It’s that special time of year again! ORANGE CONFERENCE!

What is Orange? In short, it’s a philosophy; the belief that the combined effort of the family (red) + the Church (yellow) will have a greater impact on the heart of a child than either could alone. (ORANGE!) The Orange Conference is a gathering of NextGen Leaders from around the world who believe deeply in this philosophy and are hungry to learn new or fresh ideas on how to partner with parents, equip leaders, and disciple kids.

Besides being both relevant and practical, Orange conference is also a ton of FUN! Every conference I walk away energized and full of new ideas. But for me there are 3 specific and significant outcomes that keep me coming back year after year:

  1. CONNECTION: There are some really cool people at Orange Conference! From the staff and volunteers to the kidmin leaders in attendance, this is a huge gathering of people sold out for Jesus and the family; kids, parents, leaders, the Church. I LOVE the opportunity to meet other like-minded ministry leaders to both learn from and be encouraged by. My #1 priority is to meet as many people as I can and connect in order to build a network of strong leader friends. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the smartest person in the room, but I am wise enough to surround myself with people who are and can speak into me, my leadership and my life in a meaningful way. I’ve made some pretty sweet connections over the years and consider some of them to be dear, dear friends.
  2. COLLABORATION: This is real, ministry leader, so lean in. You do not have to re-invent the wheel to change the world or even influence your circle well. There are other people out there who are winning in area where you may not be – just like you are liking winning in an area where they may be lacking. The more you connect, the more you can collaborate. I’ve been in ministry for over a decade now, and I’d be hard-pressed to show you one of my “ministry wins” that wasn’t influenced by another leader in some way. Through connection and collaboration, I’ve been able to glean from the brightest in ministry and in some cases then improve on those ideas in order to do ministry better with the flock the Lord has called me too. You have something to learn. You have something to share. Wondering where to start? How about the guy sitting next to you in the breakout you selected! Ask him his name. Exchange twitter handles and emails. Ask her where she is winning and where she needs help. Your breakouts are primed with opportunities to meet and collaborate with leaders interested in becoming better in the same area you are!
  3. CONFIRMATION: As Christ followers, we all have a calling on our lives. Love God. Love People. Make Disciples. Sounds so simple, right? I so hope it is for you but it isn’t always for me. I have doubts and insecurities, and sometimes wonder what in the world God must be thinking to trust me with something so important. It is a POWERFUL thing to sit in a room of 8,000+ ministry leaders, with their own insecurities and short-comings, and lift our hands in praise and in surrender to the One who called us, to hear encouraging and empowering messages that reinforce the TRUTH that we can do ALL things through Christ, and to walk away with practical tools that will help us lead and disciple others better. As a leader with the primary responsibility of encouraging and equipping leaders and families and casting vision with every conversation, it sure is sweet to sit and be still while some of the world’s most seasoned pour into me! Every year I walk away from the Orange Conference with confirmation that I have been called by God and will be equipped accordingly.

I hope we get to connect at Orange Conference! Hit me up! I’d love to learn your name and make a new friend. What are your favorite things about the Orange Conference?