By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LifeWay’s annual ETCH Family Ministry Conference is moving online this fall in an effort to reach more student and kids ministry leaders than ever before.
ETCH (Equipping the Church and Home) is traditionally held in Nashville, but because of the coronavirus, will transition to a purely online format for 2020. Last year, ETCH was sold out as around 1,300 ministry leaders of kids and students gathered to hear more than 50 speakers and breakout leaders.
This year’s live ETCH Conference, held October 13-14, will contain even more content and is poised to reach additional ministry leaders as its purely digital presentation will allow kids and student leaders from across the world to tune in. And with travel costs and logistics not being a factor, entire kids, students and family ministry teams along with parents can now watch together.
“While we will miss seeing so many of our NextGen leaders in Nashville this year, we are excited the live, virtual ETCH Conference will allow entire NextGen teams to attend together, providing a flexible experience that church staffs can tailor to their needs,” said Jana Magruder, director of LifeWay Kids.
This year’s two-day ETCH Conference is themed “Reach” and will focus on inspiring and equipping parents and ministry leaders to reach the next generation with the gospel.
“This season has brought a lot of change to the church,” said Ben Trueblood, LifeWay director of Student Ministries. “It has introduced us all to a brand-new set of tools, but it has not changed our mission: to reach the next generation of students and kids.
“A primary vision of ETCH is that it would be a conference where staff teams—whether paid, volunteer or both—can come together for a time of encouragement, rejuvenation and content that can lay the groundwork for working more effectively as a team.”
This year’s ETCH Family Ministry Conference will contain four main sessions and will have more than 60 breakouts to choose from.
- Derwin Gray, lead pastor of Transformation Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Megan Fate Marshman, women’s ministry leader at Arbor Roach Church (Long Beach, Calif.)
- Robby Gallaty, author and pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church (Hendersonville, Tenn.)
- Jamie Ivey, author and speaker
- Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
- Ed Stetzer, dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College
- Trillia Newbell, author and acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers
- Kelly Minter, author, speaker and songwriter
- Mark Croston, LifeWay national director of black church partnerships
- Trevin Wax, LifeWay senior vice president of Theology and Communications
- Jessie Campbell, lead pastor of Highlands Community Church (Renton, Wash.)
- Michael Kelley, LifeWay senior vice president of Church Ministries
- Sissy Goff and David Thomas, directors at Daystar Counseling Ministries (Nashville)
Because of the financial strain many churches and ministries are experiencing due to the pandemic, LifeWay is offering three flexible pricing tiers for this year’s ETCH conference. General registration begins at $79 and will provide live viewing during the two-day conference.
Premium registration ($99) will provide access to all content for two weeks following the conference, while VIP registration ($199) will provide access to the full ETCH digital library for one year along with exclusive webinars, a coaching session and other digital perks.
“This year, with ETCH being online, the opportunity for teams to ‘attend’ together is even greater,” said Trueblood. “I look forward to seeing how God uses this unique moment for the benefit of His church.”
More information can be found at etchconference.com.
Aaron Wilson is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.