2020 Grow Conference

July 28 - 30, 2020

The Grow Conference is held annually at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama.

More information about the 2020 Grow Conference will be available soon. Please keep up with our social media accounts (@growleader) for updates on registration and more details for Conference.


Breakout labs are a huge part of our Grow Conference. They are led by members of the Highlands staff and provide detailed training and resources, as well as practical insights into how ministry happens at Church of the Highlands. All labs will also provide time for Q&A to help answer any questions attendees may have. We will have a variety of labs for you to choose from on ministry topics such as Worship, Children’s, Students, Portable & Multi-Site Church, Creating a Legacy Team, and many more.

2019 Conference Labs

Associate Pastor
By using their personality and spiritual gifts, associate pastors have the incredible opportunity to fulfill the vision of their senior pastor. In this lab, we will dive into what it means to honor God as we serve our church and lead pastors.
Basics of Production
Join us to learn the basic technical topics of live production, such as video, audio, and lighting.
Church Finances
It’s important for your church to have great vision. It is equally important to have the finances to carry out that vision. In this lab, we will discuss aligning your finances to match your vision, as well as ways to help departments stay on track financially.
Creating a Digital Experience
Whether you've invested deeply in your church’s website, or you are just starting out communicating on the web, this lab will help you craft an amazing online experience. We will discuss key essentials of web design and development through sharing results of trial-and-error, as well as discuss how to create effective, practical mobile apps to keep your church members up-to-date.
Creating a Legacy Team
The local church holds the key that can unlock the door of destiny for today’s business leaders who are searching for ways to experience true purpose. To accomplish this, it is imperative to know how we can steward and lead our business people to better understand the value of their calling and how to make a great Kingdom impact. In this lab, we will discuss how to bridge the gap and create your own Legacy Team.
Creating a Weekend Experience
Join us as we discuss the best ways to create a life-changing Sunday experience for first-time guests and members. From service programming, creative elements and series graphics to creating an inviting and life-giving environment for attendees, we will walk you through video clips of our service transitions and an outline of our weekly service flow at Highlands.
Creativity and Innovation
Learn how we use creativity and innovation to create dynamic experiences and environments that help keep our church relevant, authentic, and engaging. We’ll talk about fostering a creative culture, building a team for the creative arts, leading creative meetings, and how artists and leaders can effectively work together.
Dream Team
We all understand the value of having the right people serving on the right teams. But how do you identify those people, and how do you develop a culture of “get to” instead of “have to”? In this lab, we will answer these questions, as well as learn how to build a Dream Team from the ground up.
Freedom Small Groups
Our Freedom small groups focus on our identity in Christ. Through the Freedom curriculum, people learn how to settle their yesterdays and walk in true freedom. In this lab, you will learn the fundamentals of launching Freedom small groups, training leaders on the Freedom curriculum, and executing an impactful Freedom Conference, which is the culmination of our 12-week Freedom small group.
Growth Track
Designed to help people discover their purpose and live the life God created them for, the Highlands Growth Track is a four-step process that has been one of the major vehicles for life change in our church. This lab will explore the details of how the Growth Track and our teams walk people through getting connected to the church, discovering the strengths of their purposeful design, developing in personal leadership, and using their God-given gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.
Hosting Excellent Events
In the Events Lab, we will share practical steps for facilitating an Excellent Event. From receiving vision to creating a plan, maximizing resources, and more, we will share the practices and tools that have helped us improve the Event experience for our guests and teams.
Kids Ministry
We all want our kids to have a wonderful experience when they come on a Sunday morning. Through a team of dedicated volunteers, interactive worship, fun games, and lots of laughter, we accomplish this goal of creating an excellent Kids Ministry experience. Come connect with our team to learn how to implement these elements within your church’s Kids Ministry.
Leading and Resourcing Your Team
Regardless of a team’s size, or what role you serve in ministry, you can learn how to take key leadership principles and apply them to effectively lead and resource your team. During this lab, we will discuss practical leadership practices, such as reproducing yourself within your team, setting up effective team meetings, and what staff structure within an individual team looks like.
Next Gen
It is highly common for churches to have independently organized kids and student ministries. Typically, little collaboration is done between these two ministries to establish a cohesive strategy for reaching both younger kids and students. This lab is designed to help you understand the gap that exists between kids and student ministries, and to discuss some practical steps that can bridge that gap so we can be effective in helping kids of all ages grow in their faith.
Portable and Excellent
Whether you are a new or existing church plant, we have all experienced the good times, bad times, and (literal) blood, sweat, and tears of portable life. In this lab, we will discuss how to prepare a welcoming and safe church environment in any location so that guests can experience Christ in a real and dynamic way. We will also discuss building team structure and the set-up schedule and process, as well as locating key companies and vendors that will help transform your temporary location into an incredible church experience.
Serve Your City
From serving those in need to creating an ongoing ministry presence through the Dream Center, missions and outreach are a huge part of the mission of Highlands. In this lab, we will share the heart behind why we serve and give the practical and impactful strategy of reaching those in need so that you can be better equipped to serve your city.
Small Groups
Here at Highlands, we believe that life change happens in the context of relationships. This lab will present the foundation of our Small Groups Ministry and how to implement its concepts into your church. We will discuss strategy for operating on a semester calendar, how your leaders can embrace their passions and gifts to form successful groups, and how to promote small groups in your church.
Social Media
Social media is a tool that can be used to expand the Church’s impact. Within a few seconds, you have the opportunity to reach the world through posts, captions, and stories. In this lab, we will discuss how to effectively use social media to advance the vision of your church.
Students Ministry
We strive to see Middle School, High School, and College students thrive in an authentic relationship with God and be connected to the local church. In this lab, we will talk through how to accomplish this vision through the structure of our Students Ministry, including MOTION Night, Small Groups, Growth Track, and Dream Team. We will focus on how these areas relate to a student-focused environment and explore a fresh and counter-cultural approach to leading the upcoming generation.
The Effective Executive/Administrative Assistant
Organizational skills, attention to detail, and a positive attitude are just a few characteristics that describe a successful assistant in the local church. As assistants, we play an important part in helping to keep the lives of those we support in order, as well as to help the church run effectively. In this lab, we will discuss overall responsibilities, time management, staying ahead of the calendar, anticipating the needs of those you serve, and effective communication.
Videos for a Church Experience
Video elements are becoming powerful tools to move and compel all people. Strategically incorporating them in your church has great potential to impact your visitors and members in life-changing ways. To learn how we create engaging videos for ministry environments, as well as other video topics, such as shooting and lighting techniques, video editing, creating motion graphics, and more, join us for this lab.
Worship and Production Team Development
In this lab, we will discuss how to develop your service teams in the areas of worship and production. From the foundational topics of onboarding to the intentional processes of growth and development, this lab will help you grow in your influence and effectiveness as a worship and/or production team leader.
Worship Ministry
To have a healthy worship ministry, we must lead with spiritual vibrancy, live with core values, and learn from effective resources. In this lab, we will talk through the “ins” and “outs” of how our worship team operates. We will discuss how to spiritually guide your team, select songs effectively, prepare for services, and use systems like Planning Center Online and Multi Tracks.