T4G20 Conference Update

March 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

The ten day refund period has now passed, and I’m delighted to tell you that not many of you took up the refund request offer. After sending our previous update, we prayed, waited, and were then overwhelmed with your response. To add to the good news, 100 of you bought the new livestream package. 

Thank you friends for standing together with us!

Our team has worked diligently to reduce every possible expense. By God’s grace, this leaves T4G very close to breaking even for the 2020 conference, which provides us the opportunity to continue hosting conferences for years to come, Lord willing. We are praising the Lord for his continued kindness. 

Also, your books are on the way! 

We started mailing at the first possible moment to avoid a shelter-in-place order or other delays. They will be mailed over the next ten days in the hope that all will arrive by April 14. Some of you have already reported receiving the books. We hope you enjoy them as much as Mark Dever, Albert Mohler, and Ligon Duncan enjoyed picking them out. 

We want to express gratitude to our sponsors for sticking with us as we have bounced from one plan to another. Crossway, LifeWay, Desiring God, Radius International, MLJ Trust, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Reformed Theological Seminary could not have been more supportive. 

We pray, as you take in the talks and panels, that you would be encouraged and strengthened for the task ahead.

Gratefully,

Matt Schmucker


March 18, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are writing to inform you that we will no longer be able to gather in Louisville for Together for the Gospel 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are greatly disappointed, but trust in the Lord’s providence.

We held out hope for as long as we could. By all appearances, T4G registrants are a resilient, bold, happy group. We had many write asking us not to cancel and we had less than 100 requests for refunds from 12,500 registrants! But, of course, our love for neighbor and submission to authority overrides even our desire to gather, hear good preaching, sing, and collect books. We trust you are praying fervently for the gospel to go forward and looking to care for the weakest and poorest among us.

What does this mean for your registration fee?

This news has its challenges for us as an organization. We have already invested your registration money, purchasing things like

Zero Dollar Books – 17 titles free of charge to all attendees
— 13,000 conference guides
— The mailer that delivered your wristbands
— Travel for nearly 100 speakers and volunteer team leaders
— Audio/video contracts

This money is spent and we cannot get most of it back, which means, if everyone requests a full refund, we will go bankrupt and cannot host this conference in future years.

We readily acknowledge anything short of a full gathering is something less than you paid for, so we will do our very best to meet all refund requests. But we’d like to put forward a plan that allows us to meet our financial responsibilities and delivers all that we are capable of, given the present circumstances. 

If you do not request a refund, you will receive:

Exclusive access to a livestream event as well as an access code to share with ten of your friends, family, or colleagues. This livestream event will include all eleven plenary speakers, Lord willing.
Access to the T4G Online Bookstore with all the curated titles and deep discounts you’ve come to expect at T4G, plus an additional $10 off for purchases greater than $50.
The 17 books you would have received at the conference (a $230 value) shipped to your address (what we call the Zero Dollar Bookstore).

As an organization, we understand everyone has different constraints, but we hope you will pivot with us to this adjusted conference. If you seek a refund, we will trust the Lord to protect the investment we committed to when we opened registration back in September of 2019.

Please take a moment now to pray for T4G, this livestream version of the conference, and any ministry the Lord might give us in the years to come. Pray for the city of Louisville and the many vendors impacted by this cancellation. Viruses or no, we have been entrusted with this gospel. The world might think that “all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4), but there is nothing like a globally disruptive event to teach them otherwise. Pray that God might use your ministry and ours at precisely this moment to tell our neighbors that Jesus is coming.

Your brother,

Matt Schmucker
Director of T4G

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration & Travel

Is there a deadline to request a refund?
Yes, you must request a refund by March 27, 2020.  

What about my meal plan or pre-conference ticket?
Meal plan and pre-conference tickets will be refunded automatically; no action required on your part. Those may take up to 2-3 weeks to process so please be patient with us. 

What about my flight and hotel?
Many airlines and hotels are accommodating refund requests due to the effect of COVID-19. Here are the latest updates from some of the airlines and hotels we work with: 

Hotels
The Galt House Hotel: Free to cancel without penalty
Marriott Properties: Free to cancel without penalty
Omni Hotel and Resort: Free to cancel without penalty
Hilton Properties: Free to cancel without penalty
Hyatt Properties: Free to cancel without penalty

Airlines
American Airlines: Rebook without change fees
United Airlines: Rebook without change fees
Southwest Airlines: Rebook without change fees
Delta Airlines: Change ticket, one time, with no fee change

Impact on T4G

Why did it take so long for T4G to cancel?
We would never put any registrant at risk. Yet it’s taken some time to untangle our obligations to the city of Louisville, the state of Kentucky, and a host of private vendors. As you know, the ground has been shifting almost every day. We hope to work with each of these groups in the future, and we have sought out solutions that best serve every party. Thank you for your patience.  

Does T4G have event insurance?
Yes, but our event insurance excluded pandemics, like SXSW which was recently cancelled in Austin, Texas. We have yet to talk to another event organization that is covered. 

Is T4G facing financial difficulties?
Yes, bankruptcy is possible, but it depends on the number of refund requests. The more refund requests, the greater our loss. 

Are there any cost savings you can initiate?
Yes. We are busy canceling signage, catering, volunteer t-shirts, and a whole lot more.

Can I donate to T4G?
Many of you have asked for the ability to donate to Together for the Gospel to help us recover the lost revenue and cover extra expenses that have come as a result of COVID-19. We are humbled by your generosity, but we are not accepting donations at this time, trusting the Lord will provide.


March 13, 2020

The president just announced a national emergency. The NCAA tournament has shutdown. The NBA took a break. Disney closed its gates.

So what’s happening with Together for the Gospel 2020? 

The long and short of it is, we are trying to change the scope and nature of our event, but we need some more time to work out the details. 

One of the biggest challenges is working through the financial commitments we have with several vendors, the city of Louisville, and the state of Kentucky. As you can imagine, this leaves us (and them) in a difficult situation. A lot of money has been spent that we cannot get back, and our commitments have us on the hook for still more. Yet we hope to do our best to care for you and your investment in T4G. We will update you as soon as we can.   

We remain grateful to be partners with you in the gospel.


March 9, 2020

To all T4G Registrants,

With Together for the Gospel 2020 just five weeks away, we are laboring daily to ensure that a gathering would be safe for our attendees and for those who reside in the city of Louisville, Kentucky. We are in close communication with medical professionals, monitoring the publications from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization, and communicating regularly with the representatives of the city of Louisville. According to t​he most recent information from the CDC, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low for most people. As of today, the city of Louisville is looking forward to welcoming our group in mid-April and we are preparing to gather there, Lord willing.

If your age, health, or location find you in a position of increased vulnerability, you should, of course, plan to join us on our livestream to avoid unnecessary risk. We are working closely with our international registrants in particular to limit the potential exposure and transfer of the virus. We will limit access to our gathering in Louisville for any country with a COVID-19-related t​ravel health notice from the CDC​. The KFC Yum! Center and Kentucky International Convention Center — our gathering points — have recently installed enhanced cleaning standards and we are installing hand sanitizing stations throughout our facilities.

Pray to the Lord that

1. the healthcare professionals and government officials would have wisdom regarding events like ours,
2. we as planners would exercise prudence as we prepare for various scenarios,
3. and ultimately, that our Lord, in his providence, would use even this virus to strengthen and mobilize his church as we seek to minister to a world in need.

Thank you for your patience as we look to our sovereign God for direction.

Your brother,
Matt Schmucker
Director of T4G

If conference plans change, updates will be posted at T4G.org/update