – 3:30 PM – Workshop Session #2 (see options below)

3:30 – 3:45 PM – Break: Beverages and snacks available in the lobby

3:45 – 4:30 PM – Round Up – Speak Up – Praise Up

5:30 – 6:00 PM – Refreshments

6:00 – 8:00 PM – Launch Together Towards Tomorrow – Banquet and Program

Developing Transformational Leadership - The 4R Model

Led by: Jim Louwsma
What is management vs. leadership? What is Transformational Leadership? How do you deploy Transformational Leadership? Dive deeply into the 4R model of Transformational Leadership in this workshop.

Maintaining Vitality While Serving Others

Led by: Denny Howard
Helping people can be exhausting in every way. In this workshop, we’ll identify the four types of stress we encounter—and how they are expressed. Join us to develop a personalized strategy on how to both gain and maintain vitality through the challenging seasons of work and home life.

Navigating The Social Media Stratosphere

Led by: Catherine Vlieger
Social Media is a complex, mysterious world. With ever-evolving rules and algorithms, it’s no wonder why managing it can be a full-time job. So how do you navigate it well without being online 24/7? In this workshop, we’ll begin with a high-level channel overview for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube. Together, we’ll explore each channel’s general audience and purpose, as well how you can utilize each channel to enhance your brand engagement and awareness. Next, we’ll explore systems that can help you listen well and save time by scheduling in advance. And finally, we’ll lean into content strategy planning, so you can leave with a 1-month and 6-month content plan for your social media channels.

Launching The Coolfocus Database

Led by: Michelle Miduri
This workshop will feature a demonstration of our custom Love INC database, followed by a time of Q&A.

Cultural Competence to Help Bring Churches and People Together

Led by: Daniel Walker
The core role of Love INC is to bring churches and people together—it demands time, and requires an investment in relationships. But there is more . . . it requires cultural awareness and competence to help prevent or reduce misunderstandings, biases, stereotypes, and mistrust. Does your Love INC leadership and church network reflect the cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of the churches in your community? Communities are becoming more and more diverse, and it is likely that every Love INC has room to grow in this area. Dan Walker of CaminoRoad will lead this session reflecting on his time as a former affiliate Executive Director and his later doctoral studies and consulting work with churches on this topic. Look for a request for attendees to share their experiences and the opportunity for collaborative input.

Engaging the Next Generation

Led by: Jennifer Lund
Connecting and involving the next generation in our Love INC affiliates is critical to both our short and long-term success as an organization. At this year’s Gathering, Love INC National is providing a workshop to give Love INC leaders practical suggestions and tips on effective ways to engage young adults at their affiliates.

Nurturing Church Relationships

Led by: Dana Parker
Church relationships are hard, yet they’re one of the sweet spots in the work of Love INC. Do you struggle with building real relationships with each of your church partners? What about the churches who don’t partner yet or the one who you feel like you dropped the ball on? If so, this workshop is for you. Together, we’ll explore and develop ways to effectively build solid, lifelong relationships with your Love INC affiliate and the churches in your area.

Putting the "Fun" in Fundraising with the Best Practices!

Led by: Linda Cates
From launch of a Love INC affiliate, through a mature organization – fundraising is essential to your success. The best practices will provide a pallet of tools to grow and expand your development activities and results at every stage. With a full toolbox, you can be confident in your approach and outreach in support of a wide range of fundraising strategies – in person asks, event planning, grant writing, developing partnerships and building relationships.

Discovering A Love that Changes + Challenges

Led by: Lois Tuypi
We are commanded to “love one another as God has loved us.” John 15:12. But do we truly understand how God loves us? If we do not understand God’s love, then how can we expect to understand how He wants us to love others? This class will explore “what if” statements about God’s love to us and then flesh each premise out with a “if this is true, then…” practical application. If you are trying to live out Redemptive Compassion, you need to attend this class.