Scott Hodge

Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category


Aug 16, 2011

I’ll never forget the phone call.  I was sitting in the parking lot of a Christian bookstore (which happens once about every other year or so…).

“Scott….I’ve got an idea.”

On the other end was my friend, Ben Arment.  Ben was calling to share his dream of creating a new conference experience for creatives that he was going to be calling STORY.  Not only that, but he wanted to bring the conference to the Chicago area and….he wanted me to be a part of it.

This September (15&16) will mark three years since the beginning of STORY.  And once again, I am really honored to be a part of what has become, in my opinion, one of the most unique conference experiences I’ve ever been a part of.

If you were to ask Ben what the purpose of STORY is, he’d tell you, “STORY is fuel for the creative class.” He’s right.  Whether you create art for a living or even just wish you were more creative, STORY is an experience that will inspire your creativity and affirm the artisty that is dying to make its way to the blank canvases of your life.

This year’s theme: IMAGINE NATION

Last year, there were only 500 seats available.  Every one of them sold out. Thankfully, this year they’ve made more seats available.  But you should move quickly.

Here are the details:

WHEN: THUR, September 15 at 9:00 AM - FRI, September 16 at 5:15 PM (CT)

WHERE: Park Community Church, Chicago (map)

WHO: Oh wow.  So many.  Here are a few.

Kyle Cooper (Prologue Films, Hollywood), Tom Ryan (Threadless), Ed Saxon (Producer, Silence of The Lambs, Adaptation, Philadelphia), Santino Stoner (Dot&Cross – Nooma), Ed Dobson (author), Lauren Chandler (wife of Matt Chandler), Ian Morgan Cron (Episcopal priest & author), Skye Jethani (author), John Mark McMillan (singer & songwriter), Sons & Daughters (worship duo), and more.

It’s quite a line up.  Can’t wait.  Let me know if you’ll be there.  Would love to say hi and connect.


REGISTER HERE. **Click on “Enter Discount Code” and use “SCOTTHODGE” for $50 off your registration.**

Thanks for making me a part of STORY Ben.  Proud of you friend.

My Thoughts on STORY 2010

Sep 28, 2010

Finally getting a chance this morning to decompress my time at STORY this past week…

First of all, let me say thank you to Ben Arment for the privilege of being a part of Story again this year. I’m thankful for our friendship and the opportunity to work together on such a unique event. It’s been awesome watching this dream come to pass.

Secondly, this year’s Story was exceptional. It feels to me like Story hit it’s mark in 2010.  In many ways, it feels like a new community has been birthed – one that’s made up of diverse, yet like-minded creatives who really want to embrace the call to create and inspire the world around us.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • The volunteers. Amazing.  Seriously.  Every volunteer I came across over those two days complimented and contributed to the environment so well.  Their role was essential and they made it happen.  Thank you for everything you guys did.
  • The opener. Blaine Hogan .  Dude.  You nailed it.
  • The speakers. Loved the eclectic mix of speakers.  Loved how unpredictable their presentations were.  And I loved the fact that many of the speakers were unfamiliar names to me.  That’s how it should be more often IMHO.  (Perhaps TED is on to something? Ha.)  I also thought the mix of practical vs. inspirational was really good.
  • The music. I loved it all.  And trust me, that’s saying a lot.  Kari Jobe was the perfect opener for the event.  Josh Garrels was exceptional (listening to “Lost Animals” album now btw).  And Sons & Daughters made me hungry for more of their music.  Can’t wait to hear their new project.  (BTW…I thought the audio quality/mix in the auditorium was stellar.)
  • The venue. Well of course I’m partial to last year’s venue – The Paramount in Aurora – but Park Community Church in Chicago was a great #2! :)   Loved the intimate feel of their auditorium.  And of course, the view through their auditorium windows is just sick.  Wow.

A few other thoughts…

  • Dan Allender – perfect choice as the first presenter.  Loved his demeanor.  Made me want to attend Mars Hill Graduate School.
  • Charlie Todd – loved hearing how he does what he does.  He stretched me.  And made me laugh.
  • Richard Walter – Chairman of graduate program in screenwriting at the UCLA film school for more than 30 years.  Are you kidding me?  What a privilege to hear from him.  Loved his stories.
  • Jason Fried – loved his contrarian ideas on organization and productivity.  And kudos to Tim Schraeder on a great interview!
  • Gary Dorsey - inspired by where he’s taking his art.  And if it wasn’t for his cool tattoos I’d be a little upset about how much sleep I lost that night after watching his Thief in The Night clips.  Oh the memories…
  • David Wenzel – looking forward to going back and listening to David’s talk again.  What a story…  Loved his honesty and authenticity.  It’s good to listen to people who are living with a different perspective towards life than the average person.
  • Wesley Hill – so glad Wesley came to Story.  I think he was an integral part of what made this year’s experience what it was.
  • John Sowers – loved interviewing John.  It was very clear to me that John is doing what he was created to do.  You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.
  • Leonard Sweet - great way to close out Story.  Couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all the ideas that were hitting me during his talk. Loved this quote, “Too many churches are stuck in a Gutenberg mindset in a Google culture.”

