The 2023 LEAD Conference

UMC LEAD creates space for faith leaders to be vulnerable and courageous, connects them around their hopes for the future, and equips them to bring those hopes into reality. LEADers see a vision of the kin-dom of God and are willing to go through hell to get there. We support them on the journey.

The Lead Conference creates a brave space for people to question and reimagine as we engage in conversations around challenging assumptions and the status quo. Each year, the LEAD Conference challenges assumptions. No one person has all the answers, and yet, we discover gems within each of us and our contexts. Ultimately, we value Christ’s presence in the other and between us as we consider the questions. This year, we will gather in Asheville, NC from January 22-25.

Should I speak at LEAD?

People of all ages, backgrounds, and vocations are welcome to speak at LEAD and we encourage you to apply and share your unique voice. What insight or learning can you share from your setting whether ministry or non-ministry? How have your dreams, colossal failures, successes, or tiny pivot made an impact on you or your community? What can others learn from your story?

What are the expectations if I’m selected to speak?

All LEAD speakers are also participants. You will share the stage and learn from other presenters while engaging in conversations with other participants throughout the conference. Presentation times vary (from 8-15 minutes), and you will be notified of your presentation length upon selection. Previous LEAD speakers will coach each speakers through the LEAD process, and all presentations will be a launching point for discussion among LEAD participants, much like TED talks. Speakers will be expected to give their talks without manuscripts.

If selected, your talk will be recorded and made available following the event. Your talk should be an original creation (one that you have not presented before) and may NOT include a sales pitch for any book, product, or ministry support. However, we are especially focused on ideas and stories that will be beneficial to people of faith across the vocational spectrum. Be specific, be authentic, and share your story. The goal is not to impress us with your knowledge, but to inspire others and collaborate together.

Since speakers are also participants, selected speakers for LEAD 2023 will not receive financial compensation. Speakers are expected to cover their own cost of registration and travel. Speakers are required to come on Saturday to run through their talk with coaches and the other speakers. The hotel and dinner costs will be covered by the conference that night. As a speaker, you are expected to meet with your coach 3 times before LEAD and at least once at LEAD.


Talk Topics:

At our core we believe that LEADers are… Courageous, Collaborative, Vulnerable, Relational, and Hopeful. We want to hear how you have embodied one or more of these values.







Applications are due by August 1. You will be notified by August 30. Click the button below to access the application on typeform. You will be asked to give biographical information, upload a headshot, and give a pitch for your talk.

You can register for LEAD HERE

If you have any questions or trouble with the TypeForm, please contact [email protected]