Belong Church and Magnolia Hotel Denver will be hosting the 2018 LEAD Conference in Denver, Colorado from January 21-24, 2018. LEAD is an innovative experience for leaders in ministry where the participants provide much of the content. This experience includes TED-style talks, interactive breakouts, worship, networking opportunities, and an evening of poetry and art. It will all kickoff on Sunday night, January 21st with an opening mixer sponsored by the Mountain Sky Area of the UMC. LEAD is now in its seventh year, and each year has provided a new experience for its participants. Highlights of the 2018 conference include:

Dynamic Speakers

All speakers at LEAD are full participants in the conference. This means there will be multiple opportunities to engage with the speakers and other participants about the stories and ideas they share from the LEAD stage. This year’s speakers will share talks around topics of brokenness and healing, public theology, balancing between multiple communities, and envisioning for the future. Our speakers include Jasper Peters, Sarah Heath, Margaret Gillikin, Crystal Farmer, and Irene DeMaris. More speakers will be announced here.

Interactive Worship Experiences

Our worship team, led by Jarell Wilson, is working on creating interactive spaces of worship that will include spiritual, covenantal, and sacramental renewal. Music will be led by Daryl J. Walker. In addition to Monday and Tuesday morning worship, we will also close the conference at Iliff School of Theology with a service of word and table. that will be extended to a fellowship meal sponsored by Iliff.

Evening of Music and Art at Grandma’s House

That’s right; Monday evening we’ll be headed to Grandma’s House. Not your Grandma’s house but the local Denver craft brewery and event center Grandma’s House. Dale Fredrickson will once again be leading a night of Poetry and Art, but this year he will be bringing along some of his friends. The night will be a continuation of the themes of the conference but will be incorporating various forms of art as the lens through which to see. Dale along with 4 or 5 of his friends will share their poetry, music, and art.

Registration has already opened and can be found here. Registration closes at 11:59 pm EST December 5th or when registration reaches its cap of 85. Single and Double registrations include three nights in the Magnolia hotel, and all registrations include two breakfasts, two lunches, one dinner, and an opening reception of light hors d’oeuvres.

For questions about the conference or information on sponsorship and marketing opportunities, please contact [email protected]. For the latest on speakers and other announcements, visit