Congratulations Ben and everyone involved on a tremendous STORY experience! Can’t wait to see where this goes in the months and years ahead.

How about you? Were you at Story?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, ways to make it better, etc… Who are the creative voices you’d love to hear from?

**Photo courtesy of Joshua WhiteSee more Story photos here.

Monday Morning from Wicker Park

Sep 20, 2010

It’s Monday morning and I’m kickin’ it at Filter in Wicker Park (I love WP btw).  My eyes are tired and my body is moving SLOW.  Looking forward to meeting up with Ben Arment and Jarrett & Jeanne Stevens in a little while.  Hard to believe that STORY 2010 is already here.

Since I have way too much to say and not enough time to write it all I’m going to bullet a bunch of stuff….  Here we go.

  • Had the privilege of interviewing Dawn Schiller at The Orchard this past weekend.  If you’re not familiar with Dawn, you can learn more here.  She has an incredible story. The audio is up and available for download here.  See photos here.
  • Who’s going to be at STORY later this week?
  • Lots of stuff coming up this fall that I’m excited about.  Will be in Minneapolis, Rockford, Atlanta, and…..I think that’s it for now.
  • Enjoyed getting to know Mark Sayers last week.  Mark is from Australia and has some good stuff to say.
  • Celebrated the lives of two very dear people last week.  Charlotte and Bruce…you’ll both be missed.  Stirred my grief up a bit for my dad.  October 12th will make six years since he passed away.  Man…

That’s it….gotta run.

Exciting July!

Jul 15, 2010

Excited about a ton of stuff right now!  Here’s a sampling:

One thing is certain – summer is not dead at The Orchard! We’ve got teams headed to Uganda and El Salvador in the next couple of weeks.  One team just returned from a stateside trip and I’m excited that our Orchard Students are heading to the south side of Chicago to spread some love there as well.  This is an amazing tribe!

The Orchard’s annual BBQ & Baptism is a huge event for us every summer.  It’s happening on Sunday, August 8th.  If you’ve never seen one of our baptism videos, check this one out!  (And if you want to get baptized, go here.)

This Sunday I’ll be speaking at one of my favorite churches in the world – NewSong Church in Irvine, CA!  I LOVE the NewSong community and their pastor, Dave Gibbons.  Dave’s a great friend and influence in my life.  By the way, their services are broadcast live online and you can watch live here. (Times are: 9 am, 10:30 and 11:59am PDT)

Speaking of CA…..  I’ll also be at the Origins Event in LA the following weekend.  I’m excited about connecting with so many great people there.  I’m also looking forward to leading two conversations: “City & Church: Flattening The Divide” and “Change: Transforming A Church To Transform a City”.  Leave a comment if you’ll be at Origins!

Was asked to be a part of The Nine’s again this year.  Will be throwing down some video next week.  It’s a pretty cool idea from Leadership Network and Catalyst.  Any ideas on what idea I should devote my nine minutes to?

Love what Tim Schraeder is doing with Outspoken and honored to be a part of this new book for church communications leaders.  Follow them on Twitter.

Great concert by The Swell Season last night.  Might expound on that later.  Go see them if you haven’t.

That’s it for now.  Lots of other exciting things, but I’ll save those for another time.

Happy Thursday!

Ladies and Gentlemen….

May 5, 2010
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has been crankin' leadership inspiration and innovation for ten years. 

Ten years. 

Dang.  And a lot of lives have been impacted because of it.  Including mine.  As a matter of fact, it was at the very first Catalyst Conference that my world was turned upside down as a young leader who was longing for something new and different.  It jacked me up BAD.  And I'll never forget sitting in the balcony at Northpoint crying my eyes out….knowing that I would never be the same.

Catalyst 2010 is coming up in five months – October 6-8 in Atlanta.  If you've never been, you need to go. Mike-and-jud-potsc

Two speakers that I'm proud to announce for this year's lineup are two of my favorite guys – Mike Foster & Jud Wilhite.  

Those are two reasons in and of themselves to get to Catalyst in October.  Seriously.  I love Mike and Jud's hearts. God's hand is on them.

If you're not familiar with their movement called People Of The Second Chance, go check it out and catch the beautiful spirit and heart behind it. 

The new Catalyst website is now live.  Go check it out.  Oh…..and they are giving away an iPad every week between now and Catalyst.  Dang.  I hope I win one.  (Do I quality Brad?)

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