The following list will give you a good idea of what to expect and will help you prepare for the extensive training opportunities you've come to expect at Citygate Network's Annual Conference and Exposition. For a downloadable grid of all available seminars and super seminars to make your planning easier, click here.
Please Note: This list of seminars is subject to change, and the most up-to-date list can be found on the schedule page.
Expanded, In-Depth Sessions
The Expected Unexpected: Leading Before, During, and After Crisis
An angry mob has just arrived on your campus, bent on destruction. A tornado is ripping a path toward your front door. God tells us not to fear, but He also calls us to be wise stewards—to prepare. When crisis strikes, it’s too late to formulate a plan. In this session, Maj Gen (Ret) Jack Briggs—a mission CEO—will lay out the strategies, architecture, and processes he used as the director of operations at US Northern Command; while heading up security for NYU’s 15 campuses; and now to safeguard rescue mission guests, staff, and assets.
The Heart and Science of Mega Donor Development
High net worth individuals require a distinctive and tailor-made cultivation and development plan, one that gets to the heart of philanthropy and also considers the brain science behind giving. This workshop will seek to infuse your work with deeper meaning—both for you and your donors—as you explore the facets of a truly donor-centric approach to major gift fundraising. You’ll learn how to facilitate rich engagement with key givers that leads to greater commitment to your ministry’s priorities.
Addiction Recovery Programs of the Future
Addiction recovery programs should be residential—shouldn’t they? Maybe there are alternative modalities to consider or philosophies that engage clients in different ways. We’ve invited some recovery program experts, who all see recovery a little differently, to come wax eloquent about where they believe recovery is heading in the future. Bring your questions, your program director, and maybe even your IT manager.
Merging Transformation, Community Engagement, and Development
In its Hope in the Gate initiative, Citygate Network seems to have discovered a secret sauce that brings together three powerful ministry forces: (1) rescue mission dynamics, (2) Christian camping dynamics, and (3) gospel music dynamics. This is a compelling combination, seldom seen as a triad. The initiative is continuing to gain traction, and its reach is expanding. Come and hear why this is important and how your ministry may be able to engage in this unique and meaningful mix that is becoming a movement.
Breakthrough Ideas from Our Ministry Road Trip
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission has been focused on taking their operations and ministry impact to the next level. Sending pairs of team members to various innovative missions and ministries across North America, these scouts made observations, questioned their assumptions, and returned home to process all they’d learned. Find out what they discovered, what changes they’re making (and why), and what they’re doing to ensure they continue innovating. This seminar is equals parts action and inspiration.
Pertinent Education in Nine Profession-Based Tracks
CLIENT & CULTURE
Tracking with Global Trends, Legal Issues, and other Critical Ministry Topics
The Emerging Role of the Medical Care Manager
Healthcare can be a maze—and a minefield—for anyone. But for the people you serve, the vast healthcare systems in the U.S. and Canada can be especially daunting and even dangerous. This session will explore how medical care managers can advocate for clients; help them navigate these systems; and assist in coordinating insurance and providers in a way that ensures clients safely get the care they need.
Partnering With the Public Sector: Opportunities and Pitfalls
Can you really work with local government and not compromise your values or be tied to unacceptable policies? Probably so, but you must enter this arena carefully. Hear from a mission leader and a city leader who partnered to funnel some $6M toward expanding the ministry’s capacity to serve. You'll leave better equipped to make an informed decision that could lead to even more success in the future.
Race, Poverty, and Homelessness: A Historical and Biblical Perspective
Understanding racism is often limited by one's own experience. An honest accounting of racism in America tells the story of the cultural and institutional forces that have resulted in people of color being overrepresented in poverty and homelessness. This seminar will view our history and our present through a biblical lens, examining God's heart, unpacking tools, and clarifying a vision for unity within our diversity.
Mental Health Ministry on the Frontlines
In both Canada and the U.S., it's estimated that at least one of every five people will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. Most do not seek treatment. The prevalence of serious mental illness is higher among the populations we serve. In this session, Dr. Matt Stanford will describe methods for recognizing, relating, and intervening, so that people can engage in restoration.
Inspiring Intentionality and Vision for Ministry Leaders at All Levels
Not Just CEOs: Planning for Succession at Every Level
Succession is traditionally considered a "CEO thing." While it's vitally important to have a plan should the executive office become vacant, how does your organization ensure continuity in downline roles? This seminar will explain how ministry-wide succession planning can be an amazing tool to recruit, motivate, and retain great staff members. You'll leave with pragmatic tools to ensure the ministry can thrive through inevitable changes.
Taking the ‘Limits’ Off Your Leadership
Beyond empowering leaders to lead projects and people effectively, this seminar is about helping them find their voices and reigniting their passion to lead. Jo Saxton will help leaders answer important questions about what’s happening in their lives and what is shaping them. Here, leaders can discover how to raise their game, overcome the next great obstacle, and maximize the next amazing opportunity.
Can Unity and Diversity Co-exist in Your Organization?
With an open heart and the right strategy, you can cultivate unity and expand ministry by increasing diversity. This workshop will outline a path toward nurturing staff cultural intelligence, identifying barriers, and implementing an effective change process. We'll also discuss demographic trends, cross-cultural leadership lessons, the role of diversity in measuring outcomes, and assessing organizational culture across various dimensions.
Not Just Any Seat at the Table
A decade ago most gospel rescue missions shunned material involvement in their Continuums of Care. But today, many Citygate Network members have a seat at the CoC table and are seen as an integral partner. What’s more, an increasing number of your colleagues are now chairing CoCs, hosting navigation centers, and driving the critical conversations. This session discuss the pros, cons, strategies, and caveats to consider.
PUBLIC IMAGE & BRANDING
Energizing Deeper Community Connections and Collaborative Partnerships
Is Your Social Media Too Woke?
One can hardly scroll through social media without viewing carefully curated activist graphics hashtagged with the latest cause. This medium is particularly susceptible to oversimplifying complex issues into buzzwords that, not only miss the mark, but alienate others while distracting from meaningful action. This session will unfold a philosophy that you can use to ensure your social media strengthens support for real progress while also keeping your messages relevant and engaging.
Marketing Your Ministry to the Community of Need
We all market robustly to potential donors, but do we promote our programs well to clientele? How can we go beyond word-of-mouth to inspire engagement in life-changing programs? Come hear what one mission is doing, aided by marketing professionals, to employ research, innovative media, and a hotline to raise community awareness and increase program utilization. You'll leave with inspiration, samples of creative collateral, and practical steps.
Setting Your Podcast Apart
Podcasts are more popular than ever, and they’re more intimate and versatile than a newsletter or a social post. But in a rising sea of content, how can you get your podcast noticed and build a faithful audience? You’ll leave this seminar with a simple plan for starting your podcast (for less than $100!); an introduction to tools that streamline production; and strategies for marketing your message.
Embracing Challenges and Opportunities in Taking the Reins of a Storied Ministry
Leading change within a ministry boasting a long, colorful history demands a unique tack. When celebrating history while also casting a new vision, it’s important to bring along the community, partners, and your team. Whether you’ve recently stepped into a leadership role at a venerable ministry or you’re wondering how you can refresh the vision of such an organization, this session offers lots of guideposts and inspiration.
TRANSFORMATIONAL PROGRAMMING I
Inspiring LifeChanging Programs Toward NextLevel Outcomes
Integrating Financial Education into your Mission
Traditional financial education isn't designed for people living in poverty. When struggling to make ends meet, advice on retirement accounts and mortgages just isn’t relevant. There's a better way to help people understand and steward their money. Best of all, you don’t have to be a financial expert. Integrating effective financial education into your ministry can reshape the way your clients view their resources and live their lives.
Moving from Job Preparedness to Career Development
Everyone deserves the chance to experience the dignity of work. But many people face challenges that keep them unemployed or underemployed: lack of skills, past incarceration, poor education, access to transportation...and more. Without the right tools and a supportive community, it’s nearly impossible to overcome these obstacles. This workshop will explore how to effectively integrate a career preparedness program into your ministry—one that can be transformational for your clients.
Is Respite Care Right for Your Ministry?
Hospitals and communities are struggling to find healthy options for our friends in need of a safe and clean recovery period, many turning to their local mission for help. The growing need for short-term medical respite care has ministry leaders asking if it’s time to open the doors a bit wider. Engaging with your local hospital and municipalities to establish workable solutions can help build the best option for recovery and lifelong healing.
Mobile Case Management: Expand Your Community Impact
Despite our best efforts, successful outreach programs can be nearly impossible to implement and sustain. Based on forming genuine relationships, there’s a proven model that provides a bridge to community resources devoted to helping people get off the streets. Learn what it could mean to introduce your community to a new mobile case management model tailored toward the mental health, medical, and addiction challenges our neighbors face.
TRANSFORMATIONAL PROGRAMMING II
Inspiring LifeChanging Programs Toward NextLevel Outcomes
Ending the Cycle: from Unhealthy to Healthy Relationships
Through the hard work of recovery, clients can realize sobriety, deep healing, and a new life in Christ, yet their relationships still fall apart. Along the way, they never received the tools necessary to participate in a truly healthy relationship. How can you help clients end the destructive cycle as they recognize the unhealthy and toxic relationships and experiences impeding their lives.
Inside the Suicidal Mind
We meet with individuals each day—many struggling just to survive. While it’s difficult to understand what’s going through their head until it’s too late, there is hope. Today’s care givers need an understanding of the mindset that leads down this path. Understand the role spirituality plays, see the signs, ask the right questions, and employ better techniques to open your clients to more meaningful connections, hope, and healing.
Breaking Free from the Addictive Cycle
Beating addiction requires more than detox and behavioral modification. The cognitive, emotional, and spiritual aspects of this cycle must also be addressed. We know a relationship with Christ is the solution to these deeper issues, but how do we present this hope in a meaningful and practical way? This seminar will help us move from abstract principles to concrete steps as we demonstrate how to apply biblical principles toward lasting transformation.
Healing the Wounds of Trauma
Missions and the Trauma Healing Institute share a common audience—those who have suffered significant man-made and natural trauma. This seminar will introduce a biblical model of intervention that combines with proven mental health practices to address individual trauma. You’ll leave with new connections, fresh inspiration, and an understanding of a method that’s been effective at correctional, re-entry, and ministry facilities across the U.S.
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT I
Rousing Transformational Giving with Cutting-Edge Strategies
“Dear Younger Fundraiser Me…”
So often people newer to development hit roadblocks that, with a little guidance, do not have to occur. Designed for fundraisers with zero to three years of development experience, this seminar will share hard lessons learned that will to inform and embolden them as they pursue the ministry and vocation of philanthropy. Participants will leave the seminar having confronted several issues, hopefully before they become problems at all.
Start-up Fundraising, Part 1
Part one of this two-part seminar will explore ways to raise money effectively with little to no development staff or budget. This seminar will offer tangible tools that can be implemented right away. We’ll start by detailing a 30-day action plan to move the proverbial needle and lay a fundraising foundation that your ministry can build on.
Start-up Fundraising, Part 2
Part two of this two-part workshop will outline steps to building a fundraising culture, getting started with donor cultivation, describing free ways to get your message into the community, and other principles to help you jumpstart or improve your fundraising efforts.
How to Integrate Direct Response with Your Capital Campaign
At some point, every mission faces the challenge of how to balance their ongoing fundraising work with a specific need to fund a large capital project. This session will dissect the process one mission utilized to raise $1 Million for a housing project in four months by integrating the offer into their direct response efforts, instead of running two separate campaigns.
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT II
Rousing Transformational Giving with Cutting-Edge Strategies
Spotting and Connecting with Legacy Givers
Can you recognize a legacy giver—the kind with the capacity to transform your ministry budget? Too often ministries miss the potential of a major donor. In this seminar, you’ll learn how to spot your best legacy gift prospects, how to deeply connect and foster relationships with them, and how to nurture and grow existing relationships that will pay dividends for them, your ministry, and those you serve.
Asking Rights: Earning the Right to Ask for Big Dollars
Why do some ministries seem to effortlessly raise money, while others struggle? It may be because those well-funded ministries earned the right to ask. To be successful in today’s funding environment, it’s helpful to keep an investor's perspective in mind, utilize rational asks, and focus on outcomes. This session will tap years of research on successful development approaches and provide tools that are proven to attract larger investments.
Persuasive Grant Writing
As the grant-writing space is quickly and continuously morphing, this seminar will look at ways to streamline and effectively navigate this often confusing, yet very productive development area. With many foundations viewing religious hiring practices as deal breakers, this is an area we can’t ignore. In this information-packed session, you’ll learn how to find grant makers; speak the granter’s language; and craft a compelling, outcomes-based case statement to win the grant.
Step Up Your Analytics to Mail Smarter, Not Harder
Ministries finding success in fundraising today are positioning analytics at the center of their development programs. Data is key in steering decisions and mitigating risks in order to make the most of their budgets. Join this session for guidance on how to mail smarter, not harder. We’ll unpack how analytics can be used to manage your growing audience, target the right people, optimize the full donor pyramid, and leverage digital channels.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION I
Galvanizing Ministries with Best Practices in HR, Finances, Facilities, and Technology
Accounting as a Trusted Advisor
Understanding financial information is essential to more than just your accountant, so it’s critical that your accounting staff be seen as trusted advisors on your team. There is often a disconnect, and accounting information is not fully integrated into decision-making. This session will explore best practices for integrating accounting information into strategic decision making and detailing reporting formats to streamline the process.
Trauma-Informed Design for Transformational Results
How do you create a safe and healthy space for clients whose traumatic experiences have hindered them from moving forward? Trauma-informed care has now come of age in architectural design. An architectural firm that specializes in trauma-informed design is on-hand to inspire you and outline concepts you can implement into your next project. You’ll learn about working with a firm, engaging stakeholders, and an innovative design methodology.
Creating Your Own Legal Entities
Legal challenges intensify each year. The use of LLCs to protect assets is a sound way to limit exposure. What’s more, creating a foundation can help protect your ministry from mixing fundraising and operations for better fiduciary control. This seminar will detail the pros and cons of each and describe benefits and caveats you may not have even considered.
Budgeting In the Midst of Constant Change
Budgeting is an imperfect process, especially in the midst of constant change. Let’s look beyond spreadsheets and software to explore how a budget reflects your values to ensure the best ROI. We’ll review how a budget supports your goals and objectives without becoming an inflexible plan; outline five questions to help identify your ministry’s stewardship culture; and provide a checklist of essential elements in the budgeting process.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION II
Galvanizing Ministries with Best Practices in HR, Finances, Facilities, and Technology
Mitigating Cyber Risk for Your Ministry
Ransomware, phishing, and the number of data breaches in 2021 soared past that of 2020. It’s predicted that, by 2031, there will be a new attack every two seconds as ransomware perpetrators refine their extortion tactics. While it’s impossible to prevent all cyber attacks, this workshop will help you shore up your security and prepare you now, so you’re not scrambling when cyber criminals attack.
Remote Work is Here to Stay—Making it Work for Your Team
The pandemic pushed many employees into unfamiliar remote work environments. The lack of personal connection, combined with an overdose of video meetings has taken a toll, especially on those front line workers who may feel they have less support. Which roles can be effective off-site? Let’s explore ways to bridge employee satisfaction and productivity, while clearing up operational and legal questions to protect staff and the ministry.
Understanding Your Team’s Social Styles
If you work with people that you find difficult to communicate or collaborate with, this session is for you. The Social Styles interpersonal skills model is used by thousands of organizations—including the Citygate Network team—because it's easy to learn, remember, and apply. This interactive workshop will explain its principles and teach you to start employing its strategies right away to improve team dynamics, communication, and collaboration.
“I’m Burned Out… Bye”
Burnout is the feeling that you’ve hit the wall, but then have to scale the wall and just keep going with a background hum of exhaustion. Many mission team members live and work with little margin and forsake true rest until, suddenly, they’re done. As a leader, how do you intentionally build a culture that encourages margin, open communication, and paths around burnout? That’s what this seminar is all about.
ENTERPRISE & RETAIL
Catalyzing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Ministry Outcomes and Resource Growth
Argument and Process for Separating Your Enterprise from Your Ministry
Dividing and conquering is particularly helpful when challenges are plentiful and different in scope. The challenges faced by your ministry leadership are vastly different from the challenges faced by the leader of your enterprise. The rationale for separating your enterprise from ministry operations starts by recognizing, and taking advantage of, this difference. We’ll also dive into the steps needed to restructure.
Sustainability through Partnerships
Sustainability for a social enterprise—especially in its early days—can be tenuous. Collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking sustainability, as partners may open distribution channels, reduce costs, and introduce networks. In this session, a social entrepreneur will discuss collaboration versus competition; explore examples of socially sustainable communities; and drive home the importance of being solutions-focused.
Launch Your 1st, 5th, and 15th Thrift Stores
The obstacles to managing a successful thrift operation change at each milestone. Know the four key cornerstones to address as you prepare to launch your first thrift store. Build your organization chart to allow scale and maximize profits as you work towards a five-store chain. And manage the (literal) ins-and-outs of moving and storing product as your thrift enterprise expands to 15 stores.
The Lean Start-Up: Launching a Social Enterprise the Right Way
A social enterprise is a business or income stream that funds more ministry, benefits the people we serve, and serves the community. These ventures can be transformative for your organization, but, if you've never started one, you may not know how to avoid some of the major pitfalls. This session will walk through the entire process of launching a lean social enterprise—from inspiration, through perspiration, to realization.
HOT TOPICS